The National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) 2016 Mid-Year Economic Report found that while most small-business owners expect a flat economy in the coming year, the share anticipating economic expansion has grown over the past six months.

“Unfortunately, job growth continues to linger at just 23 percent of small firms adding new workers over the past year,” says NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. “On the plus side, 12 percent of small-business owners said they plan to increase their workforce by more than 10 percent in the coming year—the highest this indicator has been since we started asking the question.”

The NSBA’s Mid-Year Economic Report found that 72 percent of small-business owners are confident in the future of their own business, down slightly from December 2015. And while fewer small businesses reported revenue increases in the last 12 months, 45 percent said they plan to implement new advertising and marketing strategies, 28 percent plan to expand e-commerce and 25 percent plan to launch a new product line in the coming year.

Among small businesses, the top requests from the policymakers in Washington, D.C., and their statehouses are a reduction in the national debt, an end to the partisan gridlock, a simplified tax system and a reining in of health insurance costs.

“Our data show a drop in bank lending to smaller firms, which has serious implications,” says NSBA Chair Cookie Driscoll, owner of C. Cookie Driscoll Inc. of Fairfield, Pennsylvania. “An inability to access capital caused 20 percent of small firms to reduce their number of employees.”

The 2016 Mid-Year Economic Report was conducted online July 22 through August 3, among 1,045 small-business owners. Click here to download the full report.