A new study shows that small and medium businesses (SMBs) are bullish on the future, and sight up-to-date technology as more important than ever.

The study; sponsored by Hewlett-Packard and performed by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, Inc., polled 501 SMB owners, CEOs or senior decision makers.

Sixty-two percent of those surveyed see business improving this year, and 49% said they are likely to hire and retain new employees next year.

"As the U.S. celebrates Small Business Week this week," Robyn West, vice president of small and medium business, HP Americas said, "it is encouraging to see the economic growth these businesses are expecting for the upcoming year."

In addition, the study also sighted that 44% of the companies surveyed will be increasing technology spending this year by up to 10%, with 17% of companies saying they were going to increase tech spending as much as 11% to 20%.

Bill Dunkelburg, chief economist at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), shared the sentiment of a bullish future outlined by the HP survey. "Our 'Optimism Index' is at its highest mark since 1983."

The HP survey also mentioned that 79% of the companies surveyed agreed that technology for SMBs must be on par or superior to larger corporations and 85% said they rely on locally owned service providers to maintain their equipment.