August 31, 2004 -- As the doors to the Republican National Convention open this week, a new survey delivered some good news to the delegates: Small business owners love where the economy is heading, especially when it comes to the impact on their personal finances.

In a survey of 600 small businesses conducted by the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, 68 percent of small business owners said that their personal financial portfolio is "excellent" or "good," while 77 percent of the respondents expect that portfolio to increase even further in the next 12 months. This kind of positive financial outlook could bode well for President Bush as he officially embarks on his reelection campaign following his nomination this Thursday in New York City.

"The continued optimism we are seeing from small business owners is also very clearly translating into greater optimism with regards to how they view their personal financial situations," said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, small business segment manager for Wells Fargo, in a statement. "The steady rise of small business owner optimism and confidence in their business and personal financial situations is another positive sign for the economy."

The optimistic survey results on the respondents' personal finances stood out slightly when compared with the overall Small Business Index score, which measures business confidence and overall market conditions, which rose only slightly from 100 to 103 over the past quarter. Small business owners cited financial and cash flow issues, lack of business, a poor economy, shortage of qualified employees and health insurance as potential roadblocks to further economic optimism.

The index is calculated by tracking key measures such as current financial situation, revenues, cash flow, capital spending, number of jobs, and availability of credit.