April 28, 2005--A new survey of the nation's small business owners says that today's entrepreneurs are actively planning to boost their tech spending to cut costs and grow their businesses -- no matter what kind of business they happen to be in.

In its survey of 400 small business owners located around the country, computer maker Hewlett-Packard found that 81% of respondents plan to augment tech budgets over the next two to three years to help solve the headaches that plague day-to-day operations.

"This survey highlights the optimism of small business owners and underscores the growing importance of technology to solve their business challenges," said Kevin Gilroy, a senior VP and general manager at HP.

Respondents reported that the Internet in particular would be a focal point for their spending, with upgraded websites, online services and even weblogs as the key components of their spending strategies.

Outside of technology and operations, survey respondents rated maintaining quality relationships with their customers and their employees as their other top priorities.

Another key finding uncovered by the survey was that community involvement -- not profits -- was the chief reward for entrepreneurs running their own businesses, especially for women-owned businesses, the fastest-growing group of small business owners in the country.

"Women have growing power economic power and influence, so it is not a surprise that women-owned businesses are on the rise," said Karen Kerrigan, CEO of Women Entrepreneurs, Inc. "The results of this survey confirm what we are seeing among the growing ranks of women entrepreneurs that are looking to adopt technology to strengthen their business."

To get the full survey results, click here.