After falling to record lows, economic confidence among the nation's small-business owners picked up in July, as fewer owners struggled with cash-flow issues, Discover reported this week.

In a survey of 1,000 small-business owners nationwide, only 33 percent said they've faced cash-flow problems over the past three months, down from 42 percent last month. More owners also said the economy was improving, prompting many to boost spending plans for the months ahead, the survey found.

"Cash flow is one of the key indicators that affects small-business owners' confidence in the economy," Ryan Scully, director of Discover's business credit card, said in a statement. "Given the substantial decrease in cash flow concerns that were reported this month, it’s not surprising that economic confidence also rebounded."

Last week, Opinion Research reported a similar upturn in small-business confidence. About a third of 500 owners surveyed said business conditions in their market were good, while half said they expect the economy to recover within a year, the Princeton, N.J.-based database firm said.