Denver (PRESS RELEASE \u2013 August 1, 2011) - The Alternative Board (TAB) \u2013 in connection with Corona Insights, a leading market research firm based in Denver \u2013 annually polls its members as well as a mirror group of non-member business owners regarding their performance relative to projections and their coming year business forecasts. The state of small business has been tumultuous throughout the economic downturn and recession, but a key subset of business owners are not only reporting an increase in optimism, but also reveal indicators for growth in the months to come. According to the survey, private business owners are demonstrating their confidence in the market by increasing their marketing investments, improving their tax situation and increasing or maintaining their pricing structure. Complete results are mapped in The Alternative Board\u2019s 2011 State of Small Business: Key Economic Recovery Trends for US & Canada Infographic, which provides a visual representation of the state of small business, including: 68% of US small business owners and 61% of Canadian small business owners are \u201coptimistic\u201d that the economy will improve in 2011. Top four challenges facing business owners: Taxes 87% of US small businesses 77% of Canadian small businesses Government Regulations 86% of US small businesses 94% of Canadian small businesses Finding New Customers 84% of US small businesses 76% of Canadian small businesses Access to Credit / Capital 70% of US small businesses 65% of Canadian small businesses More than half of US business owners believe the HealthCare Reform Act to be bad for business US Small business owners\u2019 top three threats to the economy in 2011: Unemployment National debt Political environment \u201cAs the United States begins to emerge from the recession, it has become even clearer that small businesses are essential to keeping our nation afloat. We must recognize the perils independent business owners are presented on a daily basis as well as the incredible resiliency they have demonstrated,\u201d stated Jason Zickerman, President and CEO of The Alternative Board. \u201cAlthough optimism is increasing, business owners with access to an advisory board of fellow business owners consistently prove to have an advantage over business owners that try to achieve everything within the confines of their organization.\u201d Survey results reinforce previous year\u2019s indicators that business owners who become members of an alternative board of directors are more likely to succeed than their non-member counterparts. Specifically, this year\u2019s survey found that: 76% of small business owners with access to an alternative board of directors feel \u201coptimistic\u201d about their business\u2019 success in the current economy 1 out of 4 Alternative Board members increased their product or service pricing Alternative Board members are 8% less likely to see a decrease in profits About The Alternative Board The Alternative Board (TAB) is an exclusive, membership-based organization that helps business owners achieve profitability, productivity, and personal fulfillment through the use of peer advisory boards and private business coaching. Through a platform of knowledge and guidance, The Alternative Board delivers real world advice that provides a result driven advantage to help business owners stay focused on what matters most. Headquartered in Denver, CO, The Alternative Board has been helping business owners succeed for over 20 years.