CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's good news on the economic front.
The percentage of Americans out of work fell to 8.8% on April 1, and private employers added 230,000 jobs to the workforce.
Debbie Bartok opened Sunflower Baking Company just six months ago, its her first foray into business, and she's finding the whole experience pretty sweet.
"Very good, from the day we opened," Bartok said. "Business has been really good. People warned us when we first started to open, 'oh, you're going to open a business in this type of economy'...but we have been very happy."
It seems improvements in the job market are finally taking hold.
More people are making money, and spending it where it counts - at small businesses.
Dozens of small business owners gathered at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart for an expo this week, and they were very upbeat.
"It's getting better. You know, it's getting better," the owner of a year-old confections company said.
And there's even reason to believe that the improvements are here to stay. The City of Charlotte's Brad Richardson just conducted a poll with the help of UNCC's Urban Institute.
"This is predictive of what business owners think about the next quarter," Richardson said. "They're generally positive about a few things. One is, their capital investment, one is their industry growth, and one is the local economy verses the national economy."