A recent Capital One survey of small business in the U.S. found some optimism as the summer approaches. 

Director of the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Patrick Barkey, addressed the Spark Business Barometer report. He also sees signs of growth in Montana's small business community.

"Small businesses in Montana have had several years to digest the changes that the economy and the regulatory environment have given them, and they're looking for ways to solve those problems and looking for ways to grow, instead of just to survive," Barkey said. "Another way to put that is, once people realize what kind of recovery this is, which is a slower recovery and one that is fairly imbalanced, they are rolling up their sleeves and they are solving their problems, rather than just waiting for things to get better."

Barkey also said that small business has embraced the surge in new technology to grow and innovate.

"It's not just mobile technology, but a lot of technology," Barkey said. "That is typified by the Montana Tech Alliance that has just formed and is getting a pot of publicity. It's starting to cast its net rather widely, not just looking at businesses that are solely high-tech, but everything from flower shops to universities who are all using the most innovative new mobile technology."

Director of the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Patrick Barkey