A new survey from TD Bank found that despite the challenges facing them, more than half (60%) of small business owners feel their business is performing at expected levels so far in 2013.

The survey, which polled more than 600 small business owners, also asked owners to identify their barriers to success. They reported that their top three challenges are growing their business (51%), the economic environment (45%) and cash flow (34%).

“It’s not surprising that small business owners still struggle to be optimistic or confident about performance in the current economic environment,” said Jay DesMarteau, TD Bank’s head of Small Business. “We know the difference a strong banking partnership can make in helping small business owners manage their money, focus on growth opportunities and hiring.”

Hiring outlook not optimistic

The survey found that the optimism in performance does not extend to hiring. The number of small business owners reporting that they plan to hire in 2013 went down by half, compared with data TD gathered through a small business owner outlook survey in December 2012.

Only 17% plan to hire at least one new employee, down from 32% six months ago. However, more than three-quarter of small business owners (79%) intend to keep staffing levels the same, up from 59% in December.

To view the entire release, click here.