Optimism dives on higher gas prices

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Higher prices for gas and other commodities helped spur a 17 percent drop in optimism among small business owners in April, according to Glenview-based payroll provider SurePayroll, which tracks hiring and wage data monthly. The SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard indicates hiring and wages in April  were flat with March, while the hiring index for Illinois dropped 4 percent, the company reported. Some small businesses are adding independent contractors as business picks up, but most aren’t creating full-time positions, the company reported.