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Are you losing hope? If so, you’re not alone. We’re constantly being bombarded with bad economic indicators and exhausting political yammer from the left and right—neverendingly delivered, in real time, by our social media masters. It’s enough to wear down even the most optimistic proponents of hope: that intangible lauded by religion, Hallmark cards and certain political campaigns.

And it’s taking a serious toll. A recent study by the National Small Business Assn. finds that 60 percent of small business owners feel confident about the future, down from 75 percent in December. Moreover, 34 percent believe there will be another recession in the next year, up from 14 percent in December.

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