While the latest Kauffman/LegalZoom Startup Confidence Index showed that newly minted entrepreneurs aren’t taking Washington’s troubles to heart, SurePayroll’s latest Small Business Scorecard shows a different picture when it comes to the nation’s smallest companies.

The October 2013 Scorecard polled “micro” businesses with 10 or fewer employees and found the overwhelming majority are frustrated with Washington regarding the government shutdown. Ninety percent say their concerns are not being heard on Capitol Hill, and two-thirds say they wouldn’t vote to re-elect their representatives in Congress were mid-term elections to be held today.

The shutdown is also having long-lasting effects on business owners’ expectations. Prior to the partial government shutdown, just over 40% of business owners said they expected their fourth quarter to be better than their third quarter. Now, just 27% are feeling as positively in this regard. Overall optimism also took a dip to 62%, falling ten percentage points from July.

Southern States Show Strength

Looking at hiring and employee pay, southern states are coming out on top. While hiring stayed flat in the South month-over-month, it decreased slightly in every other region, with the nationwide average landing at negative 0.1%.

Additionally, the South was the only region that saw employee pay per check on the rise, growing 0.2%; nationally, employee pay stayed flat.

And when it comes to employee pay by city, Southern cities are leading the charge, with Texas metro areas showing particularly strong results.

Month-over-month, Houston saw employee pay rise by 1.4% -- the only city in the nation tracked by SurePayroll to see an increase over 1%. Dallas was also strong, showing pay increases of 0.5%. Atlanta, Miami and Tampa businesses increased employee pay as well.

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