SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Louis Evans, Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston, Kevin Benedict, Adrian Bridgwater

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Growth Picture Turns Murky for Small Businesses

Surepayroll Small Business Scorecard Shows Small Business Owners Expect Profit, Not Necessarily Hiring

GLENVIEW, IL--(Marketwired - January 31, 2014) - SurePayroll Inc., a leader in providing online payroll to small businesses nationwide, today announced results for the January 2014 SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard® and survey, which shows decidedly mixed results to start the year.

Half of small business expect to hire for new positions in 2014, according to the SurePayroll survey, however that means half do not. Only 45 percent said they have extra cash on hand to take advantage of hiring and growth opportunities or unforeseen setbacks. Their level of optimism is at 65 percent, down just slightly from 70 percent at the end of 2013.

The promising thing is that 80 percent expect to be profitable in 2014 regardless of the economy's growth rate, barring a major downturn.

"We're still in glass half empty, glass half full territory. The problem is the glass needs to be full before we see real growth," said SurePayroll CEO and President Michael Alter. "Small businesses have learned how to profit without hiring during the last two years, and that's not going to change unless everything lines up just right. Demand has to rise, cash flow has to increase and then there have to be qualified candidates to hire. Small business owners just aren't seeing that right now."

Month over month, hiring was down 0.1 percent and paychecks were down 0.2 percent in January.

Hiring in the South and West was flat month over month, and down 0.2 percent in the Midwest and Northeast. The average paycheck was down across the country, dropping the most in the Midwest (-0.5 percent).

As the first economic indicator created by a payroll company, the SurePayroll Scorecard has provided a monthly look at national hiring and paycheck trends since October 2004. SurePayroll's Scorecard compiles data from small businesses nationwide, and exclusively reflects the trends affecting the nation's "micro businesses" -- those with1-10 employees. The average business reflected has six employees.

The full SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard - Main Street Matters infographic includes data for SurePayroll's top 35 MSAs. The January 2014 Scorecard is available now on the SurePayroll blog.

About SurePayroll

SurePayroll is the trusted provider of easy online payroll services to small businesses nationwide. Whether a business has 1, 10, or 100 employees, SurePayroll delivers peace of mind by combining innovative, industry-leading technology and personalized support from an award-winning, U.S.-based customer care team. SurePayroll also provides private-label and co-branded services for accountants and banking partners as well as offering efficient online solutions for managing 401(k) plans, health insurance, workers' compensation, employee screening and more. SurePayroll is a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex. For more information, please visit www.SurePayroll.com. Follow us on Twitter - Circle us on Google+ - Connect with us on LinkedIn - Like us on Facebook.

About Paychex

Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) is a leading provider of payroll, human resource, insurance, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses. The company offers comprehensive payroll services, including payroll processing, payroll tax administration, and employee pay services, including direct deposit, check signing, and Readychex®. Human resource services include 401(k) plan recordkeeping, section 125 plans, a professional employer organization, time and attendance solutions, and other administrative services for business. A variety of business insurance products, including group health and workers' compensation, are made available through Paychex Insurance Agency, Inc. Paychex was founded in 1971. With headquarters in Rochester, New York, the company has more than 100 offices serving approximately 570,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2014. For more information about Paychex and our products, visit www.paychex.com.

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