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Women pay themselves less than male counterparts

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Women business owners, on average, are less likely than male business owners to take a salary, and, when they do, they they pay themselves $17,470 less than their male counterparts, according to a new American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor survey.

Fewer small business owners are taking home salaries, but those who are gave themselves an average raise of $2,310 last year, according to the survey.

The survey also showed that entrepreneurs now have a positive outlook for their companies and 75 percent plan to grow their businesses. For the first time since the recession, four out of 10 small business owners plan to hire staff in the next six months. That’s slightly more than last year. Owners said the biggest challenge to growth is finding the right staff.

Forty percent said they are planning to invest in technology over the next six months.

Fifty-three percent of small business owners surveyed said they are concerned about their ability to save for retirement, 6 percent more than in last year’s survey.

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