Recent history hasn't been too friendly to small businesses across the country. While the economy has been tough – and consumers have been hesitant to spend their hard-earned cash – conditions have started to improve.

The sentiment of small business owners has started to creep up throughout the nation. This trend comes on the heels of one of the harshest winters in recent memory, constricting the economy even further. Thankfully, it appears that a better situation is on the horizon.

Economists hope for strong turnaround
This past winter took its toll on the U.S. economy. According to the Associated Press, financial indicators were fairly negative during the first quarter of 2014, but that trend can likely be attributed to severe winter storms and other weather conditions that interrupted production and got in the way of travel and shipping.

Now that the weather is better, economists hope that conditions will continue to improve, providing a boost to businesses everywhere. The media outlet reported that analysts expect to see stronger hiring, manufacturing growth and improved sales helping out the U.S. economy over the coming months.

"We have ample evidence that the first quarter was just a temporary setback for the economy and we are climbing out of the hole in the current quarter," Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial, told the media outlet.

While there is room for hope, some economists fear that global current events may have an impact on conditions back in the U.S., according to The AP. Even so, the forecast remains bright.

Confidence emerges in small business sector
Given these recent economic conditions, optimism surrounding U.S. small businesses has started to improve. The National Federation of Independent Business' Optimism Index ticked up 1.4 points in May, now at its highest level since September of 2007.

While these trends are good news for the sector, conditions have to further improve for additional gains to be felt. NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg stated that the gain in optimism was spurred along by sales expectations and business conditions.

"With prices being raised more frequently in response to rising labor and higher energy costs it is clear that small businesses are unwilling to invest in an uncertain future," he added. "As long as this is the case the economy will continue to be 'bifurcated,' with the small business sector not pulling its historical weight in the GDP numbers."

Even so, small business owners across the country are facing improved economic conditions, which could lead to a more stable financial plan and an increased opportunity for sales.