November may have ushered in the holiday season, but it didn’t bring a big jump in enthusiasm among America’s small-business owners. The National Federation of Independent Business’ widely-watched small-business optimism index was up only slightly for a reading of 92.5. Small-business employment is better than it was a year ago, but not enough to restore 2007-level hiring. Uncertainty remains throughout the sector, as small-business owners brace for the possibility of increased taxes, new regulations and higher health-care costs. Brad Jones, state director of NFIB/Missouri, said small-business owners here are as wary as those elsewhere in the country.