Confidence among small and midsize business (SMB) CEOs once again reflected rising concerns about Covid in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the latest CEO Confidence Index from Vistage, a CEO coaching and peer advisory organization. The Vistage CEO Confidence Index, which measures SMB leaders' sentiment on various economic and business topics, was 97.6 in Q4 2021, a fractional increase from 97.1 in Q3, as the Omicron variant replicated last quarter's falloff in economic confidence due to the Delta variant. The Index peaked in Q2 at 108.8.
"Amid a rise in Covid-19 cases due to the spread of Omicron variant and the continued headwinds of inflation, supply chain disruption and talent shortages, leaders are once again faced with an overwhelming sense of uncertainty heading into 2022. Still, our data points to a slowly improving picture, fueled by anticipated revenue growth," said Joe Galvin, Vistage's chief research officer. "While much is still to be determined about the state of business in 2022, what we know for certain is that the war for talent will be CEOs' top challenge in the year ahead as record numbers of businesses are hiring."
Hiring plans have never been higher in the nineteen years that Vistage has been surveying small and midsize business CEOs, with 76% expecting to add personnel in the year ahead. This will be a challenge as nearly three quarters (72%) said hiring challenges are impacting their ability to operate their business at full capacity, up from 67% in Q3.
Additional survey highlights include:
Hiring and Retention
Inflation and Supply Chain
The Omicron Variant
SMBs Expect Higher Revenues, Higher Costs