What Pre- And Post-Omicron Surveys Say About Where Small Businesses Headed

If there’s one chart that might encapsulate the broad experience of American small businesses over the past year, it’s this one.

Taken from the Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey, this chart illustrates what small businesses cite as their top “future need.” It compares two time periods: early March 2021 (phase 4 of the survey) and early March 2022 (phase 8, with data through March 10th).

As shown, the share of small businesses citing “identify and hire new employees” as their top need leapt from 29% to 40%—a 36% increase. Likewise, there was a 89% increase in the share of small businesses pointing to “identify new supply chain

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