We Asked 396 Business Leaders: Is the Local Economy Hot or Cold?

BOSS Survey shows revenue was up, but profits and optimism about Hawai‘i’s business climate have slipped.
Boss Survey Graph Hero
Photo by Getty Images

Actually, it seems lukewarm, and lukewarm qualifies as a pretty cozy result considering the lingering effects of the pandemic on the local economy, plus inflation and supply chain difficulties.

That’s the overall picture from the BOSS Survey of 396 local business owners and executives, including a survey within a survey of the retail industry.

What’s especially interesting are the details about hiring, remote work, price increases, pandemic restrictions and personal things like whether children have fallen behind in their learning. There are so many interesting facts that we released the results in four parts from the BOSS Survey and 808 Poll of the general public.

We’ll start with the big picture and the outlook for the future, then provide the other compelling revelations.


BOSS Performance Index

Performance Index measures changes in employment, gross revenue and profit before taxes at the surveyed companies in the past year.

08 22 Feature Boss 1 1

  • Gross revenue: 37% of those surveyed enjoyed increased revenue at their companies compared to a year ago, vs. 36% who suffered a decline. The rest stayed about the same.
  • Profit before taxes: 28% up vs. 39% down.
  • Employment: 16% up vs. 24% down.


Click here to view the methodology for Boss Survey and 808 Poll.


Boss Optimism Index

Optimism Index measures business leaders’ expectations about the local economy over the coming year. 35% believe things will improve; 35% believe they’ll stay the same; and 29% believe things will worsen. Expectations of the future help guide business decisions in the present.

08 22 Feature Boss 1 2


Business leaders were asked which statement best describes their companies’ spending plans for the coming year.

08 22 Feature Boss 1 3

*dnk: Did not know or did not answer

The results of this survey were almost identical to the results of the October 2019 BOSS Survey, when the local economy was strong.



How Confident Are You That Your Company Will Still Be in Business Three Years From Now?
08 22 Feature Boss 1 4

*dnk: Did not know or did not answer

The results are more optimistic than a year and a half ago. But in this survey, companies with fewer than 10 employees were most lacking in confidence: 21% were either somewhat or very worried about still operating in three years. That lack of confidence drops to 2% among businesses with over 100 employees.



Categories: BOSS Survey, Trends