No Quick Recovery, Say Hawai‘i’s Business Leaders

BOSS Survey of 404 local executives asks about Hawai‘i’s economic recovery, expected changes within their companies, the challenges of working from home, how they’ve adjusted their personal habits and more.

Part III in a five-part series.

Hawaii Business Magazine and the research team at Anthology Marketing Group collaborated on this scientific poll of 404 local business leaders that we call the BOSS Survey. Learn the methodology at the bottom of this report.

Owners, senior executives and other representatives of local businesses were asked: How long will it take for Hawai‘i’s economy to recover?

Representatives of large companies were the most bullish on the economy: 59% expect a rebound within 12 months.


Do you expect long-term changes to your company after the COVID-19 crisis has passed? Pick all that apply.

Working Remotely

The 41 executives who said their companies will likely allow more employees to work from home were asked for their thoughts on these related topics. For each topic they were asked to rate how much of a worry it was for their company’s managers. The higher the mean score (closer to 3.00) the less of a worry each statement was to them.

Next, those 20 companies that worry about a less collaborative work environment were asked if they would use the following to help offset this concern. Percentages reflect those that said yes.

Personal Behavior

Survey respondents were asked if the COVID-19 virus has impacted them personally in these ways:

Those individuals who work at larger firms were the least likely to be spending more time with their family. For example, among those employed at companies with two to nine employees, 71% indicate they are spending more time with their families. By comparison, this number falls to 55% among those employed by companies with 100 or more employees.

Business executives were asked which of the following options best mirrors how the COVID-19 virus has affected their personal shopping habits.

School-Aged Child at Home

Respondents were asked if they had a child in the household whose child care and/or schooling has been disrupted by the COVID-19 virus.

Next, those 136 respondents who have had their child’s schooling and/or child care impacted by COVID-19 were asked if they have missed work as a result.

Government’s Response

Business leaders were asked to rate the response by the federal government and seven government leaders to  the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note the scores for Neighbor Island mayors are based on relatively small samples.

Respondents were asked: Do you believe the government’s messaging regarding the overall seriousness of the COVID-19 virus?


Read other parts of this BOSS Survey of 404 local business executives

Part I: Pessimism unmatched since Great Recession, plus numbers on revenue, staffing and profit hint at second quarter devastation.

Part II: Hawai‘i companies explain how they scrambled to cope with COVID-19.

Part IV: BOSS Mini Survey of 88 local retail executives asks about revenue, profit and staffing; e-commerce and competition.


BOSS Methodology

BOSS stands for Business Outlook and Sentiment Survey. The BOSS Survey was conducted by the research team at the Anthology Marketing Group. They created their sample using a listing of local companies purchased from a third-party business sample provider as well as Hawaii Business Magazine’s Top 250 list and classified yellow pages listings.

The sample of companies was stratified based on number of employees. Small businesses were divided into two subgroups. Businesses with two to nine employees were designated as “very small” and those with 10 to 49 employees were designated as “small.” Medium-size companies were those with 50 to 99 employees while companies with 100 or more employees were classified as “large.” The goal was to complete interviews with executives heading 50 businesses in each of the large and medium sectors, with 300 interviews falling into the two small business categories.

A secondary goal was to complete interviews with people at 100 businesses who describe their companies as deriving a relatively significant proportion of their revenues from the retail industry. A total of 88 retail companies were surveyed in this segment.

A total of 404 random interviews on all the major islands were conducted from March 30 to April 17, 2020. The data was weighted to reflect the proper proportions of each company segment based on number of employees as reported by the Hawai‘i Department of Labor. A sample of this size has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.0 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Categories: BOSS Survey