In the Spring of 2017, 209 Southeast Alaska business owners and top managers from 22 communities responded to Southeast Conference’s Business Climate Survey and Private Investment Survey, answering 10 questions about the economic climate and regional investment. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of regional business leaders were positive about the economy, calling the business climate “good” or “very good.” Leaders were slightly less positive about the state of the economy in 2017 than they were in 2015. Looking to the future, one-third of Southeast Alaska business leaders expect the their sectors to improve, 16% expect decline, and more than half (51%) expect the outlook to remain status quo.
Overall, $112.7 million to $174.4 million of private investment in the Southeast Alaska region was documented by the survey in the 12-month period between July 2016 and June 2017. The energy, seafood, mining and visitor industries attracted the highest level of regional private investment last year. Investment is considered any expenditure beyond typical business and payroll expenses. The average investment was $1.1 million, while the median investment (including no investment) was $7,500.