Each year Southeast Conference conducts a regional business climate survey in order to track Southeast Alaska business confidence. Here are some top findings:
1) Southeast Alaska has the best business climate since 2017: Nearly two-thirds (62%) of regional business leaders currently have a positive view of the Southeast Alaska business climate, the highest positivity rating since 2017, and a dramatic increase from a year ago. Businesses in small rural communities are the most likely to say that the regional economy is “very good.”
2) The economic outlook is even better: Half of respondents expect their prospects to be better or much better over the next year, making this the most positive outlook recorded. Tourism and the food/beverage sector have the best economic outlooks. Communities with the most positive outlook include Hoonah, Skagway, and Sitka.
3) Businesses are hiring: More than a quarter (29%) of regional businesses are in hiring mode and expect to add employees over the next twelve months.
4) Housing is the region’s #1 economic problem: Business leaders identified housing as the top need to advance economic growth in the region.
5) Our top business barriers and benefits have generally remained the same over time: Similar to 2015 and 2010, the region’s quality of life, recreation, culture, and arts are the top business benefits to the region; while high freight costs, lack of housing, and overall high cost of living remain the region’s top business barriers.