Assessing the Economic Impact on Hawaiʻi’s Indigenous Community

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A recent study conducted by Pacific Resource Partnership (PRP) and highlighted in Pacific Business News sheds light on the economic sentiments of 900 residents across Hawaiʻi. The findings reveal a sobering reality: despite Hawaiʻi’s picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture, many residents perceive a worsening situation in key areas impacting the state.

PRP Interim Executive Director Joshua Magno expressed surprise at the lack of perceived positive change in significant issues compared to previous surveys conducted in 2019. “From training our young people for jobs of the future, to the availability of affordable housing, to homelessness – across the board our community members reported that for them most of their key issues have gotten worse and, at best, stayed the same,” Magno conveyed.

Magno further elucidated that the sentiment of 56% of respondents feeling that Hawaiʻi is ‘headed in the wrong direction’ in 2023, as opposed to 45% in 2019, provides context for the prevailing concerns.

In essence, the report underscores the reality that Hawaiʻi has become increasingly challenging for its residents.

Understanding the economic landscape is paramount for strategic planning and resource allocation, particularly for organizations focused on Native Hawaiian commerce. While data aggregation efforts, such as those by the Census, provide broader insights, there remains a need for targeted analysis concerning the Native Hawaiian community.

50th Anniversary - Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce

Recognizing this need, the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce (NHCC) is taking proactive steps. NHCC is launching a concise five-question survey aimed at gauging the economy’s impact on its members. By collecting data quarterly and publishing results regularly, NHCC aims to provide a comprehensive overview by January 2025.

This initiative will not only offer valuable insights but also pave the way for tailored resources and initiatives to bolster Native Hawaiian commerce.