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My Economy

Business is still unpredictable for this Hawaii boat tour owner

Livi Burdette Aug 4, 2023
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Manu Powers and husband Liam outside the office of Sea Quest Hawaii. Courtesy Manu Powers
My Economy

Business is still unpredictable for this Hawaii boat tour owner

Livi Burdette Aug 4, 2023
Heard on:
Manu Powers and husband Liam outside the office of Sea Quest Hawaii. Courtesy Manu Powers
HTML EMBED:
COPY

My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

Summer is usually the busiest time of year for Manu Powers. With her husband, Powers owns and operates Sea Quest Hawaii, a boat tour company on the Big Island. But after three years of pandemic uncertainty, each month is still a guessing game for the business. 

“We were really optimistic that perhaps as we went into July 2023, we’d see more of a seasonal pattern that we had pre-pandemic, where we could predict almost to the week what it would look like in the coming month,” Powers said. “We still haven’t seen that yet.”

In the first year of the COVID-19 lockdown, Sea Quest suffered a 95% drop in business, and the years since have been about rebuilding. For Powers and her husband, that includes making sure that Sea Quest’s managers are well taken care of. At the beginning of 2023, Sea Quest changed its compensation model for two of its top managers. 

“We didn’t necessarily want to saddle ourselves with a giant salary for the two of them — although they both deserve it and have earned it,” Powers said. “We thought it made more sense to give them equity in the business. So therefore, their bottom line is directly tied to ours.” 

Through all the chaos and uncertainty of running a business and taking care of a family, Powers is excited for the years to come. 

“Every day we get to be together and be with the children, I think we would say we’re winning,” she said. 

To hear the rest of Powers’ story, use the media player above. 

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