Chamber of Commerce Hawaii
July 1, 2015

In this July 1, 2015 edition:

President's Message
Learn How to Protect Your Customers' Data, Experian Seminar, July 8
Army Delays Annoucement of Downsizing at ADC Summit
Registration Now Open: Business on the Green Golf Tournament, Oct. 23
Check Out Member Spotlights

President's Message

Aloha Chamber Members,

Last week, CNBC announced its 2015 America’s Top States for Business ranking. Unfortunately, Hawaii ranked last compared to last year when we were bumped to 49, up one from 2013. CNBC reached out to the Chamber for a response, as last year, we had an event featuring reporter, Scott Cohn, who discussed methodology for the ranking (CNBC & Hawaii News Now). 

We responded that as an island state, Hawaii certainly has its challenges related to infrastructure, cost of living and doing business in Hawaii. We have continued to address these areas, particularly at the legislature. This past session, we successfully defeated increases in Workers' Compensation costs, bills related to increased income taxes for business and consumers, as well as regulations and costs for food distribution.
On the flip side, we’re pleased to see an improvement in the area of workforce. Our state has a skilled workforce with over 40% of our population having a two- or four-year college degree. And, another 29.5%, ages 25 and over, have a bachelor’s degree or higher, above the national average. Hawaii also remains one of the top tourist destinations with over 8 million visitors in 2013. And, as the gateway to economies in the Asia-Pacific Region, Hawaii’s location does present advantages, which the Chamber will continue to leverage.

Our state cannot afford to consistently rank last, especially as the global environment becomes increasingly competitive. We must and can do better. While we introduced a business package at the Legislature, the Chamber will continue to work with stakeholders and make this a priority. We invite you to provide substantive ideas for improving our business climate. For example, we understand that regulatory burdens are an obstacle, but we would like to hear about what specific regulatory obstacles you face. All ideas are welcomed. Let’s work together to build a better business climate.

Laulima & mahalo,
Sherry Menor-McNamara

President & CEO

Learn How to Protect Your Customers' Data, Experian Seminar, July 8

Join us next Wednesday, July 8, 12:00-1:15pm, at the Plaza Club, for an informational seminar on how to protect the consumer data that your company acquires. Jeremy Hancock, Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy at Experian, will tell you what you need to know about protecting your customers and how to properly handle all of the consumer data that your business acquires. This presentation is highly recommended for businesses that handle customer credit card information and will include the latest news and updates from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Click here for more information. Mahalo to our sponsor, Experian. 

Biz Tip: Learn about the Chamber's Manufacturing in Hawaii Initiative which provides resources and seeks to enhance opportunities within the industry. 

Army Delays Announcement of Downsizing at ADC Summit

The Military Affairs Council (MAC) attended the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) 2015 National Summit in Washington, D.C. last week. During the conference, it was rumored that the Army was scheduled to announce its decision about personnel reductions as a result of the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA) listening sessions conducted at 30 Army installations earlier this year. The Army decided instead to delay an announcement for a few more weeks.
The Army has proposed to downsize personnel at Schofield Barracks by 16,000 (15,394 active duty and 606 civilians) and Fort Shafter by 3,800 (2,725 active duty and 1,061 civilians), according to the 2020 Force Structure Realignment plan. During conversations the MAC had with senior officials during the conference, the Army seems to be focused on reducing personnel from “enabler” units designed to provide operational assistance to combat elements. The MAC will continue to monitor the situation in the days leading up to the Army’s forthcoming announcement.

Click here to learn more about the Military Affairs Council (MAC) and MAC members.

Registration Now Open: Business on the Green Golf Tournament, October 23

Registration has opened for the Chamber’s 4th Annual Business on the Green golf tournament on Friday, October 23, sponsored by Alsco. We invite you to join the Chamber, along with more than 120 players from Hawaii’s business community, to engage in friendly competition, valuable networking and fun at the Hawaii Prince Golf Club. Register now as a threesome or individual golfer.

As one of our signature annual events of the year, Business on the Green presents a great opportunity to highlight your company with a variety of sponsorship options, including team packages, as well as activity, food and beverage, and individual item sponsorships. Sponsors are included in all event promotions, including logo placement on the Chamber’s website, event emails, flyers and social media, and receive prominent logo/banner placement on collateral distributed to each player and throughout the golf course. Click here for details.

Contact Matt Spencer for questions and inquiries. 

Check out our Member Spotlights and special Member-to-Member discount offers