September 28, 2022
Member News


Aloha Chamber Members,

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife released their quarterly Small Business Index. 
The survey found that concern for inflation among small business owners has reached a new high. The vast majority (90%) of small businesses say they are concerned about the impact of inflation on their business, with 54% saying they are very concerned, up from just 31% in Q1. Half of small businesses (50%) say inflation is the biggest challenge facing small business right now, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of increasing worry over inflation. Seven in ten (71%) believe the worst is still to come with regards to inflation. 
“In recent quarters there has been optimism from small businesses who still felt good about how their business is doing,” said Tom Sullivan, Vice President of Small Business Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “However, inflation is really hitting small business hard, and that reality is negatively impacting their confidence, their ability to hire, invest in their businesses, and grow."
Increased pessimism about the economy likely contributed to the largest drop in the Index score since the start of the pandemic to 62.1, down from 66.8 in Q2. In addition, small businesses say they are now less confident in both the national economy and their local economy—and in their current cash flow. The survey found that 88% of small businesses are concerned about the U.S. entering an economic downturn in the next year, with 54% saying they are very concerned. The majority (59%) of small business owners believe the U.S. economy is either in “somewhat poor” or “very poor” health, up 10 percentage points from last quarter. 
In addition to the above, small businesses are also recovering from the devastating impacts of the pandemic, workforce shortages and supply chain issues. As such, it will be critical to address the challenging cost of doing business environment and cost of living in order for our economy to get back on track. The Chamber is currently working on its 2023 Legislative Session Agenda through our 4HI Policy Committees. If you are interested in being a part of this discussion, please contact Trevor Abarzua at



City Looking for Candidates to Apply to New Advisory Economic Revitalization Commission
Honolulu officials are looking to fill several positions on city panels, including the new advisory Economic Revitalization Commission, according to a Wednesday news release.

Qualified candidates are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Honolulu City Council. Panel members are volunteers and do not earn salaries. The Office of Economic Revitalization is seeking nine people for the Economic Revitalization Commission. The panel will create a five-year strategic plan for the city “to encourage equitable and sustainable economic advancement, the development of new business and industries and reinvestment.”
If you are interested in participating, please reach out to our AVP of Business Advocacy – Trevor Abarzua (


On this 50th episode of the Voice of Business Podcast presented by ALTRES, host Jo McGarry interviews Jason Higa, Chief Executive Officer of FCH Enterprises, which includes Zippy’s Restaurants, Napoleon’s Bakery, Food Solutions International, A Catered Experience, and Kahala and Pearl City Sushi.
McGarry and Higa discuss Movers & Shakas, an initiative born in the early months of the pandemic to help the business community after tourism shutdown. With locals returning from the mainland and continuing to work remotely throughout the pandemic, Higa and his advisory board saw an opportunity for Hawaii to pair remote workers with local non-profits providing assistance from strategic planning to the creation of apps. With over 90,000 applicants in the first round, they accepted 50 high quality cohorts.
Throughout this process and with the tourism market returning, an inculturation program was devised to ensure that remote workers, or those new to Hawaii could work effectively with local non-profits and the Hawaii business community. The talent onboarding program, HITOP (Hawaii Talent Onboarding Program) became a series of classes, courses and experiences to better understand local culture and how to work effectively in the business community in Hawaii.
Listen to this podcast and learn more about HITOP.
Listen to Podcast Here


Navy REPI Project: Train, Test, Operate and Conserve

On "Military in Hawaii" Susie Fong, Community Planning Liaison Officer and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program Manager, joined Jay Fidell to talk about the REPI Program.

The REPI Program is a key tool used by the Department of Defense (DoD) and its partners to protect the military's ability to promote compatible land uses, enhance climate change adaption measures, and restore habitat near installations and ranges to preserve DoD's mission

Watch Episode Here


Local Tech, IT and Intelligence Employers Invited to Participate in Upcoming Virtual Job Fair

The University of Hawaii is hosting a Virtual IT and Intelligence Career Fair Friday, October 14 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM to help UH students and alumni explore career options with local employers in the IT and intelligence sectors.

The event is targeted for graduating or recently graduated students who will have the opportunity to engage online with employers recruiting for current positions and internships in Hawaii’s emerging IT and intelligence fields in various skill areas such as accounting, business, computer science, cybersecurity, data science, economics, engineering and project management. Click here to view the event website and register as a jobseeker. 

Leading up to the event will be free webinars and resource sessions to assist jobseekers:

  • IT & Intel Virtual Panel: October 10, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Federal Resume Writing Workshop: October 11, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • General Resume Writing Workshop: October 12, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Preparing for a Virtual Fair: October 13,11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Participating employers represent Hawaii’s private, government and non-profit sectors. The fair is also seeking additional employers to participate - at no cost! If your company is interested in signing up as an exhibitor, click here to find out more information and submit your registration. Deadline to sign up as an employer is Friday, September 30. Direct registration questions may be emailed to

Click Here For Exhibitor Registration


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