August 18, 2021



Aloha Chamber Members,

The question of whether to mandate vaccinations in the workplace has been top of mind because of the rapid spread of the Delta variant. As such, last week, we launched a business survey to get a snapshot on what employers were thinking and planning given recent announcements of vaccination requirements. The survey found that out of 266 business respondents, 57% were planning to not mandate vaccination for employees. Many were businesses operating with under 100 employees and with many more under 10.

The survey did provide insight into several reasons why businesses may be hesitant to mandate the Covid-19 vaccine.  A few concerns include not knowing how to implement properly, taking a wait and see approach, possibly losing good workers, or being exposed to legal issues.

The range of questions raised by businesses and the urgency of this matter led us to putting together a webinar, “Vaccination in the Workplace: the Why and How,” which was held this morning. Panelists included Ray Vara, President & CEO of Hawaii Pacific Health; Jeff Harris and John Knorek, both Directors with the law firm Torkildson, Katz, Hetherington, Harris & Knorek. The number of questions posed by the audience showed how complex, yet important the issue is for businesses, as well as whether Hawaii should follow the San Francisco or New York model. If you missed the webinar, please email Ayaka Hong, Director of Events and Marketing, for the link.

Also, if you have not filled out the survey, please click here. To avoid another shutdown and for our economy to recover and thrive, we need to keep working together to increase our vaccination rate.

Laulima & mahalo,


Go and Claim Paid Leave Tax Credits

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) 2021, immediate tax credits are available through most of 2021 to businesses that offer their employees paid sick and family leave. You could see these credits in your bottom line as soon as your next quarterly filing.
These credits make it easy to keep your employees safe and healthy. And, they are good for more than just your business: Offering paid sick and family leave helps fight the virus by helping employees get vaccinated and encouraging sick employees to stay home.
If you:

  • Are a business with under 500 employees;
  • Offer paid sick or family leave to your employees through September 30, 2021; and
  • Have employees who take paid leave due to COVID including for illness, quarantine, getting tested or vaccinated, or caregiving.

Your business may be eligible for tax credits of more than $17,000 per employee who takes sick or family leave through September 30, 2021.
Check with your tax advisor or read more at,
here on claiming tax credits.


MAC Webinar on Climate Change

The Military Affairs Council hosted a webinar focused on climate change last Thursday, Aug. 5 with guest speakers Mr. Joe Bryan, senior advisor on climate to the U.S. Secretary of Defense and LTC Eric Marshall, district commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Honolulu District. Mr. Bryan shared a national view on the Department of Defense’s climate policy, its priorities and initiatives. LTC Marshall discussed the outlook on climate change in Hawaii and the region. USACE has both a military and civilian mission, where climate change and its impacts have an increasing priority on USACE’s agenda. The dredging of Oahu’s harbors, the Kawainui Marsh in Kailua was a USACE Flood Control Project, as well as the Ala Wai project.  To watch the full webinar, click here.


All local businesses can help get students career-ready by providing work-based learning in our public schools, either virtually or in person. This can include speaking to a class about your industry, spending an hour participating in mock job interviews, or offering an internship. And all this can be done virtually! Go to, take 1 minute to complete the form, and a member of the Chamber team will connect with you to support your companies’ involvement in work-based learning, including getting you signed up on ClimbHI Bridge. The level of commitment and when you choose to participate is up to you. More than 275 local businesses have already signed on!

This is part of the Hawaii2Work: Securing Tomorrow’s Workforce Today initiative that the Chamber and our partners kicked off this week to address Hawaii’s workforce shortage, help dislocated workers find jobs through Hawaii is Hiring, and strengthen the talent pipeline for our future workforce. 

Together, we can create a better future for Hawaii’s workforce.


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Renewing Members
A & M Developments 
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawaii 
Blue Planet Software Inc. 
Central Pacific Rebuilders Oahu 
Connext Global Solutions 
Container Storage Co. of Hawaii, Ltd. 
Diamond Bakery Co, Ltd. 
Hawaii Credit Union League 
Hi`ipaka LLC (Waimea Valley) 
Hula's Bar & Lei Stand 
Island Movers, Inc. 
Lenox Metals 
Navy League of the U.S., Honolulu Council 
Puna Plantation Hawaii, Limited dba KTA Super Stores 
R & M Reyes Enterprise, LLC 
The Howard Hughes Corporation 
The Islander Group 
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U.S. Representative Kai Kahele  |  U.S. Representative Ed Case
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