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The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii
e-Voice of Business
February 5, 2014

In this February 5, 2014 edition:

President's Message
Update on 2014 Legislative Session
Hawaii's Diversity Key to Prosperity in Asia Pacific and U.S.
Get Noticed: Advertise with the Chamber

President's Message

Aloha Chamber Members:

In the past few months, the Chamber has rolled-out new initiatives to strengthen our "Voice of Business" in the state and to ensure that your membership is a sound investment.

As we strive to promote and strengthen our role, we are pleased to introduce our new logo, which shown above on our newsletter banner, and website, which help communicate our determination to be more engaged in the processes and decisions that affect the business climate in Hawaii.

Our refreshed logo represents the unity of Hawaii’s businesses through their membership in the Chamber with the blue wave underneath the unity circle representative of the wave of change that we are moving forward on together.

Our re-designed website serves as an improved resource and tool for new members to access information, enable two-way communication and to take action. From the home page, visitors can easily navigate to the organization’s main service areas: membership, business and legislative advocacy, and military affairs. In tandem with the legislative session, the website features a Legislative Action Center, where you can access up-to-date information on the issues the Chamber is tracking, as well as the latest happenings at the Capitol.

Another main feature of the new site includes access to the Chamber’s new manufacturers’ website portal. As part of our manufacturing initiative to spearhead new industry initiatives, the Chamber has developed the website portal as a “gateway” to help the manufacturing sector grow Hawaii’s economy.

In the near future, the manufacturers’ website portal will feature a marketplace where companies from around the world who want to to do business in Hawaii or locate a manufacturer here, will be able to do so at this one-stop center, promoting Hawaii to a global audience.

Please visit our website and provide us with any feedback, as we will continually be looking for ways to make enhancements to serve our membership most effectively.

I'd like to thank our Chamber Ohana, especially our Communications & Marketing team, for their hard work, and steadfast and diligent efforts in seeing these initiatives through. A special mahalo to logo designer Gina Lambert of Oahu Media Group, the web development team at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and our chair, Dennis Francis, for their resources and time in helping us with these efforts.

Laulima & mahalo,
 
Sherry Menor-McNamara
President & CEO

Register now: The Legislative Perspective 

Senator David Ige, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and Representative Sylvia Luke, Chair of the House Committee on Finance, will share their thoughts, listen to some of your concerns and answer any questions you may have about the state's fiscal status and the 2014 Legislative Session. This event will be held on February 12, from 8:00-9:30am at the Plaza Club. We would like to thank Hawaii Pacific Health for sponsoring this event.
 
Update on 2014 Legislative Session
Many of the bills introduced this session that are bad for business are back, including those that support:
  • Large increases in minimum wage. One of the largest increases is SB 2609, which would increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.20/hr. in 2015 and go up to $10.10/hr. in 2017. It also includes an automatic increase tied to the Consumer Price Index and abolishes the tip credit. Read recent coverage on this issue.
  • Increase in mandated benefits on prepaid healthcare and employers
  • Increase in workers’ compensation rates 
In our support for agriculture and a sustainable future for Hawaii, we are also closely following bills related to agricultural businesses and GMOs. An opinion-editorial in last Sunday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser succinctly outlines the need to support local farmers and ranchers, and farming practices and technology within the framework of effective regulatory control.
 
Click here and check the "Key Issues" page for an overview of most of the bills we are tracking. To keep updated on these bills, we encourage you to join one of our policy committees and email Jenny Lee to register. 
 
Government Helping Business
High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) is a state agency established in 1983 by the legislature to facilitate the development and growth of Hawaii's commercial high technology industry. HTDC provides key resources to start-ups and established technology companies to develop products that drive growth and ultimately lead to commercialization.
HTDC's core initiatives focus on four main areas:  
  • Developing and managing a statewide network of incubation facilities
  • Expanding business development services for start-ups and technology companies
  • Securing and administering federal grants that support technology research
  • Cultivating skilled technology workforce development for the technology sector in Hawaii through outreach programs and partnerships

Regional Security Key to Prosperity in Asia Pacific and U.S.

The presence of the U.S. Pacific Command in Halawa Heights, coupled with the forward basing of the component commands and combat-ready units for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard in Hawaii, are the essential enablers in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region. Add to the mix Hawaii’s untapped potential in contributing towards solidifying U.S. diplomatic, social, cultural, political and trade partnerships among Asia Pacific nations. The prospects for sustained regional prosperity appear very promising.
 
A news release by the American Forces Press Service reported that Michael D. Lumpkin, temporarily performing duties of the undersecretary of defense for policy, noted that the Asia Pacific accounts for one-third of global trade, including $1.4 trillion in two-way trade annually with the U.S. “Half of the world’s shipping tonnage passes through the waters of the South China Sea,” Lumpkin said. “As countries and people throughout the region become more prosperous, it is ever more important to the global economy that the United States will be an active partner in the region’s growth.”
 
Lumpkin added that the ongoing strategic re-balance to the region reflects strong, enduring ties with Asia Pacific countries, where the U.S. has long supported security and stability through its military presence and partnerships. 
 
Hawaii’s role in serving as the command and control center for military operations throughout the Asia Pacific remains vital and contributes directly to the success of the strategy.             


Get Noticed: Advertise with the Chamber
 
As part of the modernized look and functionality of our new website, promotional avenues have been added to provide our members with the opportunity to gain widespread exposure. As a source for news, business and legislative information, as well as serving as a forum where members can connect with each other, advertising with the Chamber puts you in front of our 1,000 member companies and the approximately 200,000 employees they represent, as well as with thousands of other unique visitors visiting our site each week.

With the launch of our new site, we anticipate our visitor traffic will steadily increase, along with the reach of your advertising dollars.
 
The site is also designed to be fully compatible with smart phones and tablets, reaching an even larger target audience at their convenience. Mobile traffic now accounts for approximately 25% of all Internet traffic, with 60% of mobile shoppers using their smart phones while in a store, and another 50% while on their way to a store.
 
The Chamber offers a variety of affordable online promotional options that will provide your business with measurable investment returns. With flexible monthly options, discounts on three-month agreements and a range of placement options to choose from,  advertising with the Chamber represents a sound investment for your company. For more information and details, please click here.  

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