Chamber of Commerce Hawaii

In this March 8, 2017 edition:

Raise Your Voice Against Additional Mandates
SB 1259 – Red Hill Bill Dies This Session
Kick Off Spring with Networking Events

President's Message

Aloha Chamber members:

In 2014, we launched our Manufacturing in Hawaii initiative with two goals in mind, to support: 1) products made in Hawaii for Hawaii and 2) the export of these products from Hawaii to the mainland and international markets. Examples of members who are part of these efforts include, Pacific Allied Products, who bottles and distributes water here for national brands reducing shipping costs and carbon footprint. La Tour Bakehouse was recently highlighted in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for its efforts to expand to mainland Costcos. Hawaiian Chip Company is also expanding its distribution including to Japan and Big Island Candies sends its products all over the world. 

La Tour Bakehouse executives Trung, Thanh and Brandon Lam (Image credit: Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

With tourism as our #1 industry, more than 8.5 million consumer visitors are exposed to Hawaii-made products every year. In addition to the wide variety of locally manufactured food and other goods, exports also include technology and services. 

As part of other initiative efforts, this May, in partnership with the Hawaii Food Manufacturing Association, the Chamber will be spotlighting some of our Hawaii manufacturers at the Aloha Market, organized by Chigasaki Chamber, our sister Chamber in Japan. 

With the important role manufacturers play in promoting the Hawaii brand, it’s important that we continue to advocate for this industry. Representatives with INNOVATE Hawaii and our Manufacturing in Hawaii initiative and I, as well as manufacturing reps from states across the nation, are in Washington D.C. to advocate for the continuing support and Congressional investment in the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. Additionally, the Chamber signed on to a letter with the National Association of Manufacturers urging President Trump to support continued funding of MEP.

On the state level, with the support of our Legislature and Administration, manufacturers received funding to invest in new equipment and workforce development training which, in turn, creates and sustains job and increases export opportunities for local companies. 

We continue to seek grant funding this session to build on this initiative’s momentum. Click here to learn more about our Manufacturing in Hawaii initiative and visit our website to see how you can support our advocacy efforts.

Laulima & mahalo,

Sherry Menor-McNamara
President & CEO

Business Advocacy

Raise Your Voice Against Additional Mandates

One of the more contentious issues this legislative session is mandated paid sick leave. Both legislative chambers have bills related to this matter in the forms of SB425 SD2 and HB4 HD1. Employers already have to deal with many mandated benefits, including mandated healthcare coverage for employees, which have steadily increased the employer’s burden.

Paid sick leave is currently provided by many employers so that their employees can recover from a health illness or injury. While most workers utilize their sick leave only when ill, there is a percentage of workers who abuse this benefit, treating it like vacation time. We encourage you to visit our Legislative Action Center to share your concerns with your legislators and voice your opposition to these bills, which would only further Hawaii’s reputation as the most expensive place to do business.

Learn more about the Chamber's Business Advocacy program.

Military Affairs

SB 1259 – Red Hill Bill Dies This Session

For the last few years the Military Affairs Council (MAC) has opposed state legislation seeking to create additional rules to regulate the Red Hill underground fuel facility. The Navy is currently adhering to provisions of an Administrative Order on Consent that was negotiated between it, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department of Health as a result of a fuel leak in 2014.

Red Hill is believed to be the largest facility of its kind in the world, and it is vital to military readiness as it supports all Hawaii-based military actions and a significant share of many more in the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. military presence in Hawaii is critical to the state’s economy. It’s ability to remain “ready to respond” is essential for preserving the military’s presence and our second largest industry. Should this legislation be passed, it is almost certain that Red Hill will close, impacting military readiness and our state.

The MAC has been tracking Senate Bill 1259, which proposed that the State Department of Health to exceed some federal regulations as they pertain to field-constructed underground storage tanks (e.g. Red Hill). The Navy cannot comply with such regulations as stipulated by the measure, and in some cases, additional challenges are created toward ensuring future leaks do not occur. Although this bill was passed out of the initial committee it was assigned to, it is dead this session.

Learn more about the Chamber's Military Affairs program.

Membership News

Kick Off Spring with Networking Events
Spring is just around the corner! The Chamber hosts many events that provide the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with fellow Chamber members. Join us for two upcoming networking events in April:
Before you attend, make sure to brush up on these networking tips!

Check out our Member Spotlight page and special Member-to-Member discount offers.
Chamber Events:
Mar. 23: YP Professional Development Class: Importance of Business Networking in Hawaii

Mar. 30: Business Valuation Seminar

Apr. 6: Step into Spring Networking Event

Apr. 19: Business After Hours at Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach

Member Events:
Mar. 16: SmallBiz Academy: The Trump Effect

Mar. 13-17: Jr DevLeague Academy Spring Break 2017

Mar. 14: Experience Darren Hardy Live in Honolulu!

Apr. 8: YMCA of Honolulu Healthy Kids Day

Apr. 29: Hospice Hawaii's 8th Annual Hot Pursuit Fundraising Event

ProService HR Training Schedule 
Neighbor Island Chamber News:
Hawaii Island
Hawaii Congressional Delegation News:
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz
U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono
U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa
U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard
Other Member News:
Hawaii International Child Welcomes 2017 Board of Directors

Business in Hawaii with Reg Baker - Current Topics in Hawaii Affecting Businesses

Urgent Care Hawaii Announces New Expanded Hours at Kailua and Waikiki Clinics

Mahalo to our Investors' Circle Members!

Member Discount Offers, Job Postings, Advertising Sponsorship & more.

Copyright © 2017 Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, all rights reserved.

1132 Bishop Street  |  Suite 2105
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
(808) 545-4300  |

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