Chamber of Commerce Hawaii
May 4, 2016

In this May 4, 2016 edition:

President's Message
HiSTEP to Assist with Exporting
MAC Bids Farewell to General Vincent K. Brooks
Young Professionals Program Fosters Hawaii's Next Generation of Leaders
Check Out Member Spotlights

President's Message

Aloha Chamber members:

This week is National Small Business Week. Over the past few days, as part of an effort to recognize our small business members, we visited with Sultan Ventures and The Cole Academy staff members and toured their headquarters. Today, U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono and the Chamber team toured local businesses, including Chamber member, La Tour Bakehouse. La Tour’s manufacturing facility on Nimitz was nothing short of amazing. Not only do they produce products for their own retail locations and for the food service and hospitality industries, but also for custom orders and distribution to the airlines. The aroma of the baked goods certainly made us hungry, so we ended our tour with a delicious lunch at La Tour Café.
While we visited a number of small businesses this week, all small businesses in Hawaii should be recognized and supported year round, as we all know they are the heartbeat of our economic engine. Keeping businesses operating and doors open in a climate that has a high cost of doing business, remains challenging for many of them.  
Along these lines, last week we hosted our Business After Hours mixer as a street foodfest in partnership with City Square Shopping Center in the heart of Kalihi. Participating retail and restaurants included:  Ha Long Pho Noodle House, Kamehameha Bakery, Kolohe Kitchen, Local Cravings, Pancakes & Waffles, Shaka Shaka Tea Express, Utage and Young’s Fish Market. This area will soon be impacted when rail construction begins and it will, undoubtedly, be a challenging time for these businesses. In an effort to mitigate the impact, we encourage you to visit the center and its wonderful tenants offering a wide variety of food items, pet and nursery supplies, and a host of other shopping goods. Once the rail is in operation, these businesses can look forward to increased traffic. To learn how you can support businesses during rail construction, please check out HART’s Shop & Dine On the Line campaign.
Let’s work together to help our local businesses thrive.  

Laulima & mahalo,
Sherry Menor-McNamara

President & CEO

HiSTEP to Assist with Exporting

DBEDT’s Hawaii State Trade Expansion Program, in cooperation with SBA, provides assistance to Hawaii companies with export market development costs. Applicants may request a minimum of $2,000 and a maximum of $6,000, and must provide a minimum of 25 percent cash matching funds. In-kind and personnel are not allowed as matching funds.
Award funds are limited to:

  •          Trade show/trade mission costs
  •          Travel for buyer meetings
  •          Gold Key Service
  •          Localization services for collateral materials and website
  •          Shipping sample products
  •          Compliance testing an existing product for entry into an export market

The program RFP can be downloaded here with applications accepted through the end of July 2016 for events taking place before the end of September 2016.

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

MAC Bids Farewell to General Vincent K. Brooks

This week, Hawaii will be bidding a fond farewell to one of its distinguished military leaders. Today, U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) will be hosting a change of command ceremony at Historic Palm Circle at Ft. Shafter. 
General Vincent K. Brooks will relinquish the responsibility as Commanding General (CG) to General Robert B. Brown. Brooks has served as CG at USARPAC since July 2013 and has been confirmed as the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, United Nations Command and ROK U.S. Combined Forces Command.
During his tenure at USARPAC, Brooks developed and initiated a plan to develop small units that would be forward-deployed for quick response to humanitarian emergencies or threats in the region. Known as “Pacific Pathways,” this initiative allowed the Army to establish a semi-permanent presence in the Asia-Pacific and align itself with the Obama administration’s Pacific re-balance.
Over the past several years, the Military Affairs Council has worked closely with General Brooks on a variety of issues. Mahalo to General Brooks for his incredible leadership. The MAC wishes him the best at his next command.

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

Young Professionals Program Fosters Hawaii's Next Generation of Leaders

The Chamber's Young Professionals program, for business professionals ages 21-39, offers monthly professional development classes, community service events and networking functions, as well as opportunities to "talk story" with Hawaii's leading executives. 

Now approaching its fifth year, the program has grown to approximately 200 members and continues to expand its offerings and programs to prepare and foster Hawaii's next generation of leaders.

Annual fees are only $75 for employees of Chamber member organizations and $150 for non-members. YPs receive discounted pricing on all YP and most Chamber functions, with some events, including the monthly Exec Connect luncheon, offered at no charge.

Click here to learn more about the YP program. If you'd like to get involved as a sponsor or a mentor, please contact Bianca Mordasini.

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