At the Chamber, we advocate for a business climate where all entrepreneurs and families can thrive. We stand at a crossroads in our state, and the Chamber is stepping up to the plate to take action to achieve a Hawaii that works for all of us. Our next step in these efforts is our 4HI Campaign. 4HI is our ambitious vision for Hawaii’s future in four key areas: Economy, Environment, Education and Entrepreneurship.
Numerous reports highlight how expensive it is to live in Hawaii and how the state continues to have the highest cost of living in the country. From the increasing costs of goods and utilities, a lack of affordable housing and home prices increasing, to solving our homelessness problem, it seems like the challenges we face are daunting. While everyone would like to find one, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We need to continue to find avenues where stakeholders and legislators can discuss and address these needs in order to find common ground solutions.
Hawaii continues to play a leading role in protecting our environment and increasing energy efficiency. We believe in the benefits of a sustainable future, but we must ensure that solutions that would affect the business community do not impede or create unintended burdens on entrepreneurs. Policies need to be shaped to create common ground, especially so that businesses can have the flexibility to develop and create sound solutions to address these important issues.
Ensuring that every child in Hawaii has an equal opportunity to receive a quality education will help to prepare them for college and their future roles in the workforce. As the current needs in the workforce continues to change, we must continue to adapt so that we can fill these critical positions. Questions of exactly how we can achieve this, and how we can keep our keiki from leaving Hawaii, continue to challenge lawmakers and employers across the state.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, there are over 132,000 small businesses across the State of Hawaii, who employ more than 52 percent of Hawaii workers. We must continue to work to ensure that our local entrepreneurs are provided with the resources they need to sustain and expand their businesses here in Hawaii.