Building a Better Business Climate
The Chamber’s Business Advocacy team works hard to protect employers from increasing business costs, support the progress of new industries and sectors, and create an environment that will attract new business, promote competition and stimulate expansion of the private sector to provide increased employment and workforce development opportunities.
The Business Advocacy team also coordinates educational forums, legislative trainings, public policy events and opportunities to interface with government and business leaders.
To contact the Chamber’s Business Advocacy Department, please email us or call (808) 380-2617.
Legislative Action Alerts
The Chamber’s legislative Action Alerts are emailed to members when their action is needed during session. Action Alerts enable members to send testimony on bills scheduled for hearings and letters to their legislators, all in a few minutes. A description of the bill, a written message and recipients of the messages (e.g., committee chairs, members’ legislators) are pre-set in the alerts. All members have to do is fill out their contact information, insert basic information in the pre-written letter and click “send.”
Your voice will make a difference. The business community cannot afford to stay silent.
Click here to sign up to receive Action Alerts.
Small Business Council
80% of Chamber members are small businesses and we’re working to elevate the small business now more than ever. We are convening a Small Business Council to ensure that your voices are heard. If you are interested in joining the Small Business Council please email us.
The Policy Committee helps determine the Chamber’s legislative priorities and are comprised of member volunteers throughout the state. The Policy Committee covers the following areas:
- Infrastructure, Transportation, Quality of Life
- Workplace Environment & Competitiveness
- Workforce Development & Education
- Small Business, Entrepreneurship Advocacy, Economic Development & Innovation
- Manufacturing in Hawaii
If you are interested in joining the Policy Committee please email us.
How to Contact Your Legislator
Change happens when you participate in the legislative process. It only takes a few minutes to voice your concerns and make a difference. One way to participate is to submit testimony on bills when they are scheduled for a hearing. Here’s how you can submit testimony:
Chamber’s Legislative Action Alerts
- Respond to Action Alerts. To sign up to receive Action Alerts, email our Business Advocacy Team.
Submit Online Testimony
- Click here to create an account on the Hawaii State Capitol website.
- After creating an account, search for the bill you want to testify for, and follow online steps to attach or write in your testimony.
- Submit testimony via the link provided on the e-version of the hearing notice.
- Fax testimony to the contact information provided on the hearing notice.
- Deliver the specific number of copies of written testimony to the appropriate office listed on the hearing notice.
Testify at Hearing
Nothing is more compelling than having businesses personally state their position to legislators. We can assist by contacting you when bills are scheduled, calling you if a hearing is running late or helping you prepare testimony.
- Prepare oral testimony in advance.
- Introduce yourself, briefly describe your business and state your position.
- Summarize your written testimony at the hearing.
- Be prepared for questions and if you don’t know the answer, just say so. You can get the information to committee members later. It is important to be honest and forthright.
- Express your feelings in a professional manner. Provide examples of how the bill will affect your business.
- Scheduled hearings may run late, so expect long waits.
- Generally, each chair follows the order of the bills listed on the agenda, and the order in which they received the written testimony.
Guidelines to Keep in Mind
- Written testimony should be submitted at least 24 hours prior to the hearing (if not within 24 hours, testimony will be considered LATE).
- Send a copy of your testimony to your own legislator and other legislators you may know.
- In your written testimony, include the following information:
- Chair of the House or Senate Committee
- Name of the House or Senate Committee
- Day and date of hearing
- Your name and company
- Position on the measure
How to Find Your Legislator
- Hawaii State Legislature Website
The Capitol website provides important information on bill status, legislative information, special studies, as well as a legislator’s profile, phone, fax and e-mail. Click on links below to find your legislators. Send a message by clicking on his/her e-mail address or send a letter or fax to the address and number provided.
- State Senator Directory
- State Representative Directory
Writing a Letter or E-mail
- Write on business letterhead (if possible) and include your signature and typed name
- Address letter to: The Honorable (full name)
- In the salutation, write: “Dear Senator or Representative ”
- If you are a constituent, mention it in the first paragraph or if sending an e-mail, include it in the subject line
- Keep the letter to one-page unless you have important data to attach
- Provide a brief explanation on the bill or issue that affects you
- In the e-mail subject line, include bill number and name of your company
Making Phone Calls and Scheduling Meetings
- Don’t hesitate to call legislators
- When setting up a meeting, ask to speak with the scheduler
- State your reason(s) for the call/meeting
- If you are a constituent or have a business in the legislator’s district, mention it
- Be respectful
- Avoid making disparaging or rude comments