e-Voice of Business February 6, 2019

President’s Message

Aloha Chamber members,

One of the pillars under the Chamber’s mission of serving as the advocate for business in Hawaii is to enhance the quality of life for the people of Hawaii. We recognize that a collective effort by both public and private sectors is necessary to address the serious challenges the homeless community face and the overall impact it has on the livelihood of our state. 
 
The Chamber is humbled and honored to have played a role in addressing the issue, especially with our homeless keiki. On Monday, the Chamber, as trustee of the Public Health Fund, presented a $57,000 grant to the Institute for Human Services. The funds will be used by IHS to support its Children’s Enrichment Program, an initiative that assesses the needs of children at its emergency family shelter, ensures that eligible children receive access to medical and dental insurance through MedQuest, establishes an after-school program, provides resources to help children manage stress, bullying and other mental health challenges, and conducts activity programs during summer and winter breaks.

The Chamber presents a $57,000 grant to IHS. From l: Licia Hill, PHF Grant Administrator; Kimo Carvalho, IHS Director of Community Relations; IHS Children’s Program Manager Amber Leon-Guerrro; Chamber President & CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara

As Hawaii families continue to struggle with finding permanent housing, this grant will assist IHS’ ability to ensure that children in their care continue to grow and thrive, which is important during the critical stages of children’s lives.   
 
Last year’s PHF grant also assisted the homeless with a $57,000 grant to Waikiki Health Center’s Next Step Shelter, providing housing subsidies for transitional families for a “Homeless to Housed” pilot program.
 
The PHF was originally created through voluntary assessments in response to the epidemic of bubonic plaque that closed Honolulu Harbor and quarantined part of Honolulu in 1899. The Chamber was, subsequently, appointed trustee of the fund in 1923 and directed to limit grants to public health activities within the City and County of Honolulu to support health-related programs, projects and services. Assessments were discontinued in 1950 and, since then, grant awards are made through the interest and dividends received from investment of principal.

For more information, contact Public Health Fund Administrator, Licia Hill at phf@cochawaii.org. 

Laulima & mahalo,


Sherry Menor-McNamara
President & CEO

“Laulima”
Many hands working together in collaboration and striving for a common goal.

Advocating for Business

2019 Legislative Session Update

Last week, both the House and Senate Labor Committees heard bills relating to raising the minimum wage in the state. The Chamber provided testimony on all four bills highlighting our concerns the impact of these bills could have on local businesses such as their ability to continue to create jobs and survive in a state where the cost of doing business is already so high.
 
Ultimately, three of the four bills were passed out of the committee with amendments:  HB 1191HB 96, and SB 789. The versions range from giving the counties the option to raise the minimum wage, raising the minimum wage and offering a tax credit to small businesses to raising the minimum wage, but not as high for those that also receive employer-paid health care benefits. Our Business Advocacy team will review each of these bills once the updated text has been released by the committees.
 
The Chamber also supported bills which passed out of their respective committees last week, including those that would establish qualified internship programs and others to help maintain the Chamber’s manufacturing program and partnership.

Supporting our Military

Navy Unmanned Ship Sails Between Hawaii and California


 

Last week, it was announced that the U.S. Navy’s unmanned surface vessel, Sea Hunter, was the first ship to ever sail between San Diego and Pearl Harbor and back without a crew for navigation or steering. The Sea Hunter, and future iterations, are primarily being developed as anti-submarine warfare platforms, but could also provide additional capabilities such as electronic warfare support.
 
According to defense contractor Leidos, the company heading the Sea Hunter project for the Navy, this “demonstrates to the U.S. Navy that autonomy technology is ready to move from the developmental and experimental stages to advanced mission testing.”
 
While it is not publicly known when the 132-foot trimaran craft departed or returned to San Diego for the 5,200 mile round-trip voyage, media reports noted that the vessel first arrived at Pearl Harbor in October of last year.

Building our Membership

Members Race to the Finish Line at K1 Speed

At January’s Business After Hours, members took networking to the next level by racing all-electric go-karts at K1 Speed in Kapolei. Attendees also learned about how to host an event of their own at K1 Speed.