e-Voice of Business April 17, 2019

President’s Message

Aloha Chamber members,

The Chamber’s Young Professionals program, under the leadership of Chair Jacob Noh of Altres, Executive Director Tricia Fetui, who also serves as the Chamber’s Director of Events, and the Steering Committee, has been elevated to new heights. I’ve been with the Chamber since the inception of the program back in 2011, so seeing the exponential growth in membership and the implementation of exciting and turnkey initiatives has been very exciting.
One of the newest initiatives is the YP Community Connect program, sponsored by Hawaiian Telcom. The program connects non-profits with YP members via semi-annual networking events to get YP members involved in boards and community work, and build their professional network and leadership skills.
Mahalo to these organizations that have already committed to participating in Community Connect:
Big Brother Big Sisters Hawaii
Catholic Charities YourGen
Girl Scouts of Hawaii
Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations
Salvation Army
Susan G. Komen Foundation
To learn more about this networking event, scheduled on May 31, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center, click here. Or for more information about YP membership, email Tricia Fetui.

Laulima & mahalo,

Sherry Menor-McNamara
President & CEO

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

Advocating for Business

Chamber Monitors Conference Priority Bills

This week marks the beginning of the conference committee process. The Chamber is continuing to monitor a number of bills that we either support or have concerns about that have made it through to conference. Our team remains engaged with lawmakers during this process and we encourage our members to continue to write to their lawmakers during the conference process.
A few of the bills that we are monitoring include:
Minimum Wage Bills

  • HB 1191 – Provides an income tax credit for small businesses to offset the cost the increase on minimum wage increase would have on employers. Increases the minimum wage to $12/hr. in 2020 and then to $15/hr. in 2023. Establishes a minimum wage of $17/hr. for any person employed in a full-time position with the State of Hawaii beginning upon approval of the Act.
  • SB 789 – Changes the minimum wage rate annually from 1/1/2020 to 1/1/2024. Provides a lower rate for employees who receive employer sponsored health benefits under the Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Act. Includes persons with disabilities under generally applicable minimum wage requirements.
    • Previous versions of this bill had the rates as $11 to $15 and $10.50 to $12.50 for each tier.

Equal Pay

HB 1192 – This bill would conform statutory prohibitions against wage discrimination with other prohibitions on employment discrimination and clarifies allowable justifications for compensation differentials and remedies for pay disparity. It would also require employers to disclose wage ranges to employees and prospective employees.

Manufacturing Assistance

HB 340 – Appropriates funds to the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation for the Small Business Innovation Research Program and Manufacturing Assistance Program.

Plastic Packaging

SB 522 – Creates the plastic source reduction working group to make recommendations for eliminating single-use plastic packaging. Establishes the Solid Waste Prevention Coordinator in the Department of Health.

Supporting our Military

Pacific Air Forces Recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness, Prevention Month

General CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces Commander signed a proclamation recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month. Throughout the month, United States Air Force bases across the Indo-Pacific will be hosting various events ranging from an art exhibit to 5k color runs to help build awareness about the importance of the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.

Building our Membership

Weigh in on Oahu Planning Decisions

The Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization is updating its Oahu Regional Transportation Plan (ORTP) 2045, which demonstrates future transportation goals, planning and projects through 2045. For the first phase of public outreach, ORTP is surveying the public to learn about their transportation goals and priorities for the future. The results will help them to guide what kinds of projects are funded through 2045. 

Click here to fill out the survey.

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