Maui No Ka Oi; Businesses Shocked By Tax Hikes; Winners Camp This Week and More Business News

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BY SAM SLOMMAUI NO KA OI! I look forward to speaking to our business friends and Maui members of SBH at a special SBH Business Forum on Thursday, July 21, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at the Kahili Golf Club on Maui. There is still time to attend if you RSVP with Darlyn – 808-396-1724.



BUSINESSES SHOCKED BY TAX HIKES – The true burden and unintended consequences of SB 754 (Act 105) which removed General Excise Tax exemptions from a number of important economic activities and now affects all consumers, business, AOAO condo associations, non-profits and others, is detailed in an op ed piece I did for Hawaii Reporter (or see,


Matson has since rescinded its new $52 per container  charge and sent this message to customers: “Dear Matson Customer, Until further notice, Matson is postponing the implementation of the General Excise Tax Arbitrary, equal to $52 per container. If you have any questions, please contact your account executive or our Customer Support Center. Thank you for shipping with Matson.”


MONEY, MONEY, MONEY And if you want a different perspective (mine!) on the federal debt ceiling battle, also go to


WINNERS WEEK! Aloha to our Winners’ Camp Ohana!

This weekend, July 24-30, Winners’ Camp Hawaii Leadership Academy is still accepting registrations for the last camp of the summer. You can help your teenager and still sign up today at Want to know more:


CAPITLIZE ON THIS: The Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC) wants community members to figure out how the state should spend $13 million of investment capital given to the state by the U.S Department of Treasury to subsidize a venture capital “fund of funds” investment program.


“Specifically, HSDC would like to identify opportunities to invest in qualified venture capital funds or investment entities that will develop and mentor Hawaii-based technology companies and help them enter venture capital markets,” a statement from the State Office of Business and Economic Development said. Interested? Attend a meeting next Tuesday, July 26, at 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in Downtown Honolulu at the HiSAM on 250 S. Hotel Street. See more at


BANKRUPTCY NO MORE – Unity House Inc sold the Lotus Hotel at Diamond Head on Kalakaua Avenue, allowing the union affiliate to emerge from bankruptcy. The nonprofit Unity House acquired the property for about $8 5 million two years ago and this week sold the 51-room boutique hotel for $18.5 million. The buyer was N2885 LLC, a partnership of Japanese investors led by Nobuka USA Inc. and Katsuhiro Kinoshita. During the past several years, the hotel has been operated as an upscale W Honolulu-Diamond Head hotel and also was David Paul’s Diamond Head Grill. Castle Resorts and Hotels manages the property.


BYE BYE BOOKS – Borders Bookstores announced it will close the last of its six Hawaii stores during the next few months. Nationally, all Borders’ stores will be shuttered.


FLYING HIGH – Alaska Airlines will begin daily San Diego-to-Honolulu flights Nov. 17 with an announced introductory fare of $149 each way. The Hawaii Tourism Authority estimates the additional flight will contribute up to $58 million in visitor expenditures, according to HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney.


GET SMARTER – SHRM Hawaii, the Society for Human Resource Management, is holding a workshop next Wednesday, July 27, “ Human resources Basics: What Every Small Business Needs to Know,” 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in the Japanese Cultural Center. To register or for more information, contact


ALL JAMMED UP – Several recent, unannounced, highway projects have played havoc with drivers in East Honolulu. A project to remove and replace surface reflective safety domes on Kalanianaole Highway from Niu to Kalani has resulted in daytime traffic snarls. No one has explained the reason for the project or its cost.


Two other projects, tree trimming and replacement of street lamp bulbs, have also caused massive delays in the past few weeks on the highway. The state has not informed the community in advance of the projects and signage is restricted to the immediate work area though traffic backups extend to Hawaii Kai.


The Keahole-Kalanianaole additional land project is also months behind schedule, but the H-1 concrete reconstruction project in Kaimuki seems to be on schedule.


BIRTHDAY BASH – Governor Linda Lingle will keynote the 6th Annual Milton Friedman Birthday Luncheon, next Friday, July 29 at the Japanese Cultural Center. Sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii and cosponsored by SBH, the 11:30 am – 1:30 pm event will mark the 99th birthday of the late Nobel Economics winner, Milton Friedman. Call Darlyn (396-1724) for reservations.


A PLUS FOR EFFORT – Kevin Nitta, president of the East Oahu Breakfast Club, announced the EOB is participating in the annual Adopt A School Day project sponsored by the Hawaii Jaycees.  This is an easy way to get involved and help out a needy school and give back to the community.  More information about Adopt A School Day can be found on their website at  If your group or business wants to also participate on your own in this worthwhile project, Kevin encourages you to do so. The EOBC Board of Directors has decided to adopt Blanche Pope Elementary School as their designated school this year.


HEMMINGS AND HAW – Plan to attend the next monthly SBH SUNRISE Networking Breakfast meeting Thursday, July 28 from 7-8:30 am in the Pineapple Room, Macy’s Ala Moana Center. Complete buffet breakfast, networking, introductions and special guest speaker Fred Hemmings. Hemmings, most recently a State Senator, was a former world surfing champion, entrepreneur, author and currently, advocate for nuclear fuel alternatives in Hawaii. He will speak on “Hawaii Independence: Clean Energy Alternatives.” Don’t miss his presentation. Bring a friend. Call Darlyn @ SBH, 396-1724.


Want more local business information? Please visit the several SBH websites at::, and


Award winning Hawaii Reporter and Malia Zimmerman report daily (M-F) on the Rick Hamada Show, KHVH radio on 830 AM at 6:20 am. Malia also reports on Kauai’s KKCR with Sandy Brodie on Tuesday mornings, on the station’s “Morning Paper.”


Hawaii Reporter, Winners Camp and the office of Councilmember Ikaika Anderson, are teaming up this Friday for a brief (2 p.m. to 3 p.m.) beach cleanup at Bellows Beach. Want to help? Call Malia at 306-3161.


The 4th annual Small Business Hawaii Entrepreneurial Education Foundation Awards Banquet is Friday, September 16, 5:30 – 8 pm, Waialae Country Club. Come honor SBH top awards winner Joe Nicolai and several other winners to be announced soon.