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August 2017 Chamber Connection Newsletter

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President's Message | August 2017

For a summer month, July was quite active. Installations at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii, the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce marked new terms and new officers for the island Chambers. We are all seeking new initiatives to increase the value of our chambers and contributing to the growth of the Island’s economy.

As part of this, many of us attneded ground breaking ceremonies at Pohakuloa initiating the work of renewing and rebuilding PTA’s infrastructure. Mayor Kim spoke there of the importance of well maintained training center’s for our nation’s military. We send our young men and women out to hot spots around the world to protect our lives and our liberties.

We should never ask them to risk their lives and spend long periods of time away from family if we have not first ensured that they are well armed and well trained. Our Pohukuloa Training Area provides critical training for men and women who in particular will find themselves in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. We bear a responsibility to do our part by ensuring the quality of PTA.

On July 10 the Social Committee teamed with the Hilo Medical Center Foundation to welcome to their residency four new physicians. We are fortunate to have this residency program at the Hilo Medical Center. Training provides additional doctors here during their training and a significant number of residents who train here – stay here helping to build up our island’s medical staff.

As is true in many rural and remote locations, there is a real shortage of doctors needed to maintain the health of our residents and visitors. This program is a very real boost to our community. Socials like this are a good way of showing new members of the community that they are welcome while giving us all an opportunity to meet them and personally welcome them here.

On July 20, the HiPlan program for 2017/2018 was kicked off with launch events on both sides of the island. More details of this program are included in the Economic Committee meeting report in this newsletter.

As we move through the summer, we see school restarting and an increase in activities for the fall. We will all be working on budgets for 2018 and long term budgets for years stretching into 2020 and beyond. As a business community we need to pull together, to support each other and to look for opportunities to grow our businesses and our island economy. The availability of the internet, our strategic location between North America and Asia and near the equator, our relatively low housing prices and unmatched climate make Hawaii Island a near perfect location for many businesses to prosper.

Beyond that, our organizations have found ways to navigate a difficult regulatory environment. We are in an incredible place to encourage others to join us here AND to help them through their start up phase on the Island. We need to keep in mind that by helping others get started and prospering on Hawaii Island – we are helping to grow an economy that can support our children as well as our neighbors. The Hawaii Island Chamber is dedicated to bringing us all together to grow our economy and enjoy our lives here. We encourage you to participate in educational, community and social events that we sponsor.

August 2017 Chamber Connection Newsletter