2019 Chamber Priorities
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce exists to provide leadership and advocacy for a successful business environment in West Hawaiʻi. Below is our list of 2019 priorities.
2019 Top Priorities and Focus Areas:
Astronomy & Maunakea
- Support astronomy industry, science, culture and environmental stewardship of Maunakea.
- Support Thirty Meter Telescope.
- Support new Maunakea State Lease.
- Support the current Maunakea management structure and stewardship initiatives.
- Support Federal, State and County programs that provide immediate relief to homeless.
- Encourage Housing First and stabilization services including drug, alcohol and mental health.
- Support poverty prevention initiatives including housing assistance, job training and financial literacy.
- Support improvements and efficiency in the permitting process, especially as it pertains to the County of Hawai‘i procedures.
Additional 2019 Priorities in alphabetical order:
- Support Kona Coffee, aquaculture, cattle industry and diversified ag farmers.
- Support disease prevention programs including Rat Lungworm.
- Support Coffee Berry Borer control methods.
- Support clean energy goals to relieve our dependence on fossil fuels.
- Support reliable and affordable energy solutions.
- Support energy efficiency measures.
Education & Workforce Development
- Support growth of Hawai‘i Community College-Pālamanui campus, new programs and staffing.
- Support workforce development, training, mentoring and internship programs for key industries.
- Support programs that feed directly into key industries including marine science and technology, astronomy, aviation, hospitality, healthcare and STEM endeavors.
- Recognize climate change impacts and support measures addressing the issue.
- Support initiatives that address and manage invasive species including Little Fire Ants.
- Support programs that reduce, reuse and recycle.
- Support legislation to extend the film tax credit.
General Business Matters
- Support business innovation.
- Support economic impact studies.
- Monitor tax legislation as it pertains to the business community.
- Advocate for a new state hospital in West Hawai‘i and expanded healthcare options.
- Encourage residency programs that increase medical providers.
- Support legislation for Physicians Assistants to expand practice.
- Support better Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement rates.
- Support programs and incentives to attract providers.
- Support entry level including self-help, senior and affordable housing projects.
Kona International Airport
- Support the master planned buildout of Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole.
- Support Hawai‘i Airport Corporation legislation.
Kona Judiciary Complex
- Support the completion of the Kona Judiciary Complex project
- Encourage Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority to further its mission of providing resources and facilities for energy and ocean related research and commercial activities as an engine for economic development.
Ocean Recreation Tourism
- Support consideration of alternative management options for West Hawai‘i boating facilities.
- Recognize economic impacts of and support initiatives that support healthy coral reefs.
- Monitor DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation’s actions in regards to harbors and businesses of ocean recreation.
Pōhakuloa Training Area
- Support the military’s training mission at Pōhakuloa.
- Support new Pōhakuloa State Lease.
- Support the County of Hawai‘i’s efforts to rebuild Puna’s physical and social infrastructure affected by the Kīlauea eruption and Hurricane Lane.
- Support completion of last phase of Ane Keohokālole Highway (Hinalani to Kaiminani).
- Support Saddle Road Extension to Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway.
- Support expanding Māmalahoa Highway between Lako Street and Kamehameha III Road.
- Support continued Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway safety improvements.
State Office Building
- Support the planning, design and construction of a State Office Building along the corridor between the West Hawai‘i Civic Center and the new State Judiciary Building to provide better government services accessibility.
Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT)
- Support an increase in the TAT allocations that the Counties receive as they deal with the impacts of the visitor industry.
- Support adoption of Hawai‘i County Transit Plan, encourage multi-modal transportation and infrastructure.
- Plan, fund and implement connection of sewer and reclaimed water lines from Kealakehe Parkway to the County’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.
- Plan, fund and implement connection of Honokōhau Harbor’s sewage system to Kealakehe Parkway for delivery to the County’s treatment plant and connect reclaimed water pipes from Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway along Kealakehe Parkway into Honokōhau Harbor.
- Support operational efficiency and sustainability with current water systems.
- Support water resource preservation and protection.
- Support water resource development along with wastewater reclamation and recycling.