2022 PRIORITIESLocated on Hawaiʻi Island, the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce brings the business community together to address key issues in our community, on our island and in our state. Established in 1968, our Chamber’s mission is to provide leadership and advocacy for a successful business environment in West Hawaiʻi. We believe the following priorities will improve business opportunity in the region, strengthen our local economy and promote the well-being of our community.
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce supports housing projects at all inventory levels in West Hawaiʻi. This includes the development of infrastructure to support more housing along with an emphasis on improvements in Hawai‘i County’s permitting processes.
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce strongly supports new water resource development, maintenance and protection in West Hawaiʻi. Additionally, wastewater development must be addressed.
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the astronomy industry on Maunakea noting significant scientific discovery, global leadership, educational outreach, workforce pipelines, jobs and economic impact. The University of Hawai‘i must continue management on Maunakea and the state lease must be renewed.
2022 Position Statements
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce works to enhance the quality of life for our community through a strong, sustainable economy on Hawaiʻi Island. The purpose of this comprehensive list is to streamline our annual advocacy efforts with pre-approved positions.
(Alphabetical order by category)
AGRICULTURE & AQUACULTURE
- Support initiatives that promote, protect and provide for the local agriculture industry.
- Support ‘Buy Local’ and other initiatives that boost local agriculture businesses.
- Support Kona coffee, cattle and other diversified agriculture in West Hawaiʻi.
- Support West Hawaiʻi’s aquaculture industry that includes algae and fish production.
- Support programs for disease and pest prevention for farmers.
ASTRONOMY & MAUNAKEA
- Support the astronomy industry on Maunakea noting significant scientific discovery, global leadership, educational outreach, workforce pipelines, jobs and economic impact.
- Support University of Hawai‘i management and state lease renewal on Maunakea.
- Support the development and future operations of the Thirty Meter Telescope.
- Support culture, science, education and environmental stewardship on Maunakea.
- Support the Rule of Law to keep Mauna Kea Access Road open and allow access.
EDUCATION & WORKFORCE
- Support growth of Hawai‘i Community College-Pālamanui campus, programs and workforce development.
- Support the University Center, West Hawai‘i and UH Hilo to provide expanded access to higher education for the community.
- Support educational programs that feed directly into the region’s key industries including the visitor industry, agriculture, aquaculture, astronomy, aviation, business, education, healthcare, marine and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & math) endeavors.
- Support the Department of Education (DOE) Career and Technical Education (CTE) and its relationship to the local businesses and workforce development.
- Support educational initiatives that promote 21st century workforce skills.
- Support workforce development, training, mentoring and internship programs.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
- Recognize climate change impacts and support measures addressing this issue.
- Support initiatives that promote clean coastlines, coral reef health and ocean conservation.
- Support renewable, reliable and affordable energy solutions including geothermal.
- Support the State of Hawai‘i’s Clean Energy goals - 100% clean energy by 2045.
- Support programs that reduce, reuse and recycle.
- Support energy efficiency measures.
- Support initiatives that address and manage invasive species.
- Support initiatives that encourage indigenous re-forestation.
- Support improvements and expansion for Hawai‘i County’s mass transit system.
- Support oversight of government processes including accountability, efficiency, transparency, and fund collection and distribution.
- Serve as the business community’s liaison to state and county government.
- Support pro-business initiatives.
- Challenge increased taxes on business.
- Support the U.S. military’s training mission and land retention at Pōhakuloa Training Area.
- Examine minimum wage legislation in the State of Hawai‘i to determine the impact on businesses, especially the small business community.
- Support federal, state and county programs that provide immediate relief to the homeless.
- Support the planning, design and construction of a new State office building in West Hawai‘i to provide better government services accessibility and jobs.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
- Support increased and expanded health care services for West Hawai‘i.
- Encourage programs and incentives to attract more providers and collaborate with community entities.
- Support Kona Community Hospital improvements and initiatives.
- Advocate for a new hospital in North Kona.
- Support a consistent and effective approach to medical crises such as COVID-19 or other infectious diseases.
- Support increased stabilization services including drug, alcohol and mental health treatment in West Hawaiʻi.
- Promote health and wellness initiatives for businesses and the community.
- Support housing projects at all inventory levels and associated infrastructure.
- Support improvements and efficiency to Hawai‘i County’s permitting and planning processes.
- Support new water resource development, preservation, maintenance and protection in West Hawaiʻi.
- Support wastewater development, reclamation and recycling in West Hawaiʻi.
- Support increased broadband infrastructure development for Hawai‘i Island
- Support improvements to increase efficiency and capacity of Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole.
- Support the Saddle Road Extension to Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway.
- Support funding and improvements for Honokōhau and Kawaihae Harbors.
- Support building all phases of Kukuiola Emergency Shelter in West Hawaiʻi.
- Encourage walk and bicycle paths for all roads.
INNOVATION & ECONOMIC DIVERSITY
- Support initiatives and policies that promote business innovation and economic diversity.
- Encourage entrepreneurial endeavors and small business development.
- Support growth of Hawai‘i’s technology industry to foster innovation, diversify the island’s economy and provide quality, high paying jobs.
- Support the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority (NELHA) that promotes innovative business development and provides unique resources for existing businesses in its Hawai‘i Ocean Science and Technology Park.
- Recognize that West Hawai‘i’s visitor industry drives the local economy through small business opportunity, jobs, capital investment and taxes.
- Support responsible tourism and sustainable growth.
- Support Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) and the implementation of Hawai‘i Island’s Destination Management Action Plan.
- Monitor Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) in regards to Honokōhau and Kawaihae Harbors and marine life site management in West Hawaiʻi.
- Support improvements to State of Hawai‘i’s State Parks and Trail Systems.
Board Approved 10-27-21