The 10th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention, “Federal Contractors Business Summit,” led by the nonprofit Native Hawaiian Organization Association (NHOA) on August 23 at the Hawaii Convention Center, will concentrate on the Pacific Business Partnership Initiative, a group founded at the 2010 conference by various small business advocates with a significant focus on Native Hawaiian business owners.
“I think that’s because Hawaiian business owners know that Hawaii and the Pacific is home no matter what, no matter what the economy is doing, good or bad,” said Robin Puanani Danner, president of the nonprofit Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. “It’s definitely not just a Hawaiian issue—business growth and sustainability is a Pacific issue, it’s something anyone who lives and loves our region faces.”
“We’ve been convening small business owners every year since 2002,” said Billy Ornellas, vice president of the Native Hawaiian Economic Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy organization. “It’s very important for business leaders to get around a table to actually talk public policy and unify ourselves around what our priorities are, as Pacific businesses.”
At the 2010 Business Summit at the Hawaii Convention Center, the two top priorities of small federal contractors emerged as the 8(a) and hubzone regulations.
“United, we were able to make some progress on these two issues since the summit last year,” said Aimoku McClellan, NHOA Board President and the owner of Pelatron, Inc. “Alone, we are just one small business in a very big ocean, but together, we help lift each other up and unite around common goals.”
The Pacific Business Partnership Initiative brings the energy of multiple advocates and stakeholders around three basic goals: 1) Ensure annual business summits to promote mentorship and trainings are held in the Pacific region; 2) Connect small and big business to increase business-to-business opportunities between Pacific companies; 3) Identify the regional priorities of Pacific small business firms.
“The August Business Summit will include a discussion on the initiative, and of course a chance to reconnect on what our small business priorities should be for 2012,” said McClellan. “There’s no question it is work that needs to be done.”
To register for the 2011 Business Summit, scheduled for August 23, 2011 at the Hawaii Convention Center, contact NHOA at info@nhoassociation. To receive a free vendor booth at the marketplace, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.