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DBEDT E-Newsletter

DBEDT E-Newsletter

Aloha kākou,

Welcome to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism’s (DBEDT) new e-newsletter. As we strive for transparent and effective communication, this new communications channel will provide regular updates on DBEDT’s wide-ranging programs, activities, and initiatives.

Over the last few months, several of DBEDT’s core divisions and attached agencies have been deeply involved in the Maui wildfire response and recovery efforts. We know the road forward will be long and challenging, and we are committed to supporting and assisting Maui residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations through this difficult time. More details on these efforts are included below.

You’ll also find updates on recent events, including the Small Business Fair and Broadband Hōʻike, as well as some of the latest data reports by the Research and Economic Analysis Division (READ).

I look forward to continuing to share with you Department updates and other news as we drive Hawaiʻi’s economic progress and create opportunities for businesses, individuals, and communities to thrive.


James Kunane Tokioka

Director, Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism

DBEDT, its core divisions, and attached agencies have been working with federal, state, county, and community partners to support wildfire relief efforts on Maui.

  • Economic Recovery
    • DBEDT launched the “Pathways to Recovery” webinar series to provide updates about Maui relief and recovery efforts including housing, consumer protection, and small business recovery.
    • READ created a Maui Wildfires Economic Update webpage to provide weekly updates on domestic daily passenger counts, flight and air seat capacity, air booking trends, unemployment data, and more.
  • Housing
    • DBEDT Director James Kunane Tokioka and Luke Meyers, Disaster Management Coordinator in the Office of the Governor were tapped to lead the Joint Housing Task Force to relocate more than 5,000 survivors of the Lahaina fire from evacuation shelters into West Maui hotels and timeshare units in partnership with the hospitality industry, the American Red Cross, the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
    • The Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) launched the Hawai‘i Fire Relief Housing Program to connect those in urgent need of housing with homeowners willing to assist by offering unoccupied houses, units, or rooms on a temporary basis. To date, over 500 families have been placed into housing through this program.
  • Tourism
    • The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) activated the Department Operations Center at the Hawai‘i Convention Center on August 8, 2023.
    • Airlines and ground transportation companies were coordinated to help get visitors out of West Maui.
    • An Assistance Center at the Hawai‘i Convention Center was opened in partnership with the American Red Cross to provide housing and aid to displaced Maui residents and visitors.
    • The HTA board approved additional visitor education and marketing resources to recover travel demand to Maui, centered around a new Mālama Maui campaign.

Rebuilding Lahaina will be a long-term process. DBEDT will continue working with the people of Lahaina and other government agencies at the federal, state, and county levels, as well as with private organizations, to provide help to Maui residents and businesses during this difficult time.

Hawaiʻi-Japan Sister Summit
July 27-28, 2023

Presented by the Business Development Services Division, this two-day event hosted officials from over 20 sister prefectures and cities along with Governor Green and all four county mayors.

See More Photos

2022 State of Hawai‘i Data Book
Aug. 15, 2023

READ published the most comprehensive statistical book about the State in a single compilation, covering a broad range of information in areas such as population, education, economics, tourism, transportation, and more. Access here:

The division also released its economic forecast for the 3rd quarter of 2023, as well as the September 2023 visitor statistics, both of which can be accessed online.

Hawaiʻi Small Business Fair
Sept. 16, 2023

With more than 30 exhibitors and 20 free classes, this fair was designed to help local entrepreneurs launch and grow their companies in a post-pandemic economy and the state’s new business landscape.

See More Photos

Broadband Hōʻike
Oct. 2-4, 2023

This two-day event sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Broadband and Digital Equity Office featured workshops, skill sharing and site visits.

Maui Business Matters Interview
Oct. 4, 2023

Mark Ritchie, the Small Business Regulatory Review Board Ex-Officio Board Member and Business Support Program Manager at BDSD, was interviewed on the Maui Chamber of Commerce podcast "Business Matters." He provided listeners with a wide variety of small business resources for all the Maui businesses impacted by the recent wildfires.  

Listen to the Podcast

SBRRB November Meeting - Nov. 16, 2023, 10 a.m.
This month's meeting will review several Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules. The public is welcome to attend in person or virtually. For more information and the full agenda, visit

Fed Small Business Credit Survey - Nov. 17, 2023, 3 p.m.

The Federal Reserve is collecting responses to this year’s Small Business Credit Survey and is seeking responses from for-profit businesses currently in operation, those recently closed, and those about to launch. By taking the survey, business owners and business leaders contribute to data that directly informs the Fed, federal government agencies, service providers, policymakers, and others—ultimately benefitting their business and other businesses like theirs. Complete the survey here.

Creative Lab Hawaiʻi Immersive Application Deadline - Dec. 1, 2023
Hawai‘i singer-songwriters seeking opportunities to license their works for global media and entertainment content are invited to apply for this immersive, week-long program. Select singer-songwriters will be partnered with top entertainment industry leaders and music producers to collaborate on compositions for licensing in specific television, film, advertising, and new media projects. Applications will be accepted from November 1 through December 1, 2023. The 2024 Creative Lab Hawai‘i Music Immersive program experience will be from February 6 through 10 on Hawaiʻi Island. For more details, click here.

Additional Info

Related Links :

Source : The State of Hawai'i - Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism

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