The Biggest Challenges for Businesses in Hawaii: A Comprehensive Guide

Doing business in Hawaii can be a challenge due to high cost of living, lack of affordable housing & pandemic impact. Learn how to overcome these challenges.

The Biggest Challenges for Businesses in Hawaii: A Comprehensive Guide

Doing business in Hawaii can be a challenge, especially for small businesses. With the high cost of living, lack of affordable housing, and the lasting impact of the pandemic, companies on the island are facing difficulties in finding employees. According to the Federal Small Business Administration (SBA), Hawaii has approximately 137,328 small businesses with 500 employees or less, which accounts for 99.3% of all companies in the state. The professional, scientific and technical services sectors make up the majority of Hawaii's small businesses.

Data from the Census Bureau's Statistics on Non-Employing Businesses and Statistics on U. S. Businesses reveals that there are currently 18,991 small businesses operating in these sectors. Additionally, there are 54,361 small businesses owned by female entrepreneurs in Hawaii, with 48,500 being non-employers and 5,861 having fewer than 500 employees.

Men own 69,953 small businesses in the state, 57,500 of which are not employers and another 12,453 have employees.

Talent Acquisition and Retention

Acquiring and retaining talent is a challenge that executives face both nationally and locally. Despite Hawaii's tendency to differentiate itself from other parts of the United States when it comes to adapting new policies and procedures or implementing programs, this year's Business Trends Survey states that the entire country is facing similar obstacles, uncertainties, and measured advances as we enter our third year of dealing with a global pandemic. The costs of doing business can be high and the regulatory environment is dense, but many Hawaiians still have faith in their homeland and believe that its beauty and culture make it the best place to do business.

Unfortunately, multinational trade is avoiding Hawaii like a plague, small businesses are disappearing, and our brain drain is unprecedented as our talented young people are now on the mainland with better paying opportunities. Hawaii has been given the title of having the worst business climate in the country due to its reputation for corrupt government. Douglas Okamura, Deputy Vice President and Business Banker at First Hawaiian Bank, reminds small businesses that they can also reconsider their benefit packages to find affordable ways to provide more support to their employees. Businesses in Hawaii must be creative when it comes to finding solutions to their challenges.

They must look for ways to reduce costs while still providing quality services or products. They should also consider offering incentives such as flexible working hours or remote work options to attract and retain talent. Finally, they should take advantage of available resources such as government grants or tax credits to help offset some of their expenses.

Ethel Kobold
Ethel Kobold

Amateur internet advocate. Evil web evangelist. Passionate bacon fanatic. Typical twitter ninja. Proud tv trailblazer. Future teen idol.

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