Summer is No Time to Coast!

Morning at the Mokuluas, Kailua, Hawaii

It’s officially summer. While so many of our thoughts zoom in on vacation plans, small business owners and entrepreneurs are staying busy, focusing on customer service, marketing, improving products and services to keep things heated up! There’s plenty of ideas and support from resources of SBA and business and community partners. Read on!


SBA Loans continue at a good pace in 2016 (although not at the blistering speed of last fiscal year!). At the close of May 2016, the Hawaii District Office has processed 356 loans worth over $41 million with 19 lenders, including 24 504 capital loans. Tune in next month to see updated figures for FY2016.

Meanwhile, looking for a lender you can work with? Find a banking relationship that fits your needs with SBA’s online matching service, LINC. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s 24/7. Click here for information and registration.


SBA continues to support innovation across the nation through the Accelerator Growth Awards with the 2016 submissions due early this month. The competition garnered almost 400 submissions! In 2015, three Awards were made in Hawaii: XLR8UH, Maui Food Connector and GVS Transmedia Accelerator Program.

A recent visit to GVS revealed more of the amazing talent and creativity we find in Hawaii. Click here to take a look at the exciting things happening in Kona.

On July 8 at 3:00pm, Blue Startups is hosting Startup Paradise Showcase, a forum to hear pitches from the 8 companies incubated at Blue Startups and updates from many of the community organizations making a big difference in Hawaii’s growing innovation sector. Click here for information and registration.


Be an Encore Entrepreneur! The share of 55 to 64 year olds starting their own ventures in the last five years reached 23% of new firms with more start up owners finding satisfaction in their new careers as a small business owner. Unleash your entrepreneurial spirit, meet others who have turned talent into revenue and find resources to do the same. AARP and SBA are hosting an Encore Event on Saturday, August 13, 9:30am, at Ward Warehouse. Click here for information and registration.

The Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals (YP) program will be hosting its first-ever Morning Buzz informational session at The Modern Honolulu on Wednesday, July 13 from 8:00am to 9:30am. Click here for information and registration.


The 14th Annual Small Business Forum will be held on July 12 from 8:00am to 4:00pm at the Honolulu Country Club. This conference brings together senior procurement leaders, small firms, prime contractors, and contracting officers to discuss annual goals, anticipated projects and new developments in the coming years. Confirmed speakers include: Colonel Renee Richardson, Air Force Pacific; Eric Lee, NAVFAC Pacific; Commander Kes Townsend, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center. SBA will be there, too! Click here for information and registration.

The Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Summit and Expo – APRISE – July 26 and 27 at Pearl Harbor presents a state of the art showcase for solutions for defense energy and resilience applications. Scheduled to coincide with RIMPAC, the event brings together a global community of defense, contracting and innovation business owners in collaboration with the US military, the University of Hawai’i, and other organizations. Click here for information and registration.

SBA goes to Windward Oahu on July 27, joining with the Kaneohe Business Group at their monthly meeting to talk about the latest trends in small business and strategies for growth and development. Click here for more information.

Pacific Business News is hosting two events on August 11 at the Hawaii Convention Center: the 2016 Small Business Growth Expo from 9:00am to 2:00pm and Hawaii’s Fastest 50 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. Consider joining SBA and some of the luminaries of the business community at the events. Click here for information and registration.


James Stenger Jr., Alpha Inc., 2015 SBA Young Entrepreneur, County of Maui

In 2008, Jason Stenger established Alpha Inc., a construction company specializing in heavy civil site projects, water well drilling and pump installation, underground utility installation, excavation and grading and renewable energy. Now, he is 100% owner of a thriving enterprise with 25 employees and revenues increasing considerably year over year. This young small business owner attributes much of his success to his employees so he strives to establish a quality work environment, providing good wages, training, an apprenticeship program and generous benefits. He also gives back to community-oriented projects such as construction of the Hana Skate Park, the rope challenge course at Neighborhood Place of Wailuku, and wetlands restoration at Kawainui Marsh.

Nominated by Bard Peterson, First Hawaiian Bank

See SBA bulletin here.