New Small Business Advocate Takes Helm at County Business Center
By Sonia Isotov
Mayor Alan Arakawa recently named Karen Arakawa to the position of Small Business Advocate at the Maui County Business Resource Center located at the Maui Mall.
Arawaka replaces Anna Rubican, who held the position for almost a decade, and has since retired.
The Maui County Business Resource Center (MCBRC) is an extension project of the County of Maui’s Office of Economic Development (OED) created during the previous first term of Mayor Arakawa from 2002 to 2006.
The MCBRC serves as an entrepreneurial resource for new or existing business owners who need business assistance for operations within Maui County. The Center was established to improve public access to government resources and increase the reach of non-profit partners that provide business assistance and consultation.
Karen Arakawa comes to the position with over 30 years in the real estate industry. She also holds a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and serves on the Board of the American Heart Association’s Maui Chapter.
“We will try to eliminate hardships and streamline the governmental regulation and permitting processes for small business. Small business is the backbone of our economy and community and we want to help them to thrive,” Arakawa stated.
Arakawa said that business workshops will continue to be held every month, including the popular SCORE “Day” which is held every Thursday afternoon with Richard Kehoe, MBA, CPA.
The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and business consultation through its nationwide network of retired and working volunteers. Kehoe leads a team of 22 free SCORE business counselors out of the MCBRC.
In addition, to working with strategic partners such as MEO Business Development Corp., SCORE and the U.S. Small business Administration, the Center will continue to support County business development programs such as the Sister Cities Program and the Mayor’s Small Business Awards.
The MCBRC can be reached at (808) 873-8247.