Maui Business

2012 Mayor’s Small Business Awards Nominations Open

February 7, 2012, 10:43 AM HST
* Updated February 7, 10:44 AM
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Rusty Gage (center), Valley Isle Gymnastics, received the Small Business Award for companies with 10 or fewer employees in 2010 (the last year the award was given). Photo courtesy of County of Maui.

By Sonia Isotov

The Maui Chamber of Commerce and the County of Maui’s Office of Economic Development are partnering this year to hold the Annual Mayor’s Small Business Awards in 2012.

These awards recognize and honor outstanding small businesses in our community, with 50 or fewer employees, who have had a Hawai`i General Excise Tax license for no less than two years and who show business leadership in a changing economic environment, create a quality work environment for their employees, exhibit the Aloha Spirit and exemplary customer service, develop partnerships with other sectors of the community, and demonstrate other exceptional qualities or traits.

Anne Oishi (center), Island Honda, received the Small Business Award for 2010 for companies with 11-50 employees. Photo courtesy of County of Maui.

This year’s event includes six award categories:

  • Exceptional Small Business of the Year (10 or fewer employees)
  • Exceptional Small Business of the Year (11 to 25 employees)
  • Exceptional Small Business of the Year (26 to 50 employees)
  • Outstanding Non-Profit Business (50 or fewer employees)
  • Young Small Business Person of the Year (under age 40 as of March 29, 2012)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award (for any individual doing business in Maui County for more than 20 years)

It was under Mayor Alan Arakawa's previous administration that the small business awards were created. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Completed nomination packets which include the Nomination Form, Nomination Criteria Form, two typewritten letters of recommendation from other sources, and a 5”x7” photograph of the nominee must be received at the Maui County Business Resource Center in the Maui Mall on or before 12 Noon on Friday, March 16, 2012.


Nomination forms are available at the Maui County Business Resource Center at Maui Mall; the Maui Chamber of Commerce; and American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank, and First Hawaiian Bank branches.  The form is also available online at  and, as well as on the Maui County and Maui Chamber of Commerce Facebook pages.


All finalists and winners will be honored at an awards dinner on Thursday, March 29, 2012, at the Waikapu Ballroom of the King Kamehameha Golf Club where photographs with Mayor Arakawa will be taken and presented to all finalists.

Finalists also receive a certificate and the company or business person’s name listed in an announcement to the media.  Winners will receive a Mayor’s Small Business Award Winner decal, a certificate from Mayor Alan Arakawa and the Maui Chamber of Commerce, a commemorative plaque, and the company or businessperson’s name listed in press releases sent to the media.

“Small businesses are the true job generators and they risk a great deal to open their doors, create jobs, grow and stimulate our economy.  Maui County is fortunate to have many successful small businesses who are known for their entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, and ingenuity,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa, in a written statement.


It was under Mayor Arakawa’s last administration in 2004 that the Maui County Small Business Awards program was originally created.

“Maui’s small businesses are at the heart of our community and they have gone through a lot these past few years to still be standing.  We look forward giving them well deserved credit and honoring their tremendous accomplishments and investment in our community,” said Pamela Tumpap, Maui Chamber of Commerce president.

For more information about nominations, please contact the Maui County Business Resource Center at 873-8247 or call the Maui Chamber of Commerce at 244-0081 for additional details on available sponsorships or event ticket purchases.

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