Mayor Announces Nominees for Small Business Awards

March 23, 2012, 3:43 PM HST · Updated March 23, 3:47 PM
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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

Mayor Alan Arakawa in conjunction with the Maui Chamber of Commerce today announced 22 finalists for the upcoming 2012 Mayor’s Small Business Awards. Included are nominees from Maui, Moloka`i, and Lana`i.

Mayor Arakawa will be giving out 6 awards this year. There are three Exceptional Small Business of the Year awards: one for businesses with 0-10 employees, one for businesses with 11-25 employees, and one for businesses with 26-50 employees.

An award will also be given for an Outstanding Non-profit Small Business with 50 or fewer employees, a Young Business Person of the Year award for business persons under 40 years of age, and a Lifetime Achievement Award for a business person with 20 or more years in business in Maui County.

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“This is an exceptional group of small businesses, and all of them are worthy of the awards.  Small business is the number one economic engine in Maui County,” said Mayor Arakawa.

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

“These businesses have weathered a severe recession and have stayed agile enough to still be successful.  We owe a debt of gratitude to these and all small businesses in our county who have continued to provide jobs during a very difficult economic environment.”

“It is important to recognize the tremendous contributions small businesses make to improve our economy, community, and our quality of life. We are pleased to have so many outstanding small businesses nominated for this prestigious award and look forward to celebrating their tremendous achievements on March 29th,” said Pamela Tumpap, the president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce.

The Maui Chamber of Commerce is the co-sponsor of the event which will be held at the King Kamehameha Golf Club House on March 29th at 6:00 p.m.

The nominees are as follows:

Ho’oilo House

Maui Rental Group, LLC

Scuba Shack

Maui Babe, Inc.

Maui Optix

Pine Isle Market, Ltd.

Kumu Farms

Wailuku Coffee Company

Maui Hands, Inc.

Maui Closet Company

Da Kitchen

The Maui Food Bank

Maui Friends of the Library

Imua Family Services

Richard Dan of Kamaaina Loan

John & Susan Guard of The Pet Shop, Inc.

Michael T. Kelley of Ka’anapali Kai Charters, Inc.

Carrie Gebb of Paragon Salon

Naomi Newirth of Acacia Swimwear

Josh Jerman of The Wailea Group, LLC

Robert E. Soto of Soto’s Security Solutions, LLC

Other sponsors of the event are: Tanaka Engineers, Inc. Central Pacific Bank, First Hawaiian Bank, Araki-Regan & Associates, Muneyiko & Hiraga, SCORE, and VIP Food Service.

Tickets are $50.00 and reservations can be made for the award dinner by calling the Maui Chamber of Commerce at 244-0081 or on-line at www.mauichamber.com.

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