Maui Economic Grants Include Kite Surf Pro, Lahaina Halloween
By Maui Now Staff
The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development issued more than $4.2 million in grant funds to various local organizations for the 2014 fiscal year.
The largest grant, in the amount of $3.6 million, went to the Maui Visitors Bureau to attract visitors through marketing, promotion and signature events.
Other large appropriations of more than $200,000 each went to Maui Economic Opportunity for a program that provides micro enterprise loans, business planning classes and credit consultation services to residents; and to the University of Hawaiʻi, Allied Health Dental Programs, that provide affordable and accessible dental health care to under-served, low-income and uninsured families of Maui.
Smaller grants included allocations for the Hoʻokipa Kite Surf Pro, Halloween in Lahaina, Boat Days in Lahaina, and a preservation program at the Auwahi dry forest.
County officials say grantees were selected based on their economic impact within the county through business and jobs created or sustained. Improvements to Maui County in the areas of environment, agriculture, business, sports, arts, and culture were also considered, according to the announcement.
“OED grants play a vital role in that they strengthen our local economy in many ways,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa in a press release announcement. “Job creation, supporting small businesses, caring for our environment and engaging visitors are just a few of the aspects involved in keeping our economy healthy. In turn, our community reaps the benefits that these grants help achieve.”
Teena Rasmussen, the director of the department said, “We are continually looking for new ways to partner with businesses and non-profits on projects that will add diversity to Maui’s economy and provide accountability to our taxpayers.”
The full list of grantees and the awards issued includes the following:
- Adventure Sports Hawaiʻi, Inc., Ho’okipa Kite Surf Pro 2013, $10,000: helped showcase the prime wind and wave location of Maui’s North Shore as well as the skills of the world’s best kite surfers.
- Lahainatown Action Committee, Inc., Halloween in Lahaina, $15,000: helped with a community planned event on Halloween night 2013.
- Lahainatown Action Committee, Inc., Boat Days in Lahaina, $25,000: to help with expenses for meeting, greeting and entertaining tourist that arrive through the Lahaina Harbor.
- Maui County Sister Cities Foundation, Inc., $30,000: to strengthen and expand Maui County Sister Cities relationships throughout the world with particular focus on areas with significant opportunities for cultural and educational exchanges and economic partnerships.
- Maui County Visitor Association, dba Maui Visitors Bureau, $3.6 million: to attract visitors to Maui County through marketing, promotion and signature events.
- Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc., MEO, Inc. for Micro Enterprise, $222,000: supporting MEO’s economic development program that provides micro enterprise loans, business planning classes and credit/business consultation services to residents of Maui County.
- Maui Huliau Foundation, Huliau Independent Filmmakers, $13,500: assisting Maui youth ages 12-18 in producing four short environmental films over the course of the 2013-2014 school year.
- Molokaʻi Island Foundation, Happy Holidays Molokaʻi Style, $12,000: helped promote and provide the annual community Christmas events for Molokaʻi.
- The Friends of the DT Fleming Arboretum at Puʻu Māhoe, Inc., Pāhana Hoʻāla – Seeds of Hope FY2014, $25,000: helping preserve the threatened native Hawaiian plant species in the rich but dying forest of Auwahi as a seed resource for native forest and watershed restoration.
- University of Hawaiʻi, Allied Health Dental Programs, $250,000: helping sustain Maui Oral Health Initiative which serves as a classroom and clinical site for UH Maui College Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene Programs and aims to provide affordable and accessible oral/dental health care to the underserved, low-income, uninsured families of Maui.
- West Maui Soil and Water Conservation District, Technical and Clerical Support, $72,100: supporting programs for the conservation of soil and water; to prevent soil erosion, control floodwaters and sediment damages; and assist farmers, ranchers and all private land users make the best use of their natural resources through proper land use planning, design and implementation of best management practices, and use of federal funded farm programs.