3rd Annual Hawai‘i Small Business Conference
The 3rd Annual Hawaiʻi Small Business Conference returns to the Maui Arts and Cultural Center May 8 and 9 with another exciting line-up of speakers, topics and workshop. Presented by the Maui Economic Development Board with support by the County of Maui Office of Economic Development, the Conference is an opportunity to learn from business experts and to network.
Business owners, managers, start-ups and entrepreneurs interested in increasing their business knowledge, sharpening their professional skills, expanding their business network, and/or taking their business to the next level are encouraged to attend.
“Unfortunately, most small businesses get so wrapped up in their busy, day-to-day schedules that they don’t make the time to really look at their business to assess what’s not working, what can they do better, and what should they plan for,” said Gerry Smith, MEDB’s Director of Business Development. “This conference was created for these entrepreneurs and their employees. It condenses a number of important, relevant topics into a short period of time; gives people access to experts who provide invaluable insights to expand your knowledge and find solutions to problems; and provides a forum to network with like-minded people and industry peers.”
On Wednesday, May 8, presentations led by national and local business leaders and trendsetters will be held in the MACC’s McCoy Theater from 8 am to 5 pm. Among the topics to be covered are employee engagement, technology in business, video marketing, data protection, success planning, tax strategies and more.
Conference speakers will include opening keynote TJ Schier, President/Founder of SMART Restaurant Group speaking on the 7 Essential Systems for Small Business Success. Among the insights Schier will share during the conference is his three-pronged strategy to building a team of top performers. “It includes focusing on the mission or mantra to provide a compass for everyone on the team; retaining the right people and letting the wrong people go work for your competitors; and creating a magnetic culture to attract more of the right people.”
The day includes business owners, such as Rachael Ray from U’I Gallery, Teri Edmonds from If the Shoe Fits and Jason Higa from Zippy’s Restaurants; talking about their business experiences in Talk Story segments.
On Thursday, May 9, three-hour workshops will run parallel during morning and afternoon sessions from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Workshop topics will include:
- “The 7 Essential Systems for Small Business Success,” led by TJ Schier
- “Tax Strategies for Small Business,” led by Robert Kawahara, CPA of Kawahara + Company
- “How to Use Free Tools to Grow my Community and Business,” led by Jules Kremer and Alexandrina Garcia-Verdin of Google
- “Intellectual Property and Branding,” led by Bill McKeon, Shannon Mehling, and Rebecca Filipović of Mckeon Sheldon Mehling
The Hawaiʻi Small Business Conference coincides with National Small Business Week, an opportunity to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.
According to the small business administration, there are more than 115,000 small businesses in Hawaiʻi, representing over 96 percent of all employers and employing more than 54% of the private-sector workforce.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy in Hawaiʻi and it is critical that they be nurtured and protected if we want our overall economy to grow,” said Leslie Wilkins, MEDB’s President and CEO. “That’s one of the main reasons why this conference was created to help small businesses plan, build, and grow in an effort to map out a pathway to their success.”
Cost of the full-day Conference on May 8 is $85 per person for early registration (by April 5), $95 per person for advanced registration, or $100 per person for onsite registration. Conference fee includes admittance to conference sessions, conference materials, and continental breakfast and lunch.
The May 9 Workshops are $35 per workshop with an additional charge for lunch.