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  • Naihe

HCFCU promotes Naihe to support services manager

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union recently announced the promotion of Robyn Naihe from support services coordinator to support services manager.

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Naihe, who has been with HCFCU for 14 years, will be responsible for all Support Services department functions including ATM, ACH/EFT and Share Draft.

“Robyn’s experience in support services and operations made her the ideal person for this important role within our Credit Union,” said Dean Uemura, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union executive vice-presidentof Support Services. “The dedication she continually demonstrates to her team and the credit union make her the perfect choice to lead our efforts in supporting our members’ ability to quickly and efficiently conduct their financial business with today’s best technology and services.”

Prior to joining HCFCU she was the operations supervisor with Finance Factors, Ltd. for nine years and worked as a teller at Territorial Savings Bank for five years. She is a Konawaena High School graduate.

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, federally insured financial institution owned by its 43,120 members. HCFCU’s branches are located in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua, Kohala, and in Hilo. Additionally, HCFCU has Student Credit Unions in Hilo, Kealakehe, Kohala and Konawaena High Schools.

For more information visit www.hicommfcu.com.

Group secures new retail opportunities in Japan

Central Pacific Bank (CPB), Mana Up, and the Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) are forging new retail opportunities for Hawaii small businesses to sell products in Japan with Prince Hotels and Resorts and Natural Lawson convenience stores.

Both deals are a result of the group’s discovery mission to Tokyo in February, which explored ways for Hawaii entrepreneurs to establish relationships and expand their businesses into the Japan market.

The Tokyo Hawaii Project is a Hawaii-themed fair held at five Prince Hotels and Resorts properties in Tokyo during July and August. Japanese guests and customers can enjoy authentic Hawaii experiences including Hawaii regional cuisine, special events, and the opportunity to shop Hawaii products like Western Aloha, Meli Wraps, Laha’ole Design, and Lei Palm face masks provided by Mana Up and beach slippers made of natural rubber from HAYN. The initiative also received marketing and financial support from the KizunAloha Coalition, a cross-sector group of more than 20 companies, government agencies, and nonprofits, which formed in April to support Hawaii’s economic recovery by engaging and fostering good will with the Japanese market throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hawaii Fair by Natural Lawson will run from Aug. 4 through Sept. 7 at more than 140 Natural Lawson convenience stores throughout Tokyo. Each store will feature a Hawaii-themed display having an assortment of products available for purchase by Japanese consumers. Mana Up and HFMA businesses taking advantage of this opportunity include Hawaiian Chip Company, Kauai Kookie, and Manoa Chocolate, just to name a few.

“Although Japanese visitors can’t physically come to Hawaii due to the current travel restrictions, Mana Up is proud to partner with CPB and HFMA to bring local Hawaii products to Japan,” said Meli James, cofounder of Mana Up.

Mana Up is an initiative to build Hawaii’s next 100 product companies earning $10 million or more in annual revenue. Mana Up has a 12-week accelerator program offered biannually to enable Hawaii product entrepreneurs to scale their businesses.

‘Energy Relief’ grants available to nonprofits, small businesses

Hawaii Energy is seeking applications for its Energy Relief Grant program that will award $1 million in funding for energy efficiency improvements for nonprofits, small businesses and other qualifying organizations experiencing economic loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses may apply for the grant, which can cover 100% of eligible expenses on pre-approved energy efficiency projects, up to $25,000. Applications for the first round of funding, $600,000, must be submitted by Sept. 30.

“Many Hawaii businesses are facing unprecedented economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many business owners are struggling to keep their doors open, let alone set aside funds for things other than the mandatory safety protocols,” said Brian Kealoha, executive director of Hawaii Energy. “Through the Energy Relief Grant program, our goal is to help businesses during this difficult time reduce their energy costs to provide some immediate relief.”

In addition, businesses who qualify for the grant may also qualify for increased incentives through Hawaii Energy’s Energy Advantage program, which covers most, if not all of the costs for an LED lighting upgrade.

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Hawaii Energy will be hosting a virtual info session at noon Tuesday for businesses interested in learning more about the program. To register for this session, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/energy-relief-grant-info-session-2-tickets-116144935629.

For more information, visit hawaiienergy.com/grant.

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