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Hawaii is Business Heaven, Not Hell

Some companies could be based anywhere in America, but are based here because they say Hawaii is a great place to do business

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Dispelling Misperceptions

Whether hobnobbing in Washington with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid or addressing business executives in Tokyo, Sherry Menor-McNamara makes one thing clear: Hawaii is more than just a pretty place. “We want you to come not just on vacation, we want you to come and do business with us,” says the president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.

Menor-McNamara knows that reports often rank Hawaii poorly as a place to do business, but she says the chamber is trying to change that dynamic. One step is to conduct research and interview its members to identify potential hurdles that could hamper business activity. “Research is important to get the full picture,” she says.

The chamber is also making an unprecedented move to promote the interests of the business community by bringing a cluster of bills – a business package – to the state Legislature for the upcoming session.  “Traditionally we have played a game of defense, blocking moves that would be detrimental to the business community,” Menor-McNamara says, “but this time we are willing to play more offensively because the stakes are high.”

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