Editor’s Note: Small is Beautiful
There’s a famous quote from former German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck that goes something like: “You really don’t want to see how either sausages or laws are made.” However, the business of making sausages is fascinating, as are the other enterprises featured in our second annual Small Business Success Awards.
In this issue, we give you an up close and personal tour of eleven of the best small businesses in town. We define success very broadly, as the business of being a small business can come in as many varieties as there are products and services in this state. We think longevity, overcoming obstacles and rapid growth are all good reasons to celebrate small business. Flip to page 43 and you will find stories about all kinds of small businesses, from a sausage maker Rego’s Purity Foods Co. Inc. to Radiology Associates of Hawaii, which does high-tech medical imaging.
Hawaii Business has given small businesses their own special section of our magazine since February of 2002. The sector is an incredibly important pillar of our island economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Hawaii has an estimated 117,200 small businesses. Of the 31,200 employer firms here in 2006, 96.9 percent or 30,200 were small businesses.
It’s a pleasure to be able to dedicate this time and space to small businesses as they have some of the most compelling stories to tell, which also helps to educate, encourage and enlighten those involved in businesses of any size. The common denominators for these small businesses include grit, determination and incredible work ethics. With challenges such as taxes, Hawaii’s high cost of living and our labor shortage, every day is valiant battle. As David Dunham, owner of Kawika’s Painting & Waterproofing puts it, “With inflation and the cost of living, if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.”
So, let’s all pause to applaud our 2008 winners and wish them well on their continuing, and often very bumpy, journeys. Thanks to all of them for their inspiration and the chance to see what it takes to be a Small Business Success.