North Shore Business Council Now Hana Party is Thursday

The Kauai North Shore Business Council is hosting an opportunity party sponsored by the Kauai Workforce Investment Board this Thursday, Sept. 26, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Bamboo Bamboo restaurant in Hanalei Center.

The gathering is centered around opening up opportunities and bringing down barriers to making money, according to organizers.

All are welcome at the Now Hana Party, where there will be free food, refreshments, and music by John Cruz, all in a relaxed environment for people who want to explore their options at either working for themselves or having a job that suits their needs.

For people who would like to strengthen an existing business, build a new one, or just learn about how to possibly build one, the council has lined up resources to help with the major steps.

There will be help with registering for a state general excise tax license, registering as a corporation, building a business plan, getting money, getting help with managing money, taking on staff without a lot of headaches, learning about marketing and promotion, getting information on reservation and answering services, or just getting the ability to take credit cards.

Some people might prefer to simply buy an existing business that has already gotten the kinks out and has proven its ability for success. There are those opportunities, too, on Thursday.

A full business networking board will be up, to promote your business with other businesses that might need the services your business offers, organizers said.

For people who are more interested in exploring job possibilities, there will be job lists and networking opportunities, with employers looking for staff, all with the support of the WorkWise! consortium.

WorkWise! is a one-stop job center permanently located in Lihu’e, with representatives at the Hanalei event. It is a network of public and nonprofit organizations that provide all kinds of services to both employers and employees.

WorkWise! programs help with training classes, resume-writing, getting green cards, partially funding training, and offering a database of job listings and job seekers.

There will also be teen work programs through the Hanalei Family Center and Kauai Community College.

Those looking for jobs or for a person to fill a position should stop by, said Felicia Cowden, president of the Kauai North Shore Business Council.

For some people, half the reason businesses and jobs are a struggle has nothing to do with the work. It’s that workers can’t find housing, affordable childcare, dependable transportation, or struggle with a bad health habit. WorkWise! can help there, too.

Headstart will be there to explain some childcare options, some of them free, and Hina Mauka offers help for those bad habits and addictions.

The Kauai North Shore Business Council includes a group of businesses whose owners have all been through their own challenges, she said. The group understands, and wants to help, Cowden continued.

Other scheduled participants include the Small Business Development Center, which provides training in one-on-one coaching to people starting or growing a business; Kauai Micro, a nonprofit lender offering loans from $1,000 to $5,000 to low-income entrepreneurs who don’t have access to traditional lending, and help with developing business ideas;

Hawaii Community Loan Fund, which lends larger amounts of money to people who can’t get loans through traditional sources; Bank of Hawaii, offering business loans, credit card processing, understanding credit reports, business banking accounts.

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