Local Industry News & Notes for Sunday, June 29, 2008

• Chamber to host economic outlook, honor retailers

• BBB warns of rental scams

• Workshops aim to boost small-business success

• Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital recognized


Chamber to host economic outlook, honor retailers

The Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce will host an economic outlook discussion July 10. The 2008-09 outlook was originally prepared for the county of Kaua‘i’s Office of Economic Development by the University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization.

Dr. Byron Gagnes, associate professor of the Department of Economics at UH, will provide the keynote address from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at JJ’s Broiler in Nawiliwili.

The talk will look at recent events and how they could impact Kaua‘i’s economy in the year to come.

Registration is free for chamber members, $17 for guests and at the door. Advance registration is required.

The chamber will also partner with the Retail Merchants of Hawaii to recognize Kaua‘i retailers for their entrepreneurship and contribution in the retail sector.

The award categories include: Retailer of the Year, Retail Business of the Year for the state and counties, Retail Employee of the Year, Resort Retail Business of the Year, Neighborhood Retail Business of the Year, Best New Retail Business of the Year, and Hawaii E-Commerce Retail Business of the Year.

The deadline for nominations is Aug. 14. Winners will be recognized at an event tentatively scheduled for Sept. 28.

Visit www.kauaichamber.org or call 245-7363 for more information.


BBB warns of rental scams

Hawai‘i’s Better Business Bureau and the Honolulu Board of REALTORS warn that scammers are using a popular Web site to defraud potential renters and landlords.

Both organizations have received local reports of rental scams appearing on Craigslist.org

One scam involves homes for rent being advertised well below market levels by someone other than the owner. Prospective tenants are asked for detailed financial information and to wire hundreds or thousands of dollars for a deposit.

“More and more people are using Craigslist.org to find a home to rent or to rent their own home,” Dwight Kealoha, chief executive of Hawai‘i’s BBB, said. “But when you deal with people that you don’t meet face-to-face, you run the risk of working with unscrupulous people.”

In another scam, a prospective out-of-state or off-island tenant sends a check for more than the deposit, and then asks that the difference be returned — all before the original check bounces.

Landlords are advised not to accept a check for more than the amount requested, no matter how tempting the offer or how convincing the story. Ask the prospective tenant to write a new check for the correct amount and return the check originally provided from a local bank or national bank with a local branch, states the Hawai‘i BBB.

Prospective tenants are encouraged to go to www.bbb.org for a Reliability Report on the landlord or property management company. The state of Hawai‘i requires all landlords of short- and long-term rentals have a tax identification number. Check the state Department of Taxation Web site and search the tax licenses ensure that a potential landlord is registered.

For more information on how to avoid scams, visit www.hawaii.bbb.org


Workshops aim to boost small-business success

The Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center Network on Kaua‘i will host workshops for small businesses interested in enhancing their success. The classes are once a month through October, with the next being 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. July 17.

The free, two-hour workshop on the Kaua‘i Community College campus includes a briefing on the economic outlook for the state and Kaua‘i, business planning, marketing, growth opportunities and financial resources.

Also monthly through October, the center will present workshops on how to start a business on Kaua‘i, on the KCC campus. The next is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday.

Pre-registration is required for all workshops online at www.hawaii-sbdc.org

For future dates, visit the Web site or call 241-3148.


Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital recognized

Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital this month received two awards for quality improvement from the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Hawai‘i.

The hospital received top honors with the Achievement of Excellence Award (2005-2008) for reduction in pressure ulcer rate. The second award was striving for excellence for high performance in reduction of restraint use (2005-2008).

Using adaptive technology of special wheelchairs and flotation devices, patients are able to enjoy the ocean waters in the large swimming tidepool. The “day at the beach” includes games, music and lunch in the park pavilion.

Some of its other regular activities include petting zoo trips, bon dance, family lu‘aus, and visits to the County Farm Fair and the Lights on Rice Parade.

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