LIHUE — A program to help Hawaii’s small businesses succeed locally and overseas is about to kick off. And it’s headed to the Garden Isle first.
The Hawaii Pacific Export Council has teamed up with the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism again for the 2018 HiSTEP Export Program.
Hawaii State’s Trade Expansion Program has become one of the most comprehensive programs in the state — and it’s free.
Over the next year, it is offering a series of seminars and one-on-one sessions for the sole purpose of educating Hawaii’s small businesses on how to grow and succeed globally by removing barriers and creating opportunities.
The HiSTEP Kick-Off includes a series of free seminars on each of the main islands during the first week in December. The seminar on Kauai will be held Dec. 5 at the Hawaii Small Business Development Center Office’s Lihue Plantation Building from 8:45 to 11 a.m.
Recently, a Hawaii Island candy company didn’t properly fill out customs forms for exporting to Japan. The candy sat on a dock and melted. In this program, participants will learn how to avoid such costly mistakes.
“Through HiSTEP and our partner organizations, we have helped Hawaii exporters to further grow their sales in overseas markets to nearly $20 million,” said DBEDT director Luis Salaveria.
The HiSTEP program has three key components that include an export readiness program for training and mentoring, company assistance with awards up to $7,500, and Hawaii Pavilions support at major trade shows.
In 2017, the program offered export training and delivered to 147 companies. It also provided business/export consultation and mentoring services to 72 companies, as well as awarding 28 companies with direct financial assistance.
“This team really knows what they are doing and has worked incredibly hard to help Hawaii businesses,” said public relations consultant, Lara Yamada. “They are anxious to help many more.”
Registration deadline for the kick-off seminar series is Friday.