Rotary Club ready to help businesses ‘Catch a Wave’

Everyone knows that operating your own small business is tough. It might even be more difficult than we imagine, because in those early years it’s easier to fail than succeed.

Twenty percent of small businesses fail in their first year. Thirty percent fail in their second year, and 50 percent of small businesses fail after five years in business. Despite those chances of failure, new businesses open each year on Kauai. Some will make it, others will not. Which, of course, leads to that very question: Why do some new businesses succeed where others close up shop?

Before anyone opens a business, they should do some research. A lot of research. What product or service are you providing, and is there demand for it? Do you have enough money to weather the slow times when shoppers stop walking through the door? Are you committed to providing what customers not just want but need?

Many small businesses are standing strong but could still use some assistance. We’re not here to give a lot of business advice, but we know some folks who you might want to listen to and, better yet, they want to help.

The Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay, an organization with many of the finest people you’ll ever meet, is excited to announce that applications for the second “Catch A Wave Business Competition” are officially open.

Taking place this spring, the final event will allow local small business owners to present in front of a panel of judges as well as an audience of investors and locals. Winners will be chosen for cash and prizes. This is no small competition. The reward is great. Last year’s winning entrepreneur received $5,000 and prizes, too.

Any business owner on Kauai who would be interested in some additional funding as well as exposure and notoriety throughout our local community is welcome to apply. Just visit and fill out the application. It really is that simple.

Questions include: What need does your business satisfy? Who is your target market? What are your goals for the business in one year? Three years? Five years? What are your greatest challenges in your business? What are your weaknesses or barriers as a business owner? How do you and/or your business impact the Kauai community?

Applications are open until March 10. From there, a certain number of applicants will be chosen for interviews and then the finalists will be named.

The Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay includes some of the best and brightest business minds. These people know what they’re talking about. So if you’re a small business owner, we encourage you to “Catch A Wave.”

And we would be remiss if we did not encourage any business to join the Kauai Chamber of Commerce. This organization, under the leadership of its president Mark Perriello, is thriving. Its meetings are lively, fun and, yes, educational, too. The benefits of membership are both tangible and intangible, not to mention the great people you will meet.

The chamber released it Strategic Plan &Tactical Implementation Guide last year. Its vision statement says exactly what needs to be said: “We envision a vibrant and resilient network of thriving businesses that focus their collective power and unique strengths to make Kauai a better place to live and work.”

So, yes, small businesses face challenges. There are risks involved in operating your own business. But their odds of overcoming those challenges and risks improve greatly when you have people with the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay and the Kauai Chamber of Commerce on your side.


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