Small business workshop set for Feb. 24

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Co-owners of Paradise Services’ Jackie Manibusan and Michelle Miller are all smiles at Olympic Cafe in Kapa‘a last week during a meeting on business survival.

KAPA‘A — Two Kaua‘i residents are coming out of early retirement to help small-business owners on the island by hosting their first financial-success workshop at the end of February on the Eastside.

Paradise Services’ owners Jackie Manibusan and Michelle Miller have 30 years of experience in corporations and small-business operations, and plan on passing on tips they’ve learned on how to retire early and increase the success of small businesses.

“Time is of the essence,” Miller said. “We are ready to help these businesses now at no-to-low-cost, before it is too late. Jackie and I identified a few months ago the great need for help. We saw that the small businesses are suffering and, slowly, for the last year, they’ve been losing their revenue.

“And we wanted to help serve the needs of those people in small business who are struggling financially due to the pandemic. We wanted to offer our knowledge and services to those residents, to help them be more financially-secure.”

Manibusan said they will be hosting four workshops. The first is on technology, which will be in-person at the ‘Ohana Christian Fellowship Church in Waipouli on Wednesday, Feb. 24, on Pouli Road behind Saimin Dojo.

“We’re going to go ahead and offer some assistance, modifying email signatures to let them increase the professionalism,” Manibusan said. “We’re going to help with creating effective voice-mail messages, enhancing their websites and effectively using social media.”

In partnership with the Hawai‘i Life real-estate company, Manibusan said the next three workshops will be held on the Southside and North Shore, which will teach small business owners and managers marketing strategies, tools to redirect their businesses, and how to write grant proposals.

Manibusan attended a meeting for Kaua‘i business owners on Friday at Olympic Cafe in Kapa‘a, and discussed what she learned.

“It just really solidified the fact that people are full of fear,” Manibusan said. “And they’re feeling afraid of being out of control or having their businesses close. And we want to help them.

“And we also felt that the people in the business community felt they did not have an organized voice. And that’s something that we think is going to be happening with the next meeting at the stadium.”

Manibusan talked about a survey conducted recently by the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce.

“We don’t have enough time based on that survey that was conducted by the KCC,” Manibusan said. “That said ‘nearly half of the businesses thought they would close within three months.’ And that was as of December, so we’re really close to that three-month mark, unfortunately. We want to be sure they have the tools that they need to help them grow their businesses successfully.”

Miller and Manibusan were excited to talk about the Kapa‘a Business Association’s new online platform for businesses to utilize in March.

“There’s going to be this huge media blitz campaign that’s going to launch March 1,” Manibusan said. “And it’s going to be international, national and local. And it’s going to be called ‘Shop on Kaua‘i,’ and all of that. It’s going to be so cool. All the members of the KBA who have joined this ‘Shop on Kaua‘i’ venture, their websites will be linked to this main website.”

Miller said it’s important to know that if business owners cannot pay for their consultation fee schedule after the workshops, they can pay them in other ways.

“We know that people don’t have a lot of money right now,” Miller said. “So what we’re doing is we’re asking to pay 25% of the going rate and give us 75% in goods and services.”

Business owners are encouraged to bring their technology like iPads or laptops to all of the workshops.

The deadline to register for their first workshop via email at is Monday, Feb. 22.


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