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Available Services for Small Businesses Specializing in Forestry & Wood Processing

Hawaii’s small businesses specializing in forestry and wood processing can turn to an amazing array of local business support resources that can help them start, expand, or rejuvenate their businesses. Currently, there are many public, private and non-profit organizations and also partnerships whose business is to provide easy access to information and expertise in such basic areas as funding, education and training, advocacy, planning and assessment, taxes and licensing regulations, Internet and computer training, and more.


As part of its ongoing commitment to information exchange, the Hawai’i Forest Industry Association has compiled a general listing of organizations currently providing business training services in Hawai’i. Not intended to be all-inclusive, this list should be viewed as a starting point for weighing the options of business training services available. It is recommended that forest industry businesses gather as much information about these training resources as possible before deciding which is most appropriate.



Hawai’i Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC)
    The mission of the Hawai’i Small Business Development Center Network is to stimulate the economy and help individuals by promoting entrepreneurship among small businesses and the broader community, through counseling, training, research and other activities.


The center offers free individual counseling and inexpensive workshops to the public, small business owners and operators. There is a specialty center offering statewide research capabilities for small businesses and a rural development specialty center administering a major grant program.


The Network is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and local tax money administered through the Hawai’i State Legislature and the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. It is officially in partnership with the SBA and the University of Hawa’i at Hilo. The partnership has been operating for more than nine years.


Currently, the Hawai’i SBDC Network receives approximately $5 million per year from the legislature and US Small Business Administration. The statewide network is part of a national program composed of 55 programs and 900 centers. Written into law in 1980, the SBDC Network was not established in Hawai’i until 1993. Hawaii was the 50th state to take advantage of the program.


The SBDC is not a lending institution. Its emphasis is on entrepreneurial training programs, business resources and other services. All SBDC programs are nondiscriminatory and available to individuals with disabilities.


SBDC sponsors and partners include: US SBA,UH-Hilo, USDA, Hawai’i Island Economic Development Board, DBEDT, Maui County, Maui Economic Development Board, High Technology Development Board, Bank of Hawai’i, American Savings Bank, City & County of Honolulu, Kaua’i Community College, Maui Community College, University of Hawai’i at West O’ahu.


The business resources available through SBDC include: research, books and periodicals, videotapes, microcomputers, business software, database searches. Each office has a Resource Center. Located at the Maui SBDC, The Business Research Library is a statewide business research facility staffed by a librarian and research assistants. It provides CD-ROMs, software, monographs, journals, newspapers, newsletters & articles relevant to small business issues and interests.


SBDC provides training, coaching and guidance in such areas as business plan writing, planning and goal setting, financial strategy, reorganizing and restructuring, and organizational design. They can hire outside professionals to custom-tailor programs to small businesses without passing on the cost to their proprietors.


Because the Hawai’i SBDC Network mandate is to help small businesses (100 or fewer employees) and new ventures succeed and expand, many opportunities are available for the forest industry’s small businesses. Free counseling, training, research, advocacy and other resources and activities are available to foresters or manufacturers of value-added wood products who cannot afford paid consultants. The one SBDC limitation is that interested businesses cannot have previously worked with private business professionals on a contractual basis.


Currently, the SBDC works with startup businesses approximately 30% of the time, and 70% of the time with those already in operation. The organization is heavily involved with service and retail sectors. Its current manufacturing clientele is relatively small due to the small island manufacturing sector.


Hawai’i Small Business Development Center Network (SPDC)
      Offices in Hilo, Lihu’e, Kihei, and downtown Honolulu
      On O’ahu, (808) 522-8131
      Darryl Mleynek, state director at Hilo office (808) 974-7515


Alu Like Corporation

This entrepreneur training program, with reference to Native Hawaiians, offers a seven-week introduction course to business. The training and technical assistance project is for OHA revolving loan applicants who learn about entrepreneurship, bookkeeping, and how to prepare a business plan.


Operating under the auspices of the State Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Alu Like provides many services to Native Hawaiians including entrepreneurial training and small business assistance. Alu Like offers its services only to those Native Hawaiian-owned small businesses that have applied for an OHA business loan.

Alu Like offers three levels of training that are tied to various levels of client OHA loans:



  1. Micro Loan services (to $10K)

  3. Entrepreneurial Training

  5. Advanced Training

  7. New & First Time Programs


Alu Like could provide basic business training to Native Hawaiians who are entering the forest industry or for those trying to reassess their businesses.


Alu Like, Inc.
      567 South King St.
      Honolulu, HI 96813
      (808) 535-6776
      Tara Lulani McKenzie, president and CEO


Business Information & Counseling Center

Operated jointly by the SBA, Service Corps of Retired Executives, UH-Hilo, the SBDC Network, and Women’s Financial Resource Center. The counseling center guides owners and managers in business research. A library of books, guides, videos and magazines, and counselors are also available at little or no cost.


Business Information & Counseling Center
      1111 Bishop St., Ste. 204
      Honolulu, HI 96813
      (808) 522-8130
      Mini-center at SBA office
      300 Ala Moana Blvd.
      Honolulu, HI
      (808) 541-2990


Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

A 13,000 member volunteer program which can match experienced business owners with small businesses. SCORE members can identify problems, develop solutions, and evaluate expansion. Counseling can take place at the Business Information and Counseling Center, a client’s firm, online, or by telephone. There are no charges for the services.


Service Corps of Retired Executives
      1111 Bishop St., Ste. 204
      Honolulu, HI 96813
      (808) 522-8132
      Sid Pranikof, chairman


Women’s Financial Center

The center helps women in business through individual counseling, business plan preparation, marketing, networking, mentoring, workshops and seminars. Businesswomen of the forest industry should be made aware of the training and mentoring opportunities available through this resource.


Women’s Financial Resource Center
      1111 Bishop St., Ste. 204
      Honolulu, HI 96813
      (808) 522-8136
      Laura Crites, director


Hawai’i Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)

Hawai’i MEP provides solutions and full-service support for manufacturers. Founded in 1997 as a Manufacturing Technology Center affiliated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Hawai’i MEP is the nucleus of an ever-expanding network of resources and experts from the private sector, educational institutions, and government facilities and agencies. Hawai’i MEP’s expertise covers every aspect of manufacturing, including the knowledge-based industries such as communications and technology.


Hawai’i MEP will respond to a specific request from a manufacturer or begin with a general assessment of a manufacturer’s needs, perhaps identifying missed opportunities. After the assessment, Hawai’i MEP works with the client to define the improvement project which is designed specifically for the client’s company. Hawai’i MEP identifies, qualifies and manages resources to deliver the service of the improvement project and guarantees that all work will be completed to the client’s complete satisfaction.


Hawai’i MEP’s rates are extremely competitive. There are no upfront fees for the services and initial assessment visits are made without obligation or cost. Once the project is defined, Hawai’i MEP controls costs according to the manufacturers budget requirements. Hawai’i MEP’s partners (consultants, experts, etc.) are also committed to keeping their rates affordable.


Drawing on its partners and strategic alliances, Hawai’i MEP can assemble the team, skills and services that exactly meet clients’ needs. Hawai’i MEP also understands that all manufacturers share some common components – process, product, business and workforce, for example – but opportunities to improve often involve one or more components. And as with any system, change in one area of manufacturing often requires change in another. Hawai’i MEP has the expertise to assist in this sometimes complex matter of change.


Hawai’i Manufacturing Extension Partnership
      1001 Bishop St., Pauahi Tower #895
      Honolulu, HI 96813
      (808) 536-2278 fax: (808) 536-2281
      Allan deFries, state director


Computer Training Company, Inc.

Offers comprehensive computer related training in most operating systems and software lines used by Hawaii’s businesses from mainframe to PC. Also provides technical education courses and training programs including those authorized by Microsoft, Lotus, Sylvan, Novell, IBM, Unix, Cisco and Oracle. The company also provides A+ Computer Technician Certification programs, PC Technician Training programs, and overview classes about the telecommunications industry. Introductory, intermediate and advanced classes are available through an open enrollment schedule.


Computer Training Company, Inc.
      1001 Bishop St. Pacific Tower, Ste. 1185
      Honolulu, HI 96813-3429
      (808) 522-8822 fax: (808) 522-8828
      Rhoda Fong, Corporate Representative


Private Consultants
    Although Hawaii’s largest concentration of business consultants is on O’ahu, each of the islands offers many professionals who provide business training expertise covering virtually all facets of the business cycle. Fees and areas of concentration may vary greatly. However, the scope and breadth of training services available in Hawai’i is considerable. Although they may be a bit pricey for many of our forest industry people, these resources are available.


Public & Private Universities, Colleges, Business Colleges, Continuing Education Classes

    Business training courses are available on all islands. Available programs and courses are usually listed on the web.


Pacific Business Center

The Center’s staff of 12 professionals and MBA graduate students helps people access the University of Hawaii’s network of experts and information resources. They can assist with feasibility studies, business plans, market research, product development, loan packaging, management audits, financial planning, personal and sales training, project planning and strategic planning. The center has helped 450 businesses since 1988.


Pacific Business Center
      University of Hawai’i – Manoa
      2404 Maile Way, A-Tower, #413
      Honolulu, HI 96822
      (808) 956-2686
      Elaine Bailey, interim director


Office of Technology Transfer & Economic Development (OTTED)

OTTED helps businesses, research organizations, and the broader community to access the technical expertise, research capabilities, and technologies developed by the University of Hawai’i and federal research laboratories. OTTED is also responsible for patenting and licensing technologies developed at UH, and for supporting commercially viable research projects and their commercial spin-offs.


      2800 Woodlawn Dr., room 280
      Honolulu, HI 96822
      (808) 539-3829
      Ann Park, special project coordinator


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