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West Oʻahu is facing business challenges and opportunities

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Inflation and labor shortages remain issues for consumers and businesses around the state. Despite those continuing challenges, on the west side of Oʻahu, several business leaders remain optimistic about the prospects for economic development.

Pacific Business News recently had a panel discussion with five West Oʻahu business leaders. Among them was Anna Neubauer, president and CEO of the Hawaiian Humane Society.

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Hawaiian Humane Society in Honolulu

That organization is currently building a second home in the second city, a new $30 million facility slated to open in April 2023.

Sitting on 5 acres of land donated by D.R. Horton, it will be twice the size of the town campus and will have a staff of about 40, and volunteer opportunities for hundreds.

There have been challenges due to everything from the economy to supply chain issues. Neubauer says fundraising has been tough and some donors have dropped out along the way.

The organization has diverse revenue streams, including individual and corporate donors, grants, and contracts for services with the City & County of Honolulu, which has helped keep it steady.

Another panelist, Eliza Talbot, said the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce has been making progress with its economic revitalization committee.

Workforce development has been top of mind, as the chamber has partnered with such groups as the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and the Hawaiʻi Carpenters Union on job placement and training.

Talbot says the resorts of West Oʻahu are also a natural laboratory for regenerative tourism, which is another chamber priority.

A. Kam Napier is the editor-in-chief of Pacific Business News.
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