County Issues $422,600 in Economic Development Grants
By Sonia Isotov
The County of Maui Office of Economic Development has issued almost half a million dollars in grant monies to various local organizations in September and October.
Grant funds went to projects for at-risk youth in Hana, aquaculture technology transfer from the University of Hawaii; cultural festivals; marine resource conservation; aquaculture production; floriculture industry promotion; and a canoe race.
The largest grant of $215,000 went to Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. (MEO). MEO will use the funds for their Microenterprise program which provides entrepreneurial education and micro-lending to support and provide capital for start-up and expanding business of low and moderate income individuals. See below for a complete list of recipients.
Grantees are selected based upon their economic impact for Maui County through business and/or jobs created or sustained. Improvements to the county in the areas of agriculture, business, education, the arts and culture are also considered.
The list of grantees includes the following:
Ma Ka Hana Ka `Ike Building Program Grant
Project Title: Ma Ka Hana Ka `Ike
To provide job skills and training for at-risk Hana youth, while helping improve the lives of our kupuna and community members in need.
University of Hawai`i Grant
Maui County Aquaculture Extension Program
To serve as a bridge between researchers involved in developing technologies to improve production capabilities, hatchery operations, husbandry practices, identification of new species and transferring the developed technologies to Maui County’s aquaculture producers.
Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Maui FIL-AM Heritage Festival
The grant will be used for marketing (banners and signage, event program flyers/posters and a graphic artist) facilities (rental of chairs, roll-off, tables, and tents) as well as other expenses such as photography, printing and t-shirts.
Tri-Isle Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc.
Maui Nui Marine Resource Council
The funds will be used to hire an Executive Director and an administrative assistant to guide the MNMRC towards its goal of reversing the decline of fish populations on Maui’s reefs and improve the quality of near shore water. The economic benefits of a healthy reef ecosystem on Maui are immense.
Lana`i Economic Development & Cultural Grant
To promote the 3rd annual Ho`okupu Hula no Lana`i Cultural Festival which stimulates the community and the economy.
MEO INC for Microenterprise
To continue to facilitate economic development in Maui County by providing entrepreneurial education and micro-lending to support and provide capital for start-up and expanding business of low and moderate income individuals.
Maui Flower Grower’s Association
To promote Maui’s Floriculture Industry through cost-effective branding and marketing initiatives which target the US Mainland and Hawai`i consumer markets.
Kahana Canoe Club
Maui Nui Canoe Race
To create and manage the Maui Nui Canoe Race while enriching the community, culture, economy, and the environment.
Those interested in applying for county grants are urged to do so as soon as possible. The grant application process is extensive and can take two months to process. For more information about these grants or the grant process in general please call Office of Economic Development Coordinator Teena Rasmussen at 270-7710.