|Dependence on tourism and other dominant industries in the past has made Hawai‘i's economy|
very vulnerable to outside events, shock and scarring, says a UHERO opinion brief today.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! A UNIQUELY HAWAI‘I ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY, is the title of University of Hawai‘i Research Organization's brief, released today. It discusses the pandemic causing extreme economic hardship in Hawai‘i, relating it to extreme dependence on one industry. During this era, it's tourism. In the past it was sugar, pineapples, whaling and sandalwood.
Sandalwood was a dominant and vulnerable Hawaiian
industry, after contact with the outside world. Sandalwood was
depleted and people went hungry, having abandoned farming
to concentrate on sandalwood. Kamehameha Schools image
Bond-Smith notes that "stories of concentration and volatility are not unusual for small and isolated economies like Hawai‘i. My research and experience in Western Australia and New Zealand explains why small isolated economies are naturally more concentrated. Western Australia’s economy is dominated by exporting iron ore to China. New Zealand’s economy is concentrated in Agriculture and Food. Specialization enables industry scale that allows economies like Hawai‘i, Western Australia and New Zealand to prosper despite their small size and isolation. Due to the attraction of its climate, natural beauty, and host culture, Hawai‘i finds scale by specializing in the visitor industry. But specialization also amplifies exposure to external shocks and increases risk.
|Whaling was another industry that brought lack of diversity|
in the Hawaiian economy. Photo from Lahaina Whaling Museum
Bond-Smith says, "we need a clear understanding why Hawai‘i’s economy is so concentrated and why it is concentrated in those particular things. It is important to consider why
some business activities are just more difficult in Hawai‘i. It is equally important to examine what helped in the past, what didn’t and why these were successes or failures. Ultimately, the goal is to find more and other things that Hawai‘i can be good at and that remain in Hawai‘i through the shocks." See more in Saturday's Ka`u News Briefs.
them indicating they came for a vacation.
Eighty-seven new COVID cases were reported statewide today, with four on Hawai‘i Island, 11 on Maui and 67 on O‘ahu. There were none on Kaua‘i, Moloka‘i or Lana‘i.kaucalendar.com.
FEDERAL GRANTS TO HELP PAY FOR OVERDUE WATER BILLS are available, according to the county Department of Water Supply. Spokesperson Jason Armstrong made the announcement today, saying the Hawai‘i County Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide up to 12
months of total utility and rental-assistance grants to an expected 3,400 Hawai‘i Island households that
meet income qualifications and can prove financial hardship due to COVID-19.
Grant applications will be made available starting at 8 a.m.
Monday, April 12. Hawai‘i Island residents at least 18 years old and who lost income since March 2020 are encouraged to prepare now so they are ready to apply when applications are opened. Funding is limited, and interest is expected to be very strong. Contact one of
these nonprofit partners to apply:
HOPE Services Hawai‘i –www.hopeserviceshawaii.org , (808) 935-3050, ERAP@hopeserviceshawaii.org;Hawai‘i First Federal Credit Union – www.hawaiifirstfcu.com, (808) 933-6600, email@example.com;
Neighborhood Place of Puna – www.neighborhoodplace.org, (808) 965-5550, ERAP@neighborhoodplace.org;
Habitat for Humanity Hawai‘i Island – www.habitathawaiiisland.org/, (808) 843-0071, firstname.lastname@example.org;
The Salvation Army – hawaii.salvationarmy.org, (808) 935-1277, Hilo.ERAP@usw.salvationarmy.org;
Hawai‘i County Economic Opportunity Council– www.hceoc.net, (808) 932-2714, ERAP@hceoc.net.
County of Hawai‘i will use Federal funding to finance the program through the nonprofit Hawai‘i Community Lending. Annual income for eligible households cannot exceed 80 percent of area median income. Applicants will need proof of Hawai‘i residency, proof of financial hardship, past due water bill, and other documentation. For more information or to apply, visit www.HawaiiCountyERAP.org. DWS customers may also call DWS Customer Service at 961-8060 or visit www.hawaiidws.org for program information.
See the newspaper at www.kaucalendar.com