Senator Hirono Announces Federal Funding to Promote Maui Business Connect Program
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced $100,000 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support the Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) creation of the Maui Business Connect program.
“The more new businesses get started and grow, the more we can diversify the local economy, creating new opportunities and good paying jobs on Maui for years to come,” Senator Hirono said. “It is my hope that this federal funding will help MEDB support more small businesses as they succeed, grow, and scale into larger businesses, and that those entrepreneurs inspire others who may not have thought about starting a small business to take a chance.”
“This EDA grant will allow us to expand our business development mentoring and counseling to target businesses that are past the ‘startup’ phase and are poised to scale, but need additional technical assistance and coaching to achieve the next level. These businesses are the job creators who will fuel our economy and MEDB’s goal is to offer programs to increase their probability of success,” Leslie Wilkins, President and CEO of the Maui Economic Development Board, said.
The Maui Business Connect is a pilot program for small business training, mentoring, and networking that will focus on growing local businesses in Maui County. The initiative will connect innovative businesses in the agriculture, creative, and health care industries.
With the assistance of EDA funding, the Maui Business Connect program will help diversify the local economy and create jobs throughout the region. It is estimated that EDA funding in the program will result in 79 jobs created, 19 jobs saved, and $5.53 million in private investment leveraged.
Founded in 1982, MEDB is a nonprofit organization and coalition of public, private and nonprofit partners focused on building a supportive business climate throughout Maui, Molokai, and Lanai.
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