As a tight-knit neighborhood, we’ve got seen our fair proportion of difficult instances, however we at all times pull collectively and discover methods to help each other.
It’s an unwritten reciprocal social settlement woven deep into the material of Hawaii’s tradition to look out for one another, deal with our kupuna, shield our mates and neighbors and share with these in want.
Most, if not all, residents of our native inhabitants have skilled the extreme impacts of tourism or lack thereof.
Our present actuality has required us to take a tough take a look at our dependence on tourism as our major financial driver and, extra just lately, what that relationship will appear like transferring ahead.
Financial diversification is ever-present on the lips of county lawmakers and directors. The political and societal will is obvious and a unified dedication has been reached.
Important monetary investments have already been made to assist diversify our financial system with industries, reminiscent of agriculture, expertise and movie. It is a progressive technique to scale back our overreliance on extractive tourism and mitigate financial uncertainty by means of a diversified path towards resiliency.
Self-reflection and consideration about our future have arisen individually in our houses and collectively as a neighborhood.
In an financial local weather like this, it’s simpler to visualise the dire want for self-reliance and native job alternatives to make sure employment consistency in a wealthy and productive round financial system. The flexibility to thrive with out dependence upon exterior assets or continental enterprise ventures, which are sometimes impacted by exterior market elements that fluctuate erratically, is crucial.
Maui County is an progressive and inventive neighborhood, brimming with entrepreneurism, resourcefulness, brilliance and philanthropy.
Entry to native providers and merchandise are already growing since consciousness of shopping for native has taken precedent in supporting our neighbors and neighborhood throughout these tough instances.
We now have a chance to embolden that very same inventiveness and plan for an financial future that advantages Maui County residents and places our native companies and neighborhood first.
Maui County is a well-liked location for company getaways and for visiting trades, such because the movie trade. Nevertheless, not often will we totally capitalize on the ripe alternative this presents us. A lot of the financial advantages are restricted to employment and a trickle of help to native companies, however the lion’s share is commonly absorbed by inns owned by offshore buyers and by huge field shops.
As chair of the Financial Improvement and Finances Committee, I really feel it’s incumbent upon us to stipulate what we would like as a neighborhood — and what we is not going to settle for. With a unified consensus, we will institutionalize a plan to draw companies that align with our imaginative and prescient.
For instance, formal agreements needs to be standardized with giant visiting teams and inns to mandate a precedence in hiring and buying native whereas visiting our county.
Native agriculture needs to be middle stage for each meal served and each lei needs to be made by our personal lei makers with crops grown in Maui County.
Regionally made merchandise like sunscreen, clothes and jewellery needs to be used and promoted for retail in inns and resorts.
Likewise, small companies that hire seashore tools, reminiscent of boogie boards and snorkel gear, needs to be used to scale back waste that unnecessarily inundates our landfills with buy-and-throw-away merchandise bought whereas visiting.
A public-review course of needs to be required detailing the return on funding for our neighborhood, highlighting a dedication to make the most of native labor, providers and merchandise.
Data of this evaluate needs to be managed by the Workplace of Financial Improvement to judge visiting companies and assess potential repeat purchasers primarily based on how they profit our county.
Our neighborhood has sacrificed a lot for therefore lengthy with restricted significant property to indicate and 0 assurances for stability.
It’s we who decide our future as we navigate our manner towards a vacation spot of resiliency and financial independence. United, we are going to emerge stronger, grounded within the acknowledgment of our true price.
* Keani Rawlins-Fernandez is chairwoman of the council’s Financial Improvement and Finances Committee. She holds the Molokai residency seat. Council’s three Minutes is a column to clarify the newest information on county legislative issues. Go to mauicounty.us for extra info.