Letter to Governor to Open Up Small Business and Interisland Air Travel
by Panos Prevedouros, PhD, Fix Oahu!, May 7, 2020
I appreciate the written response by the governor's office to the letter I helped compose urging him to open up all small business in Hawaii that can comply with reasonable rules. I hope that he'll get to it soon.
Letter to Governor, May 5, 2020
WHEREAS every business is essential; there is no such thing as non-essential business when it comes to generating jobs and taxes for the state,
WHEREAS thousands of small businesses in Hawaii, many of them family owned and operated, are at risk of failure if the current restrictions are not lifted soon,
WHEREAS a recent AXIOS report indicated that 90% of the nation’s small farmers could go out of business if restaurants are forced to operate at diminished capacity during the height of harvest season this summer,
WHEREAS restoring the function and capacity of our community-based businesses is an essential first step in the long road to Hawaii’s economic recovery,
WHEREAS we small business owners are fully capable of caring for our employees and protecting our customers; we are confident that we can operate safely in the best interests of the community,
WHEREAS reopening interisland travel is critical for connecting our islands and testing inspection systems in anticipation of the recovery of tourism later this summer,
WHEREAS time is of the essence to reduce the long-term economic harm being done to our state, as each day that we continue with these restrictions deepens the pain and extends the recovery time by an ever-increasing amount,
THEREFORE, WE CALL ON our Governor and Mayors to reopen business within the State of Hawaii, support the efforts of small business to restore employment to tens of thousands of Hawaii residents, and provide the necessary monitoring and metrics to ensure the safety of the public as our state begins the difficult process of recovery.
SUGGESTED ACTIONS AND METRICS
Allow all businesses in Hawaii to open as soon as they can fully comply with state and county country mandates regarding social distancing (including mask wearing), hygiene and safety, without regard to their previous status as essential or non-essential.
Allow the Department of Health to enact emergency rulemaking to adapt National Restaurant Association best practices guidelines for all Hawaii food establishments. This will allow proprietors to procure the materials and adopt the procedures necessary to reopen safely.
Open airports to interisland travel with a safety plan that may include temperature scans at the arriving gates and holding space for those found having a fever.
Maintain Covid-19 testing and new case reporting against a clearly articulated set of targets. Establish metrics by which social and business restrictions may be re-imposed if deemed necessary to ensure that Hawaii’s health care system is able to meet the demands of this ongoing crisis.
Create an action plan for a private/public initiative to restore Hawaii’s small business sector, with a goal to reopen all small businesses no later than June 1.
Establish a task force composed of members of Hawaii’s small business community to help advise governmental decision-makers during the three phases of the economic restoration process: Reopening, Recovery and Revitalization. This includes giving voice not only to small business owners, but also the employees, vendors and customers who rely on their continued success.
SMALL BUSINESS SIGNATORIES
· Steve Haumschild, Managing partner of 5 Hawaii-based businesses
· Theodore A Peck, Holu Energy and Tian Shan Renewable Energy
· Don Mangiarelli, General Manager, Enterprise Technology Solutions
· Roy Skaggs, RJS Renewable Solutions, LLC
· Elizabeth Kellam, Hawaii Association of Realtors, Honolulu Board of Realtors
· Maki Kuroda, President, E Noa Corporation
· Michael Kissel, Owner of Specities Hawai’i Inc.
· Steven Sullivan, VP at Parallel Capital Partners and board member Kaka’ako Improvement Association
· Natalie Iwasa, CPA, CFE
· Laura Brown, Soundmix LLC
· Phil Bruno, ARA Hawaii
· Mark Storfer, VP Hilo Hattie
· Dale Evans, CEO, Charley's Taxi
· Suzanne Johnsen Green, Owner Plato’s Closet Honolulu
· Forrest Shoemaker, Owner Hilton Group, Hawaii Candle & POS Paper Supply
· Nancy Nino, Owner, Aloha Organizers LLC
· Clif Purkiser, Board of Directors, Pacific Historic Parks
· Joseph A Ferguson, IT Admin-Leeward Community Church, U.S. Coast Guard Reservist
· Peter Kay, Facebook moderator
· Panos D. Prevedouros, UH Manoa
· Byron Riddle
· Richard M Fong
· Miki Martins
· Carol Ai May
· Kendall Shimabukuro
· Paul Orem
· Gregg and Robin Stueber
· Sharon Rasos