Reviving the economy and planning for the futurePosted on Dec 29, 2020 in Capitol Connection, Featured
Hawai‘i’s multi-layered Safe Travels program with pre-travel testing involving “trusted testing partners” will continue into 2021 as a way for residents and visitors coming into the state to avoid having to quarantine. The list of testing partners for both interisland and trans-Pacific keeps growing while the state continues to review how the program is working. But the overall message remains the same: the governor and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority have asked for “the same diligence and care from our visitors that we expect from our residents.”
Grants and programs to help local businesses – State and community partners have worked together to develop creative ways to help local residents and businesses survive. The programs have included the Hawai‘i Restaurant Card and Holiday Business Card, the Hawai‘i Business Pivot Grant and the Buy Hawai‘i, Give Aloha Platform — all developed by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, in partnership with the business community. The Hawai‘i Technology Development Corporation, collaborating with the private sector and other state departments, launched TRUE, an initiative to tech-enable organizations and local businesses to share solutions to common business challenges. HTDC also offered $10 million in innovation grants to companies producing PPE supply chain products and services.
The Hawai‘i Community Development Authority and HHFDC have also continued construction of affordable housing in Kaka‘ako and other areas. This includes A‘ali‘i and Koula towers, which will add 850 affordable housing units to the urban core of Honolulu. Other complexes that broke ground or are already completed are Hale Kalele, a 200-unit rental project for families earning 30 to 60 percent AMI — the state’s first interagency collaboration between HHFDC and the Judiciary; Ola ka ‘Ilima Artspace Lofts and Nohona Hale micro-housing in Kaka‘ako; and Hale Moena Kupuna in Kapolei for seniors.
The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation forged ahead on harbor modernization, including the $350 million Kapālama Container Terminal Project construction project to maintain the state’s vital connection to supplies and continued airport modernization to create construction jobs and expand air service. The October bond sale resulted in $300 million in new revenue while refinancing saved the state $100 million over the next two years.