Pacific Business Partnership Initiative Topic of Business Summit set for August at Hawaii Convention Center


June 28, 2011

Honolulu, Hawaii – Hawaii business owners and stakeholders completed a round of strategic planning sessions to coordinate increased connections between big and small business firms.  Discussions began in 2010 with nonprofit business advocates on how to work together, combine forces to assist small firms and increase the economic impact of federal contracting.  The result has been named the Pacific Business Partnership Initiative, founded by various small business advocates, most of which have a focus on Native Hawaiian business owners.

“I think that’s because Hawaiian business owners know that Hawaii and the Pacific is home no matter what, no matter what the economy is doing, good or bad,” said Robin Puanani Danner, President of the nonprofit Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.  “It’s definitely not just a Hawaiian issue – business growth and sustainability is a Pacific issue, it’s something anyone who lives and loves our region faces.”

“We’ve been convening small business owners every year since 2002,” said Billy Ornellas, Vice President of the Native Hawaiian Economic Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy organization.  “It’s very important for business leaders to get around a table to actually talk public policy and unify ourselves around what our priorities are, as Pacific businesses.”

At the 2010 Business Summit at the Hawaii Convention Center, led by the nonprofit NHO Association, the two top priorities of small federal contractors emerged as the 8(a) and hubzone regulations.

“United, we were able to make some progress on these two issues since the summit last year,” said Aimoku McClellan, NHOA Board President and the owner of Pelatron, Inc.”  Alone, we are just one small business in a very big ocean, but together, we help lift each other up and unite around common goals.”

The Pacific Business Partnership Initiative brings the energy of multiple advocates and stakeholders around 3 basic goals:

  1. Ensure annual business summits to promote mentorship and trainings are held in the Pacific region;
  1. Connect small and big business to increase business-to-business opportunities between Pacific companies;
  1. Identify the regional priorities of Pacific small business firms.

“The August Business Summit will include a discussion on the initiative, and of course a chance to reconnect on what our small business priorities should be for 2012,” said McClellan.  “There’s no question it is work that needs to be done.”

To register for the 2011 Business Summit, scheduled for August 23, 2011 at the Hawaii Convention Center, contact NHOA at info@nhoassociation.  To receive a free vendor booth at the marketplace, contact


Media Contact:

TiLeaf Group

A Native Advocacy Firm

P: 808.529.4610

F: 808.356.3423