Mayor’s Office of Economic Development News Release
The County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and INNOVATE Hawaii today announced the availability of funding for locally-made product companies in Maui, Molokai and Lanai to exhibit at the Made in Hawaii Festival. The festival will be held Aug. 16-18 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall & Arena on Oahu.
The festival is a three-day showcase of “Made in Hawaii” products including food, books, art, gifts, fashions, plants, crafts, produce and more. The festival provides high visibility to producers of local products, and regularly attracts over 30,000 attendees each year. This year marks the 19th annual festival and is expected to be another record year for attendance.
This year the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (OED) and INNOVATE Hawaii are offering assistance for all Maui County-made product companies to exhibit at the festival. Packages include free booth space plus a minimum stipend of $1,000 for companies that meet the festival qualifications.
All interested companies must qualify under the Made in Hawaii Festival rules (www.MadeInHawaiiFestival.com) and fill out the application packet available at the Maui County Business Resource Center (MCBRC) at the Maui Mall and the Kuha’o Business Center on Molokai. The application packet is also available online at www.mauicounty.gov/MCBRC.
An informational meeting regarding the assistance packages will be held at the Maui County Business Resource Center (MCBRC) at the Maui Mall this Wednesday at 3 p.m. Application packets will be available at the meeting, or can be picked up at the MCBRC or at the Kuha’o Business Center on Molokai, from May 28 through June 19. The deadline for applications is June 19, 2013 at 4:30 PM. For more information about the meeting, call the MCBRC at 873-8247.
“We are pleased to partner with INNOVATE Hawaii to encourage our local companies to participate in this lucrative show,” said Teena Rasmussen, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. “Approximately 38,000 people attend the show and are ready to buy. In addition, there are many buyers and distributors who come to find new products. Our Neighbor Island companies deserve to be represented in this show, which can be very expensive. This program will help make it affordable for them to participate.”
Mark Ausbeck, of INNOVATE Hawaii, noted that the Made In Hawaii Festival is a great way for companies to gain market exposure and test new products with much lower risk and expense than trying to reach individual customers directly. “Exhibitors often make long-term customer relationships at these events and secure recurring orders,” he said. “We are excited to partner with Maui County to help companies showcase their products at this great event.”
INNOVATE Hawaii is a program of the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), an agency of the State of Hawaii. For more information, visit www.htdc.org/innovatehawaii.