WAILUKU - During the first half of Fiscal Year 2014, the Mayor's Office of Economic Development (OED) issued more than $4.279 million in grant funds to various local organizations.
Grantees were selected based on their economic impact within Maui County through business and/or jobs created or sustained.
Improvements to Maui County in the areas of environment, agriculture, business, sports, arts and culture were also considered.
LahainaTown Action Committee Inc. received a $15,000 grant for Halloween in Lahaina in 2013. PHOTO BY NORM BEZANE.
"OED grants play a vital role in that they strengthen our local economy in many ways," said Mayor Alan Arakawa. "Job creation, supporting small businesses, caring for our environment and engaging visitors are just a few of the aspects involved in keeping our economy healthy. In turn, our community reaps the benefits that these grants help achieve."
The list of grantees includes:
Adventure Sports Hawaii Inc., Hookipa Kite Surf Pro 2013, $10,000 - Funds helped showcase the prime wind and wave location of Maui's North Shore as well as the skills of the world's best kite surfers.
LahainaTown Action Committee Inc., Boat Days in Lahaina, $25,000 - Funds are being used to help with expenses for meeting, greeting and entertaining tourists that arrive through Lahaina Harbor.
Maui County Sister Cities Foundation Inc., $30,000 - Funds are helping strengthen and expand Maui County Sister Cities relationships throughout the world, with particular focus on areas with significant opportunities for cultural and educational exchanges and economic partnerships.
Maui County Visitor Association d.b.a. Maui Visitors Bureau, $3,605,000 - Funds are being used to attract visitors to Maui County through marketing, promotion and signature events.
Maui Economic Opportunity Inc., MEO Inc. for Micro Enterprise, $222,000 - Funds are supporting MEO's economic development program that provides micro-enterprise loans, business planning classes and credit/business consultation services to residents of Maui County.
Maui Huliau Foundation, Huliau Independent Filmmakers, $13,500 - Funds are assisting Maui youth ages 12-18 in producing four short environmental films over the course of the 2013-14 school year.
The Friends of the D.T. Fleming Arboretum at Pu'u Mahoe Inc., Pahana Ho'ala-Seeds of Hope, Fiscal Year 2014, $25,000 - Funds are helping preserve threatened Native Hawaiian plant species in the rich but dying forest of Auwahi as a seed resource for native forest/watershed restoration.
University of Hawaii, Allied Health Dental Programs, $250,000 - Funds are helping sustain the Maui Oral Health Initiative that serves as a classroom and clinical site for UH Maui College Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene Programs that aim to provide affordable and accessible oral/dental health care to the under-served, low-income, uninsured families of Maui.
West Maui Soil and Water Conservation District, Technical and Clerical Support, $72,100 - Funds are supporting programs for the conservation of soil and water; to prevent soil erosion and control floodwater and sediment damage; and assist farmers, ranchers and all private land users to make the best use of their natural resources through proper land use planning, design and implementation of best management practices, and use of federal farm programs.
"We are continually looking for new ways to partner with businesses and non-profits on projects that will add diversity to Maui's economy and provide accountability to our taxpayers," said Teena Rasmussen, director of the Office of Economic Development.
For more information on the grant process, call Rasmussen at 270-7710.