DBEDT’s mission continues to be achieving a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through our attached agencies, we also foster planned community development, create affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promote innovation sector job growth.
DIVISIONS AND BRANCHES
Business Development & Support Division The Business Development & Support Division (BDSD), promotes industry development and economic diversification in Hawaii by supporting existing and emerging industries, attracting new investment and businesses that can create more skilled, quality jobs in the state, and work to increase exports of Hawaii products and services. Business support provides new and existing businesses direct loans, licensing and permit information and referral, business advocacy, planning and coordination of programs and projects aimed at specific business sectors or economically-distressed areas (including rural areas and areas affected by natural disaster). For more information, please call (808) 587-2750 or visit: invest.hawaii.gov
BDSD Branch Directory: Business Development Branch Phone: (808) 587-2750 Fax: (808) 586-2589
Creative Industries Division The Creative Industries Division promotes the development and growth of Hawaii’s Creative Economy, who’s primary and core sector consists of Copyright Based Industries, with a focus on businesses that create/design exportable products and services and depend on the protection of their Intellectual Property in order to market to a global community. IP protection is a crucial base to profitability and survival. These are the core businesses that contribute to our economy with job creation and tax revenue. This cluster is comprised of producers and service providers in film, video and digital media production, commercial and applied design firms and diverse range of creative (visual and performing) and cultural businesses in Hawaii. Surrounding this core sector are a great variety of arts and cultural organizations, service organizations, educational institutions, foundations, community groups and a variety of individual artisans. For more information, call (808) 586-2590 or visit: Creative Industries Division
Creative Industries Branch Directory: Arts and Culture Development Branch Phone: (808) 587-2717 Fax: (808) 587-3388 Film Industry Branch Phone: (808) 586-2570 Fax: (808) 586-2572
Foreign-Trade Zone Division The Foreign-Trade Zone Division (FTZ) administers the federal grant issued to Hawaii in 1965 by the Foreign-Trade Zones Board in Washington D.C. FTZ’s mission is to increase the amount of international trading activity in Hawaii, to encourage value-added activities, stimulate capital investment and generate employment opportunities by using the federal trade development program to reduce the costs associated with international trade. There are currently 13 sites on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii that have received FTZ designation. Of the 13 sites, three general-purpose zones and four special-purpose subzones are active. The Foreign-Trade Zone Division is responsible for ensuring that U.S. Customs and Foreign-Trade Zones Board regulations are followed at these sites. For more information, visit: Foreign-Trade Zone Division
FTZ Branch Directory: Development Branch Phone: (808) 586-2507 Fax: (808) 586-2512 Business Office Phone: (808) 586-2510 Fax: (808) 586-2513 Operations Branch Phone: (808) 586-2515 Fax: (808) 586-2513
Office of Aerospace Development The Office of Aerospace Development (OAD) provides a focal point within State government to facilitate dialogue and coordinate among Hawaii’s government, private and academic sectors, and between State-based entities and overseas organizations to promote the growth and diversification of Hawaii’s aerospace industry. For more information, call (808) 586-2388, or visit: Office of Aerospace Development.
Research & Economic Analysis Division The Research & Economic Analysis Division (READ), works to enhance and contribute to the economic development of the State by providing analyses and policy recommendations on economic issues. READ provides economic forecasts that contribute to long-term statewide planning and infrastructure needs assessment, and also conducts and reports on basic research into the economy of the state. These functions are conducted by collecting compiling, interpreting and publishing data and statistics on all aspects of business activity, the economy and demographic characteristics of the State. READ also developed and maintains a statewide statistical reporting system. For more information: Research & Economic Analysis Division
READ Branch Directory: Statistics & Data Support Branch Phone: (808) 586-2481 Economic Information Staff Phone: (808) 586-2466
Hawaii Community Development Authority The Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA)works to stimulate the economic development of specific community districts by planning and implementing community development programs and facilitating capital investments. HCDA’s main objectives are: 1) plan and implement capital improvement projects to upgrade infrastructure and develop public facilities to meet Hawaii’s economic and recreational needs, and 2) implement long term planning initiatives to support residential development in a mixed-use community. For more information, call: (808) 594-0300, or visit: Hawaii Community Development Authority
Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority The mission and the purpose of the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority is to administer the Green Infrastructure Loan Program (also known as the Green Energy Market Securitization [GEMS] Program). The GEMS program is intended to create a sustainable financing structure through market driven public-private partnerships that will open access to clean energy financing for more Hawaii customers. For more information, call: (808) 587-3868, or visit: Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority.
Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation HHFDC is the State of Hawaii’s premier housing finance and development agency – your one-stop shop for information about affordable housing development and state-sponsored homeownership initiatives. For more information, call: (808) 587-0641, or visit: Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation
Hawaii State Energy Office Hawaii State Energy Office’s (HSEO) mission is to support statewide economic efficiency, productivity, development and diversification by promoting, attracting and facilitating the development of Hawaii Technology-based industries which engage in the sustainable development of Hawaii’s energy, environmental, ocean, recyclable, and technological resources. For more information, call: 587-3807 or visit: Hawaii State Energy Office
Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation The Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation has been repealed effective July 1, 2019. For inquiries regarding HSDC’s investment program please contact the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation.
Hawaii Technology Development Corporation The Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) works to facilitate the growth and development of the commercial high technology industry in Hawaii. HTDC’s functions include developing, managing, and assisting technology centers statewide; create business opportunities for the growth of technology companies and industry; market and promote Hawaii’s technology assets; and provide support needed by Hawaii’s technology industry. HTDC assists in developing, managing, and operating technology centers statewide, including the Manoa Innovation Center, Maui Research & Technology Center and the West Kauai Technology and Visitor Center. These sites serve as high technology company incubation facilities to ease the transition from start up ventures to full fledged, independent commercial enterprises. For more information, call: (808) 539-3806, or visit: Hawaii Technology Development Corporation
Hawaii Tourism Authority The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is the lead tourism agency responsible for creating a vision and developing a long-range plan for tourism for the State of Hawaii. The HTA is composed of a thirteen-member board of directors to oversee the Tourism Special Fund, create a vision for tourism, and administer tourism development from a statewide perspective. The HTA’s tourism strategic plan, titled Ke Kumu, provides a framework for bringing together the common goals for the good of Hawaii and its people, and also serves to guide the HTA in fulfilling its leadership role as steward of Hawaii’s tourism industry. Seven initiatives are identified to achieve HTA’s overall goal of increased visitor expenditures – a combination of spending per day, length-of-stay, and visitor arrivals. Tourism funds will be expended according to a plan with specific goals and measures of accountability that will help the agency achieve its mission – To manage the strategic growth of Hawaii’s visitor industry in a manner consistent with the economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, and community interests of the people of Hawaii. For more information call: (808) 973-2255, or visit: Hawaii Tourism Authority
Land Use Commission The Land Use Commission works with the State Legislature, County Planning Departments, interest groups and landowners to define constitutionally mandated standards and criteria for protecting important agricultural lands in the State of Hawaii. The Commission also engages the county planning departments in enhancing and clarifying the special permit process in the Agricultural Land Use District. The Land Use Commission is also working to establishing data warehouses with the county planning departments with respect to storage and retrieval of land use data; and developing cooperative memorandum-of-understanding with the University of Hawaii Department of Urban and Regional Planning with respect to planning practicum and faculty consultation. For more information, call: (808) 587-3822, or visit: Land Use Commission
Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority The mission of NELHA is to participate in the development and diversification of the economy of Hawaii by providing resources and facilities for energy and ocean related research, education, and commercial activities in an environmentally sound and culturally sensitive manner. This is achieved through managing, operating, marketing and leasing that provide sites and resources for the development of research and commercial businesses and technologies that utilize the natural resources available such as cold deep seawater, warm surface seawater, and high solar energy. Facilities are located at Keahole Point in Kona and in Puna, both on the Island of Hawaii. NELHA at Keahole Point is the only location in the world, which consistently pumps large quantities of warm and cold seawater ashore for use in aquaculture, marine biotechnology, and other related technologies. NELHA serves as the laboratory for research and development, as an incubator facility for developing innovative, new technologies and businesses, and as a base for commercial operations that utilize or are related to the use of the cold and warm seawater and other resources available. For more information, call: (808) 329-7341, or visit: Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority
Office of Planning and Sustainable Development The Office of Planning and Sustainable Development works to maintain an overall framework to guide the development of the State through a continuous process of comprehensive, long-range, and strategic planning to meet the physical, economic, and social needs of Hawaii’s people, and provide for the wise use of Hawaii’s resources in a coordinated, efficient, and economical manner – including the conservation of natural, environmental, recreational, scenic, historic, and other limited and irreplaceable resources which are required for future generations. The Office of Planning and Sustainable Development’s 3 main objectives are: 1) fix responsibility and accountability to successfully carry out statewide programs, policies and priorities; 2) improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the operations of the executive branch; and 3) Ensure comprehensive planning and coordination to enhance the quality of life of the people of Hawaii. For more information, call: (808) 587-2846, or visit: Office of Planning and Sustainable Development
Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems PISCES is a Hilo, Hawaii-based aerospace agency working to position the state as a leader in space exploration while developing sustainable products and technologies that benefit the State of Hawaii. Through initiatives in Economic Development, Workforce Development and Applied Research, PISCES provides hands-on work experience to Hawaii’s future scientists and engineers, preparing them to meet the demands of a highly competitive industry while improving the local economy through job diversification, innovative products and new industries. For information, call: (808) 935-8270 or visit: Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems.
Small Business Regulatory Review Board The Small Business Regulatory Review Board is the watchdog for small business within the Hawaii state government. Based on comments from small businesses, the board recommends to the Hawaiian legislature and state agencies that they review and modify overly burdensome regulations. The board also evaluates state agencies’ responsiveness to small business, and reports these findings to the legislature. For more information, visit: Small Business Regulatory Review Board.
Starting a Business
Creative Industries in Hawaii