Report shows importance of small businesses - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Report shows importance of small businesses

Hawaii Kai Family Dental Hawaii Kai Family Dental
Sam Slom Sam Slom

By Duane Shimogawa bio | email

HAWAII KAI (KHNL) - Some say Hawaii's economic recovery may depend heavily on small businesses. New numbers show they created more than half of the state's new jobs.

Recent numbers show that Hawaii has more than 25,000 small businesses and they employ over 55 percent of the state's workforce.

But most of them feel like they're not getting enough help to survive in this recession.

Hawaii Kai Family Dental employs five people. They've been in business for more than 20 years. So far, there have been no layoffs, but according to dentist Gerald Wong, that may change in the coming months. a situation many other small businesses find themselves in.

"I gotta tell you, we're getting whacked with high taxes and employer mandates, regulations and listening to some of the speeches and the legislature during opening day, there's more on the way, so it's going to be a real struggle," Small Business Hawaii president Sam Slom said.

To keep costs down, Wong's workers do a plethora of jobs. But that may still not be enough.

"Many of the small businesses right now, they're scrambling to meet payrolls, they don't want to layoff people, the smaller the business, the fewer number of employees you have and they really are like Ohana, they're apart of the family, you don't want to do it," Slom said.

That's why many local companies hope legislators keep in mind the importance of small businesses, especially in these times.

"We don't look at the gloom and doom and all that, the recession is real, the numbers are real, but that doesn't mean that you have to buy into the negativity, so what we do is stress success, reinventing the business, doing things a different way and being leaner and meaner," Slom said.

Cutting back today to keep the drill going.

These numbers also report that the accommodation and food services industry was the state's largest small business and overall employer.

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