More than $9 million in grant funds were released by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development during the first half of the fiscal year 2019. The funds were distributed to dozens of local organizations ranging from the Maui Arts & Cultural Center and vocational education programs, to town parties and axis deer “management.”
The largest sum in the county disbursement went to the Maui County Visitor Association, which received $4 million, The funds were earmarked for the Maui Nui Tourism Improvement Initiative to support marketing efforts for Maui County as a destination and to promote Hawaiian culture to visitors in Maui Nui and abroad. The visitor’s association also received $160,000 for visitor education on topics concerning environment-reef safe sunscreen, ocean safety, and culture.
The next largest single-sum of funds went to the Maui Economic Development Board, which received $810,000 for economic diversification. Those funds will assist MEDB in providing leadership and vision for the responsible design and development of a strong, sustainable, and diversified economy for Maui. MEDB received an additional $147,500, bringing the total to nearly $1 million; $50,000 went to the Maui County Health Sector Initiative Action Plan; $45,000 to the Maui High School Automotive Program; $27,500 to the Maui Film Festival; and $25,000 to Ka Ipu Kulkui Fellows Program, a 10-month program to train emerging leaders on the complex issues facing Maui Nui.
University of Hawaii was granted the next largest single sum, $750,000 for Coqui frog control around the Maliko Gulch and other areas of Maui. U of H also received $75,000 for its College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, and $70,000 to support the operations of the Business Research Library
The MACC also was a multiple grant recipient, with three triple-digit grants totaling nearly $1.4 million. The MACC was awarded $600,000 for capital improvements; $424,360 for its Arts in Education events and community outreach; and $318,000 to support the economic sustainability of the center’s arts and entertainment programming.
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 cultural were also considered.
“These economic development grants are a vital way that our tax dollars help create jobs and sustain our local economy,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “Funds have helped preserve our environment and open space, support our small businesses, and share our host culture with residents and visitors. I’m pleased to see how far these funds go toward strengthening our community on many levels.”
Additional triple-digit grantees included Maui Economic Opportunity, $265,000 for its Microenterprise Program; West Maui Soil & Water, $148,000 for clerical and tech support; Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, $169,000 for coral reef recovery; Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, $150,000 for Native Hawaiian Plant development; Maui Chamber of Commerce, $129,500 for the Made in Maui County Festival; and Hawaii Farmers Union Foundation, $115,000 for its Farm Apprentice Mentoring Program.
Ma Ka Hana Ka Ike — a vocational education program for at-risk youth in Hana – was awarded a combined $110,000. It received $20,000 for Mahele Farm, Hana’s organic community farm that offers paid apprenticeships, semi-weekly community workdays, and educational programs for grades Pre-K -12; and $90,000 for its Building Program which provides hands-on construction skills training to improve economic sustainability.
Lokahi Pacific was granted a combined $135,000 with Festivals of Aloha receiving $80,000; Wailuku First Friday, $30,000; Makawao Rodeo Parade, $15,000; and $10,000 for the Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival.
Tri-Isle RC&D received a combined $70,000. Fifty-thousand went to its Axis Deer Management Kula Ag Park and $20,000 went to dune restoration and erosion control efforts, primarily at South Maui beaches and County Parks.
Additional information on the grants or the grant process in general can be found by calling (808) 270-7710
The remaining grantees included:
Kaehu, $75,000, Kaehu Management Project
Maui Community Theater, $53,045, Iao Theater Restoration
Paia Town Association, $45,000, Strategic Planning
Lahaina Town Action, $40,000, Annual Town Events
Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, $40,000, Coral Reef Recovery
Makawao Merchant’s Association, $40,000, Makawao Friday Town Party
The Friends of DT Fleming, $37,000, Seeds of Hope
Kihei 4th Friday, $35,000, Kihei Friday Town Party
Maui Dance Council, $26,000, Chance to Dance
Makawao History Museum, $25,000, Infrastructure and Community Engagement
Lahaina Town Action, $25,000, Lahaina Boat Days
Grow Some Good, $25,000, School Gardens
Maui Historical Society, $25,000, Hula and Oli Festival
Lanai Community Assocation, $20,000. Lanai Pinapple Festival
Ka Molokai Makahiki, $20,000, Molokai Makahiki
Maui Huliau Foundation, $20,000, Huliau Environmental Filmmaking
Hana Arts, $20,000, Building East Maui’s Economy Through Art
Maui Food Technology Center, $20,000, Export Opportunity
Aha Kukui O Molokai, $20,000, Kulaia Canoe Festivals
East Maui Taro Festival, $18,000, East Maui Taro Festival
Maui Epicure LLC, $18,000, Maui Fruit Jewels
Oahu Economic Development Board, $15,000, Aloha Challenge
Maui Chamber of Commerce, $13,000. Small Business Promotion
Hui O Waa Kaulua, $10,000, Maui Nui Canoe Race
Lanai Academy of Performing Arts, $10,000, Kaulula`au
Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber, $10,000, Annual Business Fest
Hui Noeau, $10,000, Maui Made Holiday Markets
Hana Canoe Club, $10,000, Hana Regatta
Kipahulu Ohana, $10,000, Kipahulu Kitchen and Kapahu Living Farm
Molokai Livestock Cooperative, $10,000, Back Up Plan
Maui Food Technology Center, $10,000, Maui Sunday Market
ClimbHI, $5,000, LEI
Valley Isle Road Runners, $4,500, Maui Marathon