Enterprise Honolulu

EDA Press Release
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Contact: John Atwood 202-482-4085


Export Opportunities for Hawaii Businesses to Advance with U.S. EDA Assistance

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $250,000 grant to Enterprise Honolulu of Honolulu, Hawaii to provide critical business development assistance that will help small- to medium-sized businesses in Hawaii capitalize on international trade opportunities within the Asia-Pacific region. 

"Exports represent a critical part of the economy and are a key component of the Obama administration's efforts to spur new job creation," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez.  "Providing Hawaiian businesses with the tools they need to broaden their export horizons will work to advance the region's global competitiveness and create new jobs."

"The project is directed toward attracting private investment and stimulating the export potential of Hawaii businesses by establishing and nurturing relationships with the potential to synergize the respective economic development strengths to multiple partners," said Pono Shim, President and CEO, Enterprise Honolulu.  "When in effect, this project will help alleviate Hawaii's economic crisis by providing jobs for those affected by the mass layoffs that left an estimated 650 people unemployed between the months of August and October 2010."

One year ago, President Obama outlined his National Export Initiative (NEI), which seeks to double exports by 2015, in support of several million new U.S. jobs. The NEI enhances the U.S. government's trade promotion efforts, increases credit to businesses - especially small- and medium-sized businesses - looking to export, and continues to improve efforts to remove trade barriers for U.S. companies in foreign markets. 

American companies had tremendous exporting success in 2010, with exports up 17 percent compared to the same period in 2009.  This project supports EDA's priority to advance collaborative regional innovation and global competitiveness. 

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.