Industry Development

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Program Overview

The Industry Development Program supports development of small businesses in key economic sectors through capacity building, workforce training initiatives and the engagement of youth in the fields of science. The program also coordinates the County's Enterprise Zone Program.


Jane Horike, Economic Development Specialist, Telephone (808) 961-8496


 2020 HiSTEP Program Kick-Off Seminar

Participate in HiSTEP and grow your international export business. Learn more about the 2020 Hawai‘i State Expansion Program, also known as HiSTEP. The program is designed to assist small businesses in Hawai‘i with growing their export business in markets around the world. The HiSTEP program has three key components that you will learn about in the seminar:

  • Export Readiness Program - training and mentoring
  • Company Assistance - awards up to $7,500
  • Hawai‘i Pavilions - support a major trade shows.

For seminar location and registration information:


Date: November 5, 2019

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Venue: Hawai‘i InnovationCenter at Hilo; Conference Room, 117 Keawe Street, Hilo, HI 96720

Registration and Hilo Event Flyer


Date: November 5, 2019

Time: 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Venue: Hale Iako, On the NELHA (OTEC) Campus next to the airport; Room 117, 73-970 Makako Bay Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Registration and Kona Event Flyer

Manufacturing Assistance Grant Program

HTDC's Manufacturing Assistance Program Grant (MAP) offers Hawai‘i-based manufacturers up to a 20% reimbursement (up to $100,000) on qualified expenses to help Hawai‘i manufacturers become globally competitive. Qualifying expenses include: equipment purchases, training, energy efficiency projects, and manufacturing feasibility studies. The online applications are now open and will be accepted until 11:59 PM (HST) on Friday, November 22, 2019. For questions regarding this grant program, email To apply and for more information, visit HTDC's website

Community-Based Economic Development Program

The Community-Based Economic Development (CBED) Program is designed to financially assist community based enterprises. CBED developed a partnership withthe State Department of Agricultural Loan Program to provide low cost loans of $25,000 to agricultural producers, manufacturers using agricultural products, and businesses who add value to agricultural products. For more information call Wayne Tom at (808) 587-2772, Kevin Yokoyama at (808) 323-7591 (Kona) or Gareth Mendonsa at (808) 933-9977 (Hilo).

Opportunity Zones

The 2017 Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act authorized a community economic development program called the Opportunity Zones Program. This new federal program provides incentives for investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds in exchange for temporary income tax deferral and other benefits. The Opportunity Funds will then be used to provide investment capital in low-income communities designated as Opportunity Zones.

Four Census Tracts in Hilo and Kona have been designated as Opportunity Zones.

Additional information about Opportunity Zones is available from DBEDT’s Business Development and Support Division. Use the links below to see slides from presentations made at the February 21, 2019 Opportunity Zone workshops in Hilo and Kona:

Additional Resources

Enterprise Zones

The Enterprise Zone program is a state-county partnership that has been growing job opportunities on Hawai‘i Island for over 20 years by incentivizing business investment in areas with low income or high unemployment.

  • Nearly 300 Hawai‘i Island businesses have participated in the Enterprise Zone program since 1994.
  • In 2013, Enterprise Zone participating companies on Hawai‘i Island accounted for over $116 million in revenue and over 600 jobs.
  • The Enterprise Zone is an area within which businesses engaged in eligible activities can receive state and county tax incentives, provided they meet job growth goals (or revenue goals for agriculture businesses).
  • Businesses in an Enterprise Zone can participate in the program for seven years (ten for agriculture or manufacturing businesses).
  • Participating businesses are eligible for 100% exemption from state wholesale general excise tax (.5%), 20-80% non-refundable credit on state income tax, and a non-refundable state tax credit for the cost of unemployment insurance premiums.
  • Businesses are also eligible for a three-year exemption from any increase in county property taxes resulting from new construction.
  • Enterprise Zone eligible activities include farming, ranching, agricultural processing, and certain kinds of high tech businesses.

The Enterprise Zone designation does not supersede any county zoning, state land use designation, building regulations, or any other regulations applicable to business operations.


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