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Business Briefs

For Thursday, December 16, 2010

LAST UPDATED: 2:25 a.m. HST, Dec 17, 2010

This story has been corrected.

State tapping fed funds for jobless

Hawaii officials have begun using federal funds to pay jobless benefits because the state's unemployment insurance fund has run out of money.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations estimates it will have to borrow $17 million by the end of the year to issue unemployment checks. Hawaii is one of 32 states that are tapping a line of credit with the federal government to pay the benefits.

The DLIR expects to continue borrowing through 2011 and into the first quarter of 2012 at an interest rate of 4 percent. The department's projections include a $1 million interest payment next September.

Continental adds Hilo flights

Continental Airlines will commence daily nonstop service to Hilo from Los Angeles International Airport and Saturday-only flights to Hilo from San Francisco beginning June 9.

Flights will depart Los Angeles at 5 p.m. and arrive in Hilo at 7:40 p.m. Nightly 8:55 departures from Hilo will arrive in L.A. at 5:15 a.m. the next day. On Saturdays, 4:20 p.m. flights from San Francisco will arrive in Hilo at 6:40 p.m. and departing flights at 9:20 p.m. will arrive in San Francisco at 5:20 a.m. Sundays.

Round-trip fares, purchased 14 days in advance and not including taxes, will be $625 from Los Angeles and $650 from San Francisco.

The flights could bring nearly 40,000 additional visitors to the Big Island and generate some $50 million in direct visitor spending and $5.52 million in tax revenue, according to Mike McCartney, president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

"We are excited to launch additional inbound service to Hawaii, with the only direct flights to Hilo from the mainland," said Jeff Moken, Continental's Honolulu general manager.

Wyndham resort nears opening

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts has completed construction on the first phase of the 322-unit Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach Wyndham Grand Resort. It is the first ground-up project in Hawaii for the New Jersey-based company.

Phase one includes the opening of 85 villas, lagoon pools, a fitness center, marketplace and sundry shop. Construction began in June 2008 and the second phase of construction is expected to begin in May.

New Shred-it facility to open

Canada-based Shred-it, an information destruction company, will open a new corporate facility at 106 Puuhale Road later this month and will stage a community Shred-it event in January as part of its grand opening. The operation has 13 employees.

Shred-it has operations in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Puerto Rico and Argentina.

Mobi expands Big Isle cell coverage

Mobi PCS has expanded its Hele Wireless Broadband network on the Big Island with the addition of service in eastern sections of Waimea.

The locally owned company said it is "committed to an aggressive plan of site additions and enhancements as part of its continued effort to optimize its statewide 3G CDMA and Hele Wireless Broadband networks and ensure a continued high rate of customer satisfaction."


Jim Byxbee has been elected 2011 president of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii. He is the chief executive officer of Homeworks Construction and founded the company in 1994 after 10 years as a builder in Connecticut.

Pearlridge Center has announced Kelly Kauinana as marketing director. She will direct the Pearlridge public relations, social marketing campaigns, advertising and sponsorships. Kauinana was previously a marketing manager for Kahala Mall and senior account executive with Sharon Serene Creative as well as a freelancer in the areas of film and video production and theater.

The 401kWire has named Peter Tsukazaki on the 2010 list of "300 Most Influential Advisors in Defined Contribution." Tsukazaki is the founder of Tsukazaki & Associates, and he is the only Hawaii advisor named to the national list this year.


» Round-trip tickets on Continental Airlines' new service to Hilo start at $625 from Los Angeles and $650 from San Francisco if purchased 14 days in advance. The fares do not include taxes. A Page B6 article yesterday said the fares did include taxes.

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