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Ban on imported coffee beans urged

The Kona Coffee Farmers Association is pushing for the state Department of Agriculture to suspend imports of green coffee beans into Hawaii in a move the association said will prevent further crop destruction by the coffee berry borer beetle.

The trade group publicized its wish yesterday following a resolution passed by members two weeks ago.

A technical advisory board to the Agriculture Department may consider the request at a meeting later this month. However, the Agriculture Department has doubts about whether the coffee borer got to Hawaii in green bean imports. The agency along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture is studying the issue.

The agency also is considering whether to prohibit transporting green, or unroasted, beans between islands. Another pursuit calls for seeking biological control methods including finding natural enemies of the tiny bug threatening one of Hawaii’s biggest crops.

Hawaii had been one of only two places in the world free of the borer, Hypothenemus hampei, which is a beetle that’s a bit smaller than a sesame seed and is native to Central Africa.

The devastating pest’s presence is believed to be limited to South Kona, and it may have been present for several years. The beetle’s existence in Kona was reported and confirmed in September.


SBA seeking best Hawaii companies

Know a Hawaii small business or businessperson deserving of an honor?

The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking nominations for 10 awards to recognize small companies and industry supporters for their achievements.

Nomination forms and other information, including qualifying criteria, are online at hawaii-sbdc.org.

The deadline for nominations is Nov. 19.

The 10 categories for the annual awards are small-business person, family-owned business, small-business exporter, young entrepreneur, entrepreneurial success, minority small-business advocate, women in business advocate, military veteran business advocate, financial services advocate and home-based business advocate.


AIG to repay $37B in bailout money

NEW YORK » AIG said it raised nearly $37 billion from the divestment of two foreign insurance units and will use that money to repay a government bailout.

The sale of the two units fits into AIG’s previously announced plan to repay the government’s bailout in full. New York-based American International Group Inc. was one of the hardest-hit financial companies by the credit crisis and received the largest bailout the government doled out. Its bailout package enabled it to tap as much as $180 billion in aid.

The government received an 80 percent stake in the company as part of the deal.


GM IPO expected to raise $10 billion

DETROIT » The sale of General Motors stock is expected to raise about $10 billion in an initial public offering that will reduce the U.S. government’s stake in the automaker below 50 percent, three people briefed on the sale told The Associated Press yesterday.

GM common stock is expected to sell for between $26 and $29 a share when the IPO takes place around Nov. 18, according to the three people, who asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak on the matter. That would value the company at more than $46 billion — roughly on par with cross-town rival Ford Motor Co.


Graham Builders has promoted Keith Kilburn to design department manager from senior architectural design manager. He will oversee the design department with a focus on promoting innovation and shortening design cycles to reduce costs. He has 13 years of architectural design experience.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals-Aloha Chapter has announced the following recipients of the 2010 National Philanthropy Day Awards:

» Olivia De Jane, outstanding philanthropist

» Grand Wailea, outstanding corporation

» The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation, outstanding foundation

» John Brogan and David W. Pratt, outstanding volunteers

» Ouida Yvonne Morris, outstanding professional fundraiser

» Hawaii State Association of Letter Carriers, president’s award

Bank of Hawaii will be placing its ATMs in all Times Supermarkets, replacing the ATM service operated by American Savings Bank in many of the supermarkets. Five former Star Super Market locations that were acquired by Times in 2009 already have BOH ATMs in place. Altogether, 17 Times Supermarkets will have BOH ATMs, including Lihue and Honokowai and Kihei on Maui. The transition is expected to be completed by Monday.


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