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Maui Economic Development Board gets $100K in federal funds to boost small business

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    U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, on Capitol Hill in January 2018.

U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono today announced $100,000 in federal grant funding for the Maui Economic Development Board’s creation of its pilot Maui Business Connect program.

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, will help the program offer training, mentoring, and networking opportunities focused on growing local businesses in Maui County’s agriculture, creative and health care industries.

“The more new businesses get started and grow, the more we can diversify the local economy, creating new opportunities and good paying jobs on Maui for years to come,” said Hirono in a news release. “It is my hope that this federal funding will help MEDB support more small businesses as they succeed, grow, and scale into larger businesses, and that those entrepreneurs inspire others who may not have thought about starting a small business to take a chance.”

Leslie Wilkins, President and CEO of the Maui Economic Development Board, said the grant would help provide technical assistance and coaching to get businesses past the startup phase and to the next level. The Maui Business Connect program expects the boost in funding to result in 79 jobs created, 19 jobs saved, and $5.5 million in private investment leveraged.

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