Hawaii’s business climate; tough stuff

How will business in Hawaii turn this around?

It’s expensive to do business here.

Hawai’i once again ranks as the most expensive state in the nation when it comes to doing business, according to the 2005 Milken Institute Cost-of-Doing-Business Index.
The survey, which last year also ranked Hawai’i on top, looks at wage, electricity and real-estate costs and taxes. It found that the price of doing business in the Islands is 43 percent higher than the national average.

By comparison, the second-most-expensive state — New York — has business costs that are 30 percent higher; third-place Massachusetts’ costs are 25 percent higher than the national average.

Alex McGehee, executive vice president of the nonprofit economic development group Enterprise Honolulu, acknowledged "that we do have significant challenges. We have a very high percentage of people working two, three jobs, so it’s obvious that people aren’t making enough with just one job and we know that."

I often say that business people are the biggest movers and shakers I know; that we train ourselves to see opportunity and seize it. Others agree. Fact is, these terrible statistics are not changing, for we’ve resigned ourselves to thinking that this is “just the way it is.”

I have a hard time accepting that, and if you are reading this from here in Hawaii too, I hope you can’t accept it either. We need to find answers.

Ho‘omau. Don’t give up: adversity can make us stronger.

Related post from October 2004:

Hawaii’s workers struggle with low pay, low-level jobs