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Being certifiable can be good for business


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POSTED: Sunday, March 22, 2009

Opportunities for Hawaii small businesses could mushroom following a workshop by Latin Business Hawaii and the Hawaii Hispanic News.

James Cardenas will present information on obtaining certification as a minority-owned business, which will benefit women- and veteran-owned as well as ethnic-owned businesses.

Cardenas is director of certification with the Northern California Supplier Development Council in San Francisco, a regional center of the nonprofit National Minority Supplier Development Council.

Corporations with federal contracts are required to allocate some business to minority-owned companies, said Jose Villa, Hawaii Hispanic News publisher. Those businesses must be officially certified, however.

During a recent webinar, Villa heard a Texas-based Hispanic businesswoman speak of her business' expansion following certification. She started getting contracts in more states, he said.

“;It could be so lucrative for some small businesses, to be certified as minority-owned,”; said Marie Villa, president of Latin Business Hawaii. She is also editor of Hawaii Hispanic News and is Jose's wife.

“;This is not just about the big construction companies, but the little vendors that can have these companies as their customers,”; she said.

The event is being organized by Hispanic organizations, but Jose Villa said, “;I want to share this with the rest of the community. We're not competing with each other ... let's do something that helps Hawaii. Period.”;

The workshop is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Chinatown Gateway Center at 1041 Nuuanu Ave.

The cost is $10 and reservations, required, can be made via phone at 638-3098 or via e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

No money? No problem

Spring break is upon us and parents of quickly bored kids will need activity options.

You already get lots of what-to-do ideas from the Star-Bulletin's HiLife section - and a new online blog network focuses on stuff costing $10 or less.

The Hawaii destinations at http://www.citiesonthecheap.com are Honolulu and the Big Island for now. One local writer, Leslie Lang, and one ex-pat writer, Kris Bordessa, prepare the content.

Both are freelance writers and authors who investigate deals and find and post discounts.

“;Everybody's tightening their belts, but you don't want to stop having fun,”; Bordessa said.

Comedian Andy Bumatai will draw winners for the sites' launch contests during his online TV show Tuesday.


Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Reach her by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).