Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, October 8, 2001

State points local firms to available federal funds

The state High Technology Development Corp. will host a conference on federal funding opportunities for Hawaii's small businesses.

The conference, Oct. 29 at the Waikiki Beach Resort, will provide information and workshops for companies interested in obtaining research and development grants. Additional conference days will follow on Maui, the Big Island and Kauai.

The 10 largest federal agencies provide $1.3 billion in grants annually. The conference will feature speakers from federal agencies as well as workshops on federal funding opportunities, grant writing, commercialization strategies, intellectual property management and information on Hawaii's tax benefits for technology companies.

Tickets for the event are $70. For more information or to register, visit sbir/hsbir2001 or call 539-3814.

Asian stocks drop amid concern over U.S. strikes

HONG KONG >> Asian stocks fell today as U.S. strikes against Afghanistan's Taliban heightened concern a protracted conflict will cause a global recession.

Singapore's Straits Times Index lost 2.6 percent, while Taiwan's TWSE Index shed 1.9 percent. Stocks in Australia and Korea also fell, while Japan's financial markets were closed for a public holiday. Asian markets were the first to react to the offensive promised by President Bush in retaliation for the Sept. 11 attacks.

Gas prices fall 10.8 cents; uncertainty clouds future

CAMARILLO, Calif. >> Gasoline prices fell a record 10.81 cents in the past two weeks, but yesterday's bombing of Afghanistan could send prices higher, according to the new Lundberg Survey.

"Prices certainly could shoot up if there is any implication for oil supply out of the Middle East," said analyst Trilby Lundberg.

The average price of gasoline on Friday, including all grades and taxes, was $1.43 a gallon, down 10.81 cents since Sept. 21, according to the Lundberg Survey of nearly 8,000 stations nationwide. The average price of self-serve regular was $1.40

Hilton says occupancy, reservations improving

Beverly Hills, Calif. >> Hilton Hotels Corp., the No. 3 U.S. hotel chain, said occupancy rates are at their highest level since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, and average daily rates are rising. Occupancy rates at hotels owned by Hilton, including New York's Waldorf-Astoria and Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, stood at 66 percent on Oct. 3. That's the highest since Sept. 11 and up from a low of 29 percent on Sept. 16, the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company said.

At Hilton's franchised hotels, which include Hampton Inns and Red Lions, the occupancy rate was 75 percent, also the highest since Sept. 11.

Hilton also said the pace of reservations has accelerated, the rate of cancellations has "significantly" decreased and average daily room rates, at $160, are "approaching" the same levels as in 1999.



>> Former Hawaii State Sen. Mike Liu has been confirmed as deputy assistant secretary of housing and urban development.


>> Benjamin Taga has been named vice president at Hawaii Modular Space Inc. He previously served as controller. Julie Chiyo Watarai has joined the company as an account executive. She most recently worked at Hawaii Business Magazine.


>> Wayne T. Ishihara has been named board chairman by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. Other directors for 2001-02 are: Blair M.T. Odo, past chair; Gary Y. Fujitani, finance vice chair; Douglas M. Goto, past chair liaison; Betty F. Hirozawa, human resources; Wayne T. Miyao, membership; Sanford Murata, property management; Joanne M. Ninomiya, marketing; Ruth M. Ono; Ronald R. Ushijima, secretary; Harriet Aoki, treasurer; and Dennis Ihara, legal counsel.

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