October 2020 HRA Executive Director Newsletter

As we continue our fight for a healthier Hawaii, The Hawaii Restaurant Association(HRA) continues to focus initiatives to combat the hardships COVID 19 placed on our food service industry.

HRA has been providing critical updates and information guiding restaurants to beneficial resources through our emails. We have been writing about COVID 19 since March 16, 2020 and have sent out around 160 email updates covering financial relief and initiatives related to the pandemic.

Many of HRA’s daily emails contain important resources that are helpful for our members and businesses to get back on their feet. Some of these helpful resources are webinars such as the Hawaii Restaurant Association and ProService Hawaii Webinar, the HMAA: Maximizing Forgiveness for Your PPP Loan webinar, and many others. Webinars such as these have been helping buisnesses learn and adjust to the various changes COVID has brought to the business and economic landscapes. They also provide tips on improving or adapting their marketing strategies in the current business climate.

HRA held video conferences with our National delegates to inform them on what our struggling businesses need. Our video conferences with Senator Maizie Hirono, Senator Brian Schatz, Congressman Ed Case were very well attended and our voices were heard.

We also held video Town Halls with Mayoral Candidates Mufi Hannemann & Bud Stonebraker. We also held Town Halls with Keith Amemiya and Rick Blangiardi where our members could ask them about our current issues and how they will assist our specific industry when they are elected.

Another pressing topic for the HRA has been Bill 40 and its effects on struggling restaurants. HRA has been arguing that due to the low volume in restaurant sales, many restaurants still have cartons of unused plastic utensils. We are asking to postpone Bill 40 till 2022. We are already burdened by the pandemic. HRA recently sent a letter to our government requesting a grace period for restaurants to be exempt from Bill 40. We will be providing updates on Bill 40 in our email updates so please be sure you are subscribed!

HRA is looking for volunteers on Nov 21. Aloha Harvest, Star Advertiser and HRA will be holding a food box pick up for unemployed restaurant employees.

Since this pandemic started in March, we have had to handle constant waves of challenges. I am deeply sorry if I have not replied or gotten back to anyone during this time. Please feel free to reach back to me at info@hawaiirestaurant.org.

My plate has been full and I may have overlooked some emails as a result.  I would really appreciate a reminder email.  Mahalo for your understanding.

As we all look for normalcy to return, HRA is a resource, please feel free to reach out to us.

May you & your loved ones continue to be safe and healthy!

Sheryl Matsuoka






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