The mission of the department is to provide pro-active leadership, enhancing the quality of life, and sustainability of Hawai‘i Island communities through programs related to: agriculture, energy, tourism, economic development, community development, and film.

Kīlauea Eruption Recovery Information

Please refer to the County’s Kīlauea Eruption Recovery website for current recovery information and links to online resources.

Current Highlights

  • New: State of Hawai‘i, Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) is partnering with the Federal Reserve to conduct a Small Business Credit Survey for both start-up and existing businesses. This short survey will take approximately 9 minutes and will ask about business conditions, financing needs, and credit experiences. Summary results will be shared with you, and all responses are confidential.  Survey closes December 20, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact To take the survey, please click on this link
  • New: "How to do Business with FEMA" The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) needs local and small business owners to assist before, during, and after disaster. Having the support of local businesses will improve response time during search and rescue and will help rebuild quickly for those in need.

  • Hilo: Thursday, October 24, 2019, Hilo Council Chamber, 25 Aupuni Street, Room 1401, Hilo, HI. See flyer.
  • Kona: Friday, October 25, 2019, Kona Council Chambers, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Building A, Kailua-Kona, HI. See flyer

To register for this event, please go to


  • New:  The Creative Lab Hawai‘i Weekend Ideation Program for Indigenous Storytellers is a free program that will support participants in understanding the best pathway for telling their stories. Participants will be immersed in in-depth practices involving research, and exploration of potential markets for their material. Deadline to apply is Thursday, October 31, 2019. To apply and for more information, go Creative Lab Hawai‘i website.
  • New:  The Hawai‘i Manufacturing Assistance Program (MAP) grant offers up to 20% reimbursement, not to exceed $100,000 on qualified expenses related to manufacturing for the purpose of fostering economic and employment growth in the state. Qualifying expenses include manufacturing equipment purchases, training to use the equipment, energy efficiency projects, and manufacturing feasibility studies for Hawai‘i businesses. The online application are open and will be accepted until Friday, November 22, 2019.  For questions about the MAP grant, email To apply for the grant click here or for more information, visit HTDC website
  • New: The Secretary of Agriculture announced the beginning sign up date of September 11, 2019 for a newly authorized program designed to assist disaster effected producers throughout the United States and its Territories, the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+). This program is a direct result of the U.S. Congress' recently passed disaster relief bill which was designed to assist Hawai‘i & Pacific Basin producers who had severe crop loss resulting from the eight disaster in 2018.  Disasters covered under this program include Hawai‘i County Volcano Eruption (Lava and VOG) and Hurricane Lane.  Scheduled outreach meeting will cover WHIP+ program. For more information and Outreach Information Briefing schedule, see attached flyer. Additional details about WHIP+ is available at
  • New: The increase demand for corn and other grains for international trade and conversion into ethanol and bio-diesel in the United State has caused dramatic rise in the price of feed to livestock production. Feed cost can be reduced by replacing some of the high-priced grains with local agricultural by-products. For more information see Publication LM-34 and The Analysis of Agricultural By-Products to be used as Animal Feeds on Hawai‘i Island Poster
  • Closed: Innovation Grants for Fiscal Year 2019-2020. R&D is requesting proposals for innovation grant awards in preparation for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The intent of the grant program is to support research, programs, or projects that advance innovation in economic development, tourism, agriculture, creative economy, energy, and sustainable development in Hawai‘i County. For more information and forms, go to Funding and Grant Resources.
  • Closed: Hawai‘i Island Visitor Promotions Grant for Fiscal Year 2019-2020. R&D is requesting proposals for the visitor promotions grant award in preparation for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The intent of the grant program is to support marketing initiatives that grow Hawai‘i Island’s visitor arrivals and expenditures, and strengthen Hawai‘i Island’s brand to sustain the visitor industry in a way that protects the assets of the island, while providing economic benefit to the island’s businesses and residents. For more information and forms, go to Funding and Grant Resources.
  • Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau and Hawai‘i County Announce Pono Pledge. The Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau (IHVB) and County of Hawai‘i have partnered to launch the “Pono Pledge,” a new public information campaign aimed to at educating and encouraging residents and visitors to be safe, responsible and respectful to each other and the environment while enjoying the bounty of the island of Hawai‘i. See full pledge on the Tourism page. For more information, please see the attached news release.
  • County of Hawai‘i Data Portal created by The Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawai‘i (UHERO)
  • GrantStation Hawai‘i County organizations and residents are invited to apply for access to the Department of R&D’s GrantStation subscription. Submit an Application for Access.
  • DCCA Hilo Business Action Center Day Schedule
  • DCCA West Hawai‘i Business Action Center Day Schedule
  • 2016-2020 Hawai‘i County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)
  • Hawai‘i Island Tourism Road Map, 2016
  • 2015 Hawai‘i County Data Book
  • How to Start a Business in Hawai‘i County - a resource guide to successful business development
  • R&D Economic Development Grant for Fiscal Year 2017-18 Award List
  • R&D Innovation Grants Program for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Award List
  • R&D Innovation Grants Program for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Award List

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