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Diversifying The Economy: Governor Contenders Would Boost Ag, Small Business


Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories that looks closely at specific issues facing Hawaii and how the Democratic gubernatorial candidates would deal with them. Also coming this week, Civil Beat teamed up with Hawaii News Now for in-depth interviews with the top candidates for governor in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. Civil Beat will be posting the full interviews on our Governor Race election page , which is where you can find all our coverage of the run-up to the primary.

The frightening tourism shutdown at the outset of the pandemic underscored the risks of Hawaii’s deep dependence on the visitor industry, and Vicky Cayetano is proposing a dramatic tax cut for small businesses as her most important strategy for finally diversifying the state economy.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green, meanwhile, wants to use government subsidies to grow local agriculture, including property tax breaks, direct grants to farmers for infrastructure, and tax holidays for startups until they become profitable.

Civil Beat asked the leading Democratic candidates for governor about their near-term, highest-priority initiatives for diversifying the economy, and Green and Cayetano responded with those ideas.

U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, another top contender in the Democratic primary, declined […]

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