March 2021 Newsletter

Message from the Chair

            The SBRRB members wish our small businesses a healthy and safe Prince Kuhio Day – Monday, March 26th.

This month, we are spotlighting SBRRB member Mr. William (Will) Lydgate.  Will has been a Board member since 2018 and resides on the Island of Kauai. 

-Robert Cundiff, Chair
Member Spotlight

William Lydgate
  • -Background
Mr. Lydgate was born in Palo Alto, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley.  At that time, it was still a sleepy college town but of course many changes were to come.  At 16 years old,  he moved to Kauai where his father's family is from - going back to 1865.
His great-great grandfather came to Hawaii as a millwright to work on some of the early sugarcane pressing and refining operations.  Now all these years later, his company is looking at plans for a chocolate factory.  Things really do come full circle, don't they?
 He went to Island School and Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, earning a bachelors and master’s degree in electric bass and music production.  He worked in music and recording studios for 10 years, until he took over his family business, a cacao farm with ag tourism.  He has been working on growing this business since the summer of 2016.
  • -Do you believe there are advantages to working in a family-owned business?  
Yes, if you have family members that bring a lot to the table, which I do.  In some ways it is hard because there is too much history for it to be a regular workplace, but those same forces can improve things too because there is so much history and knowledge of people's skills.
Mostly what I have been doing is taking us from a very family-operated business into more of a family-owned business, disambiguating roles and tasks from the 24/7 family approach and turning them into one with clear descriptions that can be done by someone in a more 9-5 context. 
  • -How has COVID-19 impacted the following, if at all:
  • Your Family’s Business
Oh yes, big impacts.  About 80% of our sales were to visitors coming up to our farm.  We had to, and still are, doing a major pivot to online sales.  I actually think COVID-19 made me a lot better at business, but I would not have chosen to learn that way.  I guess there is some upside.  I'll tell you one thing, once the visitors come back, things will be EASILY compared to how they are now. I've been through it and come out the other end, well almost.  
  • The County of Kauai
We have been the most restrictive county in terms of COVID-19 and have been probably one of the safest places in the country in that regard. However, as of this writing there has been a push to reopen. I think it is time as well, Oahu seems to be doing fine with the safe travels program, I don't see why we can't opt back into it.
  • -How do you see your professional background to be integral in understanding small businesses’ rules and regulations?
Well, I tend to get involved with things, and I am always interested in the role of institutions on the private sector, that place of trying to help people but needing to get connected to know how to help. As a business owner, I get how it feels and can always put myself in the shoes of the people affected by rules and regulations.
Additionally, it's easy to recommend agencies to go chat with stake holders. I think things work better when we are all in touch with one another.  
  •     - As an essential State Board, what do you believe are the important factors in  the SBRRB’s continued existence?
            The SBRRB provides a key role.  Hawaii is known as a state unfriendly to business, something we are trying to change.  Boards like this one make that change happen by bringing small business into the room where decisions are made. 

 - Anything else you would like to offer?
            "It has been a pleasure to serve on the SBRRB, and I look forward to being able to see everyone in person once we are through this pandemic!"

Request for SBRRB Meeting Packets
Copies of the Board Packet will be available on-line for review at:
 An electronic draft of the minutes for this meeting will also be made available at the same location when completed.
 In addition to “attending” the remote board meeting, members of the public may submit written testimony via e-mail to:
Include the word “Testimony” and the subject matter following the address line. 
Please Note:  All written testimony should be received no later than 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 17, 2021.
Thank you!
The next SBRRB meeting will be held on Thursday,
April 15, 2021
at 10:00 am
 Contact Information
Telephone: (808) 586-2419 
The next SBRRB meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 18th at 10:00 a.m., and will feature the following Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) prior to and after public hearing:

Before Public Hearing:
  1. HAR Title 19 Chapter 150, Autonomous Vehicle Registrations, promulgated by Department of Transportation
After Public Hearing:
  1. HAR Title 19 Chapter 241, High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes, promulgated by Department of Transportation
  2. HAR Title 10 Chapter 4.1, Management of Water Systems, promulgated by Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
 As authorized under the Governor’s Eighteenth Proclamation Related to the COVID-19 Emergency, the meeting will be held remotely with Board members, Staff, and Agencies participating via online meeting venue.  The public can participate in the meeting through audio-video livestream. 
To join the meeting, go to: 
If you would like any of the exhibits, they can be found on the State’s Calendar at 
Public Meetings Calendar - State of Hawaii (
 - select “Small Business Regulatory Review Board” in the appropriate space bar.
Click here to view Agenda
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