Building an Economic Resilence Center for Kaua'i
E Komo Mai! Welcome to our resource hub — This is a place where you can find up-to-date information on the restoration of the former Otsuka Building and its transition to an economic resilence center for Kaua’i. We will update the page as progress evolves so please check back for updates!
Have questions, comments or suggestions to share? It’s important to us to have the input of the community to ensure our planning process reflects the needs of the community.
Ko Makou Mana’o
Our BeliefWhat creates resilience? People. For 76 years, our small credit union has been serving the people of Kaua’i. Now we begin the process of imagining a new branch and a center for economic resilience on Kaua’i.
Watch “We Believe” on YouTube now.
For over 75 years, our small credit union has been making a difference, on the principle of ʻpeople helping people.ʻ This year, we begin the exciting journey to a new branch and the birthing of an economic resilience center in Kapaʻa. It’s because WE BELIEVE in what we are doing, that we can create success for others. The restored Otsuka furniture building in Kapaʻa will become a landmark for what can be accomplished by stewarding a co-operative economy that serves climate, culture, and community.
ERC stands for economic resiliency center. It is a working name that we are using to describe the concept of a center for cooperative finance until such time as the building is named.
What is the goal?
The ERC is about resiliency, in Hawaiian, kū‘ono‘ono, meaning to thrive, given the resources available and the environment we live in. It starts by understanding history, our mission, purpose, and what our vision is for the future.
October 27, 2022
Kapaʻa literally means to ʻto closeʻ or to ʻhold steadfast.ʻ As we think and talk about what we value and how we model a less extractive, more regenerative economy, it is befitting that we have a presence in the heart of where our people live, work and play.
If we can model, as a financial cooperative, what it is to bounce back, recreate and help our island thrive, this is an appropriate place to start.
The space will encompass a new east side branch, extending services and programs delivered at our Lihue and Kīlauea branches, with codesigned tenant and public spaces that support the progress of a cooperative economy.
Our intention for the space is twofold:
One, the ERC will address the need for a new branch in a busy commuter corridor, aligning with our core values and our mission as a CDFI credit union.
Two, it will bring like-minded tenants and community partners together in one space to steward a cooperative economy that serves climate, culture and community.
- Housing Stability
- Small Business Innovation + Social Entrepreneurship
- Disaster Relief and Non-Profit Capacity Building
The restoration of the building will occur in phases, over a period of 1-5 years with the full input of the community. It will include a phase of social prototyping, allowing us to listen, learn and test experience principles to evaluate what is most needed to help our community thrive.
Development will be guided with reference to ʻĀina Aloha Economic Futures, a 4 step process of taking action to create a resilient economy through the core value of ʻāina aloha – a deep and abiding love for our island, our community and our natural environment.
We are currently convening listening and learning sessions with employees, members, business leaders, community members, the County and partners such as Hawaiʻi Community Assets. This will continue into the fall.
You can contribute your ideas here.