Business/In Brief • Dec. 21, 2013

Car rental rates highest at Kahului Airport reports that rental car rates for holiday travelers are the highest at Kahului Airport at $339 a day, according to its survey of top U.S. destinations.

The survey examined car rental rates at 30 popular U.S. destinations over the Christmas period from Monday to Friday.

Hawaii took three of the top four spots, the online rental car booking site said. Kahului was No. 1, followed by Lihue, $272 a day; and Honolulu at No. 4, $114 a day.

The Kahului rate was 455 percent higher than regular prices, the news release said.


Company has recyclable wrapping options

Kula resident Sara Smith recently launched Wrappily, a new local startup company that offers recyclable wrapping options.

Most gift wrapping cannot be recycled and 4 million tons of it end up in U.S. landfills, said the company news release.

Kahului-based Wrappily offers an ecofriendly gift wrap solution. Featuring unique designs that fit various gift-giving occasions, Wrappily gift wrap is recyclable; it is printed with soy-based ink on easy-to-recycle newsprint.

Smith is a Maui native who grew up in the printing business and has worked for more than a decade in publishing. For more information, visit


Unemployment insurance taxes to drop

HONOLULU – Hawaii employers won’t have to pay as much in unemployment insurance taxes next year.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Thursday that unemployment insurance taxes will be cut by an average of 35 percent next year.

The news comes as the state’s unemployment rate sits at a five-year low of 4.4 percent.

The department says employers will pay $130 million less in unemployment insurance taxes. That works out to about $300 less per employee.

The Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund currently has a balance necessary to pay nine months of benefits. The department says a balance to pay a year’s benefits is considered an adequate reserve level.

The fund went bankrupt in December 2010 after the financial crisis. The state had to borrow $183 million to pay benefits.