HONOLULU (KHON2) — Businesses across Oahu took advantage of the last full day open before the stay-at-home order goes into effect.
For many, a second shutdown was the worst-case scenario. Now, local business owners are relying on online sales to carry them through this difficult time.
On Wednesday, Goodwill Hawaii stores offered 50% off everything as a last ditch effort to make money.
“The 50% off sale was really to help us boost some revenue and generate a lot of revenue because we are going to be closed for two weeks,” Kelley Cho said, the Director of PR & Communications for Goodwill Hawaii.
For smaller local business owners, the pandemic has been devastating.
“I’m not going to give up, but it’s scary,” said Coffee Talk owner Liz Schwartz.
Schwartz said that having to close dine-in service again at Coffee Talk is brutal for sales.
“We were starting to build back up just ever so slightly, and this happens. So it’s a little scary,” Schwartz said. “My rent stays the same, my bills stay the same.”
The same is true for Jana Higa, the owner of Blue Bird Jewelry Hawaii.
The year 2020 was supposed to be Higa’s time to shine.
Her hobby turned full-time business opened its first retail location at Ward Center on February 7.
“The whole thought of having a retail storefront was being able to have my customers visit me all year round,” Higa said about her dream come true.
However, that ‘thought’ was not a reality this year.
“The first time I was very emotional. I was heartbroken. It was very sad for me to pack up my store and see it empty after I was only open for six weeks,” Higa said.
The first stay-at-home order forced Higa to close up shop just six weeks after opening.
“With jewelry, it’s best sold in person,” Higa said about why closing was so difficult for business. “You want to see the jewelry. You want to touch it, and see the sparkles. The photos never do it justice.”
On August 14, Higa closed Blue Bird Jewelry Hawaii again as a precaution.
“I didn’t want to jeopardize my health, my husband’s health, my customers and their families,” Higa said.
From retail stores to coffee shops, all of them are now eating the cost of closing and turning to online sales to get through the pandemic.
Goodwill Hawaii now has an online store for customers to shop.
Coffee Talk also set up an online ordering system, so customers can pay and easily place a take-out order.
Higa of Blue Bird Jewelry Hawaii is ramping up her online sales as well. You can view her handmade, one-of-a-kind collection here.
“I’m sure any local business would appreciate any type of support at all, especially during this time,” Higa said.