Local businesses get creative on Small Business Saturday

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Now more than ever, local businesses need your help to survive.

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The support local movement has certainly grown throughout the pandemic, and on this Small Business Saturday, there’s a chance you’ll be able to find a good deal online or even in-person.

Businesses have had to get creative to stay in touch with their customers. Even a business that has been in operation for 20 years like Weena Sittig’s Just a Little Hawaiian has recently gone online.

“It was challenging, we did open up a website so we have a website now. We’ve done a couple of pop-up events online,” Sittig said.

She was back selling in-person for the first time since March as on eof the vendors at the Island Craft Fair at Pearl Highlands Center. Vendors appreciated the detail the event paid to keeping customers feeling safe.

“I’m very thankful for these events,” Lights, Camera, Minoaka! Owner Haukea Ho said. “The setup here is great she has the flow moving very smoothly.”

The Island Craft Fair at Pearl Highlands Center on Oahu runs:

  • Sunday, Nov. 29 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 4 from 5 – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Honoluulu’s Eden In Love moved their sales online so folks won’t gather in store, but with that comes a new duty: packing up lots of orders.

“We knew we couldn’t have door busters we couldn’t have a gigantic sale where we’re bringing in thousands of people,” owner Tanna Dang said. “We woke up at 8 am to pull all of our online orders, and instead we had 1800 orders that came in over night. It was unbelieveable. For a small mom and pop shop like us we usually do 10-30 orders per week.”

The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization says that neighbor island local businesses are being hit hardest, and that 15% could be forced to permanently close.

The Wainaku Center in Hilo held a Shop Small Saturday event with vendors selling crafts and locally made goods. Organizers kept customers and vendors safe by having patrons book scheduled times in advance.

“We capped it off at about 15 people per half hour. So that worked out nicely, and we did have our front patio and lanai open for some food and beverages so that when people were done shopping they could enjoy the view,” Wainaku Executive Center Event & Booking Manage Donna Matthews said.

Making money is obviously important for many vendors, but maybe moreso is a chance to express themselves through their work.

“It’s therapeutic to get together and talk, it’s therapeutic to feel the crafts. It’s therapeutic to feel normal,” Sittig said.

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