We all know this is a difficult time for many businesses. Some have seen their income drop precipitously, while others have seen more modest declines. The spirit of the business community is also quite dismal, with many that I know of questioning whether they want to continue into the future. Despite some signs of hope, it’s, without a doubt, an extremely dire time for Hawaii’s businesses.
Here’s a few of my thoughts on what businesses and consumers can do to help bring businesses up during these times:
- Make a list of the businesses you want to be here in six months. These are the businesses to target. Maybe it’s a favorite restaurant or a store or supplier that has stuff you need. Think small, locally owned businesses. They are hurting the worst.
- Patronize them now. Have a meal or get some take out. Buy some supplies, even if you might not need them right now. Now, more than ever, shopping local will make a difference.
- Write genuine reviews on Google or Yelp for your favorite businesses. If you have used that business in the past, write a review and tell others about the business.
- Actively tell people in your circle of acquaintances about the wonderful food, service, etc. at businesses you like in town.
- If you are a business owner, consider what you may need in the coming months and pre-order some inventory or supplies. If you have been putting off maintenance or sprucing up your office space, reach out to local service providers and start checking items off your To-Do list. We recently bought some art for our office from a local artist because we knew his main gallery has been closed since March.
- Provide encouragement and moral support for any business owners or laid off employees you know. At Kona Impact, we try to be relentlessly positive in our interactions with clients.
- Repeat #1-6 as much as possible. If you are fortunate enough to have extra resources, now is a great time to support your community.
Someday, we will all look back at the 2020 COVID pandemic and remember how horrible it was. I like to think that in times like this, though, how we treat others and how we support our community will create impressions that will last well beyond the current crises.
I always say that if you want something to be in your community–whether that’s live theater, a restaurant, or a business–you need to actively support it. Likewise, if you are a local business owner and want to sell to the community, you need to support local businesses.