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Supporting Indigenous Owned Businesses

This year’s holiday season will be like no other we have ever experienced. Small businesses have had to get creative in trying to adjust to the ever changing restrictions and economic shifting. In a McKinsey & Company online article published on May 27, 2020: “ ...minority entrepreneurs, facing myriad challenges, are also concerned about risks to their own businesses. Of all vulnerable small businesses, minority-owned ones may be most at risk. Many were in financially precarious positions even before COVID-19 lockdowns, and minority-owned small businesses often are in industries more susceptible to disruption. Ensuring that these businesses survive in the current circumstances will require fundamental shifts in how private-, public-, and social-sector organizations come together to support them.” Walmart, Target, and Amazon will survive through this pandemic. Small businesses may not be so lucky.

In Hawaiʻi, we are no exception to these national trends. With our small local businesses suffering, we can all do our part to help and support them. According to a study conducted by the finance website, Wallethub, Hawaiʻi has the highest percentage of businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the nation. This is partially due to our dependence on tourism and restaurants. A Maui Now news article published back in May 29, 2020 reported the following: “While Native Hawaiian businesses are experiencing ʻsudden, severe, and lasting impactsʻ from COVID-19, they may play a crucial role in Hawaiʻi’s economic recovery because they are less dependent on the tourism industry.” So now is the time to intentionally support Native Hawaiian and local small businesses when holiday shopping. And with the ease of online, shopping consumers are not tied to brick and mortar businesses and can enjoy the perks of free shipping from a lot of small indigenous businesses throughout the continent.