HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Small Business Saturday is less than a week away!
This Saturday is a day to celebrate and support small local businesses. But for many of them, it has been a challenging year as shipping costs have increased and visitor numbers have fluctuated.
“It’s really weird, everyone is saying it’s like the retail apocalypse,” said Jillian DeLindo, co-owner of Keep It Simple.
Hunter Long and Jillian DeLindo opened Keep It Simple, a zero-waste store, during the COVID pandemic in 2020.
Since then, they have expanded to Waikiki and Kapolei.
They say 15% of their revenue comes from tourists.
However, it is becoming difficult for him to keep all three shops open due to supply chain issues and the ongoing shortage of workers.
“We have made every effort to ensure that we are able to remain competitive because we do not want to raise our prices. Because, you know, we already know this is a tough time for everyone. But yes, shipping has increased; It takes a little longer, especially at the end of the year,” Deolindo said.
“Small businesses are the heart of our community. When everyone comes here or lives here he thinks about this. And let’s say if the target has a bad month, it won’t bother them. But if a small business has a bad month, it could be the end of the business,” said Hunter Long, co-owner of Keep It Simple.
Hawaii retailers say this is not an isolated situation.
“You go to most shopping malls; It’s all the same stores that used to be there, and they’re not there anymore. So while we’re seeing stores closed, we know that for many small businesses this holiday season is really going to make it or break it,” said Tina Yamaki, president of Retail Merchants of Hawaii.
Ten Tomorrow is a local clothing store in Kaimuki.
They began outsourcing some of their manufacturing to Los Angeles last year.
They also need help obtaining supplies and finding workers.
But have found different ways to stay afloat.
“America is here with a unique space that looks like a house that spans the daily Whiskey Matcha. And we open up our space to have pop-ups for that collaborative environment. And yes, I think it’s really helpful,” said Summer Shiggie, owner/designer of Ten Tomorrow.
“But the traffic is going up and down. I will say that I still feel very fortunate to be here and to have my entire team with me. But yes, looking forward to the holidays.”
On Small Business Saturday, they are hosting a Keep It Kaimuki event at Ali’iolani Elementary School.
Organizers say it’s a free day of family fun.
Visit their Instagram for more details.
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