Small Business Pleads For Shoppers
Honolulu, HI – Small business owners gathered on Wednesday to plead for support from the community. They claim that buying local will help keep their business afloat during the pandemic.
COVID-19 is increasing through the mainland – more specifically Arizona, Florida, and Texas. The island chain – half a world away is also feeling the effects.
Thomas Ray, Square Barrels co-owner. states:
“We had to throw away a lot of food and we slowly let our employees go one by one because we wanted to keep staff on as long as we possibly could.”
The Hawaiian Chamber of Congress has voiced their concerns and are welcoming help.
“We are hearing from a lot of small businesses because some of them received the loans, the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans and other types of grants, but it runs out.”
The first round of stimulus checks helped many within the small island chain continue their operations, but the longevity of the virus has left many to continue to struggle.
Small Business Isn’t Catching Up To Speed
“On some really good days, we got up to like 30% losses, but I mean really when you think about it, 30% losses in any other time would be pretty devastating. We’re just trying to hang in there.”
It appears to be a grim state for those looking to make a living. Hawaii, being an isolated chain of islands – has the majority of their supplies as imports. This creates a high-cost for most products. The cost of living for many Hawaiians is extremely high. While many who are out of work are looking to keep a roof over their head as well as pay for food and supplies.
“If we can still control this and then fight to keep these businesses open, it’s going to give them a lot of hope. If you shutter again, I don’t know how these businesses are going to have the will to continue to fight for their businesses.”