How You Can Help Support Local Hawaii Businesses

Support Local Hawaii Businesses
VM Maui

With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging in various parts around the world and many lockdown measures are in place, countless businesses are bracing themselves for what could be a very challenging holiday season. This is especially true for the various small businesses in Hawaii, which rely heavily on tourism. Most of these businesses do not have the financial resources to survive unexpected market fluctuations like the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you are traveling to Hawaii this holiday season, it is more important than ever to keep your money local. As a regular traveler to our islands, you can further support your favorite vacation destination by helping keep your favorite places from having to close their doors. Here are some ways you can assist Hawaii local businesses. 

Postpone your trip instead of canceling

Given the unpredictable situation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, travel rules and restrictions could change at any given minute. But instead of canceling your trip to Hawaii, consider postponing it instead. For instance, if you are staying at one of the vacation rentals in Maui, get in touch with the owner and see if they can give you the option to hold your booking for the future instead of asking for a refund. 

These vacation rental property owners do not have enough financial resources to return all the money paid for reservations. They have to pay for the cost of maintaining the property and other expenses. These are small business owners who are struggling with people canceling their bookings. So if you can postpone your trip instead of asking for a refund, this will help them a lot.

Promote the business through social media

In this day and age of the Internet, social media marketing has become a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach potential customers. So, if you want to help local Hawaii businesses this holiday season, take advantage of this. Follow or like their page on social media. That way, you can keep up with the latest promotions and events, especially this holiday season. If they have some promotions going on, share this to your feed. Sharing a post from the page of these local businesses can help them in gaining more followers.

Another way you can help is by leaving a positive comment about your experiences. If you stayed at one of the vacation rentals in Maui and are happy with your experience, leave a positive review on their page. This is a great opportunity to show your support for the local business. 

Eat at local restaurants instead of international chains

Experiencing the local food scene is a huge part of traveling. Unfortunately, some tourists would prefer to eat at fast-food chains that are familiar to them. If you want to support local Hawaii businesses, consider eating at restaurants run by locals. 

Opting to drink coffee at a local cafe and snacking at food trucks and local eateries is a simple way to become a socially responsible tourist. If you eat at local places, you will be supporting the local business and the local economy while also building connections between the locals and visitors. Besides, foods made from locally grown ingredients are way healthier than those in your favorite fast-food chains. Supporting local restaurants also means supporting the local farmers who supply these restaurants with fresh ingredients.

Shop at the local farmer's markets

One of the best things about traveling to Hawaii this holiday season is that many communities will set up Christmas markets selling locally made products, from books, food products to crafts and jewelry, as well as a variety of souvenir items. Shopping from these local markets is one way to show your support for the local businesses in Hawaii this holiday season. 

If you are staying at a vacation rental with a kitchen and want to cook your meals, consider buying ingredients from the local farmers' markets. Local farmers need your support during these challenging times. Large agribusiness has dominated food production in Hawaii, and small farm owners often have difficulty competing in the marketplace. So, instead of buying goods from big supermarkets, shop from the local farmers’ markets instead. Buying directly from the farmers will give them a better return for their produce, which can help them to recover faster from the crisis brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Practice kindness and patience

Remember that most businesses nowadays are dealing with slowdowns brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of them have to deal with disruptions in supply chains and shutdowns of suppliers. These could affect their business operations, especially during the peak holiday season. One way to show your support to these businesses is to be more patient and kind. 

Remember, these local business owners are just like you and are also dealing with pandemic stresses. So instead of complaining of delays and other minor issues, try to be more patient. If you find that the Maui vacation rental you booked lacks the amenities you expect, politely inform the owner about this.  Avoid posting about it on social media. Complaining about a business through social media will put them in a bad light, which will make them struggle even more.

Recommend them to friends and family

Upon returning from your vacation in Hawaii, your friends, colleagues, and family will most likely ask about your trip. Use this opportunity to recommend the local businesses you have encountered during your holiday. 

Mouth-to-mouth promotion is still the most effective form of marketing. Many people would still prefer to listen to the opinions of people they personally know. So, if you were happy about the vacation house rental or hotel resort property you have stayed while vacationing in Maui, encourage them to book that property on their next holiday. This small gesture can go a long way in helping the local businesses in Hawaii.

It is not a secret that the tourism industry has been badly hit hard during the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though the situation is getting better and Hawaii has seen an increasing number of visitors, many businesses are still struggling big time. So, if you are traveling to Hawaii this holiday season, support local businesses in whatever way you can.

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