Hawaii’s small businesses unite for ‘Pop-Up Makeke,’ a digital marketplace for local products

This Pop-Up Mākeke is intended to support Hawaiiʻs small business owners, particularly our...
This Pop-Up Mākeke is intended to support Hawaiiʻs small business owners, particularly our Native Hawaiian-owned businesses who depend heavily on community events, gatherings, craft fairs, and farmers markets to feed their families.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Apr. 1, 2020 at 4:30 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Each year, dozens of locally owned and operated small businesses converge upon Hilo for the Merrie Monarch Festival.

Those businesses often spend months planning their retail strategy for the festival, bolstering their inventory and finding spots ― hotel lobbies, craft fairs, displays in other small stores ― to show them off during the week.

When this year’s festival was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, those businesses were understandably devastated. But a hui of local businesses and media experts have found at least one way to provide some relief ― while maintaining the social distancing required to keep Hawaii safe.

Pop-Up Mākeke, airing Wednesday on KFVE beginning at 7 p.m., is a centralized online marketplace for customers to have easy access to local products ― products which will be shown off during a two-hour televised special, QVC-style and hosted by Mele Apana and Shannon Scott.

“This Pop-Up Mākeke is intended to support Hawaiiʻs small business owners, particularly our Native Hawaiian-owned businesses who depend heavily on community events, gatherings, craft fairs, and farmers markets to feed their families,” organizers said.

In addition to the products, the show will also serve as a talk-story session with local business owners who are grateful for the opportunity to share their goods with the world.

“The Pop-Up Mākeke is so great because it helps us local vendors out. Because I have rheumatoid arthritis, I am on a immunosuppressant and cannot be around people with this COVID-19 breakout. This online store helps me to still sell to customers while staying safe,” said Nalu Andrade of Na Maka Kahiko.

For more information, you can visit the Pop-Up Mākeke website.

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