Hawaiiverse is trying to make it easy to shop local ... and get a great deal along the way

The Big Island company  Hawaiiverse provides a free online directory where businesses can...
The Big Island company Hawaiiverse provides a free online directory where businesses can advertise themselves, and connect with more customers.(Courtesy: Hawaiiverse)
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 4:05 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With cool promo videos and a user-friendly website, a new local company is helping other businesses hurt by the pandemic’s hit on the economy.

Jared Kushi and Taylor Martin run Hawaiiverse.

“Through these tough times, we were like, ‘Hey, we should be leveraging this audience that we have to do something good for the community,’” Kushi said.

That audience started as a Facebook group with about 26,000 members and it’s continued to grow.

Hawaiiverse came up with a way for businesses to reach those people for free to advertise sales and offer discount coupons.

“Everyone loves a great deal,” Kushi said. “In return businesses get to get new customers. Hopefully, people love them and keep going back to them for the rest of their life.”

Since the directory launched in June, more than 400 companies and organizations have joined.

Tracie Yoshimoto signed up her business: The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo.

“Cash is king. With no cash inflow it was the thing that kept me up at night,” she said.

Her Hawaiiverse listing helped pay the bills when foot traffic came to a standstill. “I definitely feel like it gave us added exposure, and we did see an uptick in new customers,” Yoshimoto said.

Hawaiiverse partners with the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii. The company began by helping businesses on the Big Island then spread to Oahu. The effort is now going statewide.

“We are trying to build a community. This is much more than just an online directory or a social media platform,” Kushi said.

Businesses that want more exposure can also pay for premium listings.

“We’re just trying to help as many people as possible,” Kushi said.

Hawaiiverse has a new campaign called the “Race to 808.” It’s trying to build its directory to 808 businesses in the next 80 days.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.