‘Small Business Saturday’ campaign urges people to shop small local business this holiday season

Small Business Saturday is less than a week away!
Published: Nov. 19, 2023 at 1:54 PM HST
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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’s been a challenging year as shipping costs have increased and visitor numbers have fluctuated.

“It’s been a really weird, weird everyone’s been saying it’s like a retail apocalypse,” Jillian Deolindo, Co-owner of Keep It Simple.

Hunter Long and Jillian Deolindo opened Keep it Simple, a zero-waste store, in 2020 during the COVID pandemic.

Since then, they’ve expanded to Waikiki and Kapolei.

They say 15% of their revenue comes from tourists.

However, supply chain issues and an ongoing labor shortage are making it difficult for them to keep all three shops open.

“We’ve done everything we can to make sure that we’re able to stay competitive because we don’t want to have to raise our prices. Because, you know, we already know it’s a difficult time for everybody. But yeah, shipping has gone up; it does take a little bit longer, especially toward the end of the year,” Deolindo said.

“Small businesses are the heart of our community. It’s what everyone thinks about when they come visit here or when they live here. And let’s say if Target has a bad month, it’s no sweat off their back. But if a small business has a bad month, that could be the end of the business as well,” Hunter Long, co-owner of Keep it Simple, said.

The Retail Merchants of Hawaii say this isn’t an isolated situation.

“You go to most shopping malls; it was all that store used to be there, and they’re not there anymore. So we are seeing stores closing, we know that this holiday season for a lot of the smaller businesses is really make it or break it,” Tina Yamaki, President of Retail Merchants of Hawaii, said.

Ten Tomorrow is a local clothing store in Kaimuki.

They started outsourcing some of their manufacturing to Los Angeles last year.

They also need help with getting supplies and finding workers.

But have found different ways to stay afloat.

“U.S. here with the unique space that we have that kind of looks like a house expanding to having daily whisk matcha. And we open up our space to having pop-ups to have that collaborative environment. And yeah, I think it’s really helpful,” Summer Shiigi, Owner/Designer of Ten Tomorrow, said.

“but traffic’s been up and down. I would say I still feel very blessed to be here to have my whole team with me. But yeah, looking forward to the holidays.”

On Small Business Saturday, they’re having a Keep it Kaimuki event at Ali’Iolani Elementary School.

Organizers say it’s a free family fun day.

For more information, head to their Instagram.