3 Reasons Why I Support Small Businesses
As many of us scroll through the Facebook feeds and receive new article updates from our favorite media source, we can't help but stumble upon studies conducted that vote Hawaii as an expensive state to live in....like we didn't know that already!
COST OF LIVING
In a 2017, a post from CNBC.com entitled "America's 10 Most Expensive States to Live in 2017", showcased a bundle of states each displaying an average range of prices for purchasing milk, buying a home, buying a steak and just living in each state...and guess who came in at #1?
(Clip from CNBC.com "America's 10 Most Expensive States to Live in 2017")
As an island resident who is born and raised in this beautiful state, I love my island home! I went away for college and then again for business, but always seemed to return home. Some friends call it the island's magnetic charm that keeps me returning despite where I go, others say that I'm bound to this island paradise, I on the other hand, see it from a different perspective.
Oahu has always been the place to hang my hat. The weather is tropical all year round, we have such a diverse cultural heritage that being accepting of one another seems to go hand in hand. Finally, as we live on an island, we collectively become a large community rather than small cities. Supporting our community TOGETHER should be at the front of everyone's mind. But what does that mean? Support?
Tell Me Why
Import is a huge industry in Honolulu because we live on an island surrounded by water. People can't just hop in a car and deliver our "wants and needs" to us via ground transport. So why not support your LOCAL community and purchase their merchandise / services from them? Here's 3 reasons why I support small local businesses in Hawaii:
1. "Buy Local" to keep money within our community!
The "BUY LOCAL" mentality has been around for a hot minute. You may be seeing commercials on television and hear it on the radio of advertisers telling you to #BuyLocal . But do we really do it? As most of us have 2 jobs to keep the income flowing in, I can totally understand "not having time" to hit up farmer's markets that showcase local farmers or small businesses. But, more-so now, a variety of retailer are starting to carry more LOCAL products and are PROUDLY displaying them with signs that say " PROUDLY MADE IN HAWAII" or "LOCAL" on them. When I can't make those farmer's markets, I sure hit up stores that support our local community! The money I spend with them goes back into the community and creating more local products.
2. "Buy Local" to support the creative business minds of Hawaii.
Local businesses are run by people! Your neighbor, your friend, your classmate, your cousin. People who make a choice to live here with us. As a community, by choosing to purchase local products, we essentially are telling our small business owners that "we like what you're doing, keep up the good work". This in turn, we inspire more creativity and more options for your to choose from.
3. "Buy Local" to encourage the future generations to reach for more.
As a resident of Hawaii, I feel a certain responsibility to my community. The world is constantly changing and more opportunities present themselves to get products for less money from foreign countries. As a small business supporter, I hope to show the younger generation that going to a local farm to buy vegetables is normal. Visiting farmer's markets to buy bread from local vendors for the week is common. Taking a trip to visit the local butcher to purchase meat is typical. Finally, creating your own business locally to support yourself and your community IS POSSIBLE!
(Lauren Mori (Owner of 808 Craft and Gift Fairs) with her daughter)
Be the example you wish to see
As a youngster growing up in Hawaii, I loved the ALOHA spirit! It was infectious, I was a sponge to the world and it encompassed me. I watched the airport flower shops get filled with people grabbing a flower lei to greet their incoming guests, friends at the mall giving kisses on the cheeks as a greeting, chivalrous acts of kindness around Waikiki as kama'aina talk to random tourists about our island home and places to visit.
We as a community need to get our there and support local businesses in order to help them thrive and grow.
I can promise you that Elev8 Hawaii will continue to support our local vendors, artisans, farmers, community groups, designers and dreamers to see to it that we do our part in Hawaii. We hope that you will join us and visit a small business to see what they have going on!