‘Tis the Season to Support Local

Posted on Nov 30, 2023 in Featured, Latest Department News, Main, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

Photo courtesy: Bryce Pedersen

As we approach the festive holiday season, it’s a time for celebration and reflecting on resilience and community
spirit. Following the Maui wildfires in August, the state has been committed to supporting local businesses on the path
to recovery.

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) Business Development and Support Division provided grants to cover vendor booth fees at the annual Made in Maui County Festival through its Community-Based Economic Development program. The sponsorship allowed 132 Maui County companies to exhibit their creativity and talent and the community to experience vendors’ variety of offerings while helping their recovery efforts.

DBEDT also supported the launch of a Hawai‘i-themed pop-up retail shop featuring locally made products at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. Named the Aloha Market Powered by Mana Up, the shop provided a glimpse of Hawai‘i’s talented people, vibrant culture, and natural beauty to the gateway of Tokyo. With an estimated 60,000 travelers and nontravelers passing through daily, shoppers had the chance to experience a curated selection of unique and diverse products from more than 40 Hawai‘i-based companies including long-standing favorites as well as up-and-coming brands.

In addition, the department sponsored the Mana Up Showcase Japan Livestream. The one-hour special featured fresh Hawai‘i entrepreneur stories, local entertainment, and e-commerce opportunities with Japanese translations.

Finally, in February, DBEDT will be presenting an e-commerce workshop to increase the reach and sales of Hawai‘i-made products nationally and internationally.

Let’s embrace the spirit of giving and aloha by supporting local this holiday season. From Kailua-Kona on Hawai‘i Island to Kōloa on Kaua‘i, choose to visit the charming boutiques, mom-and-pop shops, and farmers markets for locally made products found nowhere else.