On February 17th, 2020 the second meeting of concerned business owners and families gathered together at the Vidinha Stadium’s parking to talk about the next steps as many are facing a complete decimation of their businesses if action isn’t taken soon.
We were encouraged to see The Garden Island covering this story and talking to different business owners and we encourage you to read that article and the quotes to see how desperate many are right now.
BUT the issue everyone needs to be paying attention to is the informal poll taken at the meeting. We are about to see a major economic meltdown on the island if something isn’t done immediately.
During the meeting, there were approximately 200 business owners in attendance from all over the island.
20 west side businesses
30 south side businesses
20 north shore businesses
100 Kapaa businesses
30 Lihue businesses
Business owners were asked the following questions:
100% of the businesses care about the health and safety of the community
90% of businesses made every change required by law
60 businesses are closed due to the pandemic
65 businesses will close in the next month if nothing changes
65 businesses will close in the next 3 months if nothing changes
90 businesses have furloughed employees since the pandemic
None of the businesses can operate with the current restrictions
All 200 business owners are willing and ready to work with our representatives
All 200 businesses need a timeline or game plan to make smart business decisions
Wait a minute! Did you catch that? Let’s do the math there.
60 Already closed
65 business will close next month
…and 65 will close in the next 3 months if immediate action isn’t taken by the Mayor. (Safe Travels).
So like 10 businesses left out of the 200 in the next 3 months?
What the literal hell? (Excuse our french)
This is serious. This isn’t just a group of “Concerned” business owners. This is the potential demise of a big chunk of our economy.
This is families losing everything. This is poverty. This is desperation.
Now we understand this was an informal poll of business owners standing in a parking lot and raising their hands but seriously.
This should be major news around the country but unfortunately, it’s being taken too lightly.
Yesterday after 3 months of silence on when we “Might” be getting back into the State’s “Safe Travels” program Mayor Kawakami finally wrote an article for The Garden Island titled ‘Thanks to your collective efforts, we are in a good place’
In the article he is quoted as saying:
“…we are in a good place to work with our community partners toward adding the state’s Safe Travels program for mainland arrivals in the late spring – provided case counts in our island, state, and across the nation remain stable”
I’m sorry Mayor Kawakami. By Late spring we may only have 10 of our 200 businesses left.
This is not acceptable on any level.
By the way a side-note here…
We found it very odd that the Mayor wrote an opinion article for The Garden Island.
“Only in 3rd world countries, with dictators do politicians write their own articles”
Mayor Kawakami, we take issue that you have kept us in the dark for 3 months about your intentions to re-enter the Safe Travels program.
A quote from one of the attendees at the meeting that was cited The Garden Island article we mentioned above…
“If your plan is not to reopen, boy, you need to tell us now and be transparent,” Keener said. “Our families are being greatly affected by these current policies. We need to know so that we can plan accordingly to get on with our lives and stop pouring money into businesses that may never return.”
You are playing politics with our lives.
We request complete transparency and ongoing dialogue on these issues. No more daily video reports like it’s a TV news report.
Talk to us. Meet with us. Work with us.
Take action Mayor Kawakami
You have one chance to help save this impending meltdown and that is to get our Island immediately into the State’s Safe Travels program.