Recently we asked local business owners on Kauai to send us their stories on our the current restrictions on the island have affected their business and families.

The responses have been pouring in but this comment today by the owners of Trees Lounge really hit home and many other local businesses are sharing similar experiences.

Please let us know in the comments how the current restrictions have affected your business and family.

ulla freeman – Posted 02/17/21

Good morning, I will share my story as a single, older woman business owner on Kauai. I own Trees Lounge inc. Trees Lounge ,bar and restaurant with 12 employees, was closed for business March 20/2020 due to covid mandates. Because our location with Aston Islander on the Beach and Kapaa Shores , tucked away from mainroads , there was no point to open for take out. The county seemed to think that every restaurant could be take out and serve local community. That was wrong, We are a late night,live music venue and “late night” would have been allowed to 10pm, with no indoor music, no dancing, no bar. So we tried to servive,paying all the insurance, permits , power , maintain the equipment , pay the land lord all CAM , each month for 8 months, waiting each month for the mayor to lift some mandates, it did not happen so I ran out of money and had to give the restaurant space with all my assets to my landlord, Trees Lounge is gone,so is income to many local men and women. I am upset and sad. We employed NOT only the servers, cooks and bartenders but local musicians, I keep contact with many of them , they have no work, some older Hawaiian musicians retired as they miss performing . I also own small shop in Kapaa town, I put all “tourist” type inventory in the back after we closed for business March 2020. I brought in my personal antiques and junk to sell to the locals at cheap price and marked the whole store at 50% off ! Just to generate some food money for the family. I was closed for months and now open few hours a day , the town is empty and Kauai Residents , customers are out of MONEY ! Please Mayor , open up the island so we can feel like humans again, standing behind the counter in an empty store , waiting for that 1 customer 2 if we are lucky , to walk in to buy half off item , is absurd ! We , us , business owners pour our hearts and souls to our businesses , to serve the people, that is what customer service is and is taking risks , we understand that, BUT almost a year, month after month waiting to get an answer HOW TO STAY IN BUSINESS is too much of risk taking, we needs answers . The residents need jobs so take can have buying power to support us again.

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