Visitors Bureau to Launch ‘Shop Big Island’ Website
The Hawai‘i Island Visitors Bureau has announced plans to launch a new website in December dedicated to helping local businesses promote and sell their products, as the county and the state begin the slow climb out of the economic wreckage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Though no official date has been set, the website, shopbigisland.com, will go live early this month and provide a searchable directory for customers to connect with local companies and their current promotions, creating a new online marketplace for Big Island businesses. The website is currently open for businesses to register with their information free of charge. The project is supported in part by the County of Hawai‘i.
The only requirement for a listing is that the business is physically located on Hawai‘i Island. The online form allows businesses to upload their contact information, logo, online platforms (including social media), and their current specials at no cost.
The goal of the directory is to provide a platform that connects local shoppers and visitors with Big Island businesses, helping to ensure that the money they spend stays in their own communities. In Hawai‘i, the more than 125,000 small businesses in the state make up 99.3% of all business, leaving consumers with plenty of options for supporting their community with their dollars.
The UHERO Small Business Survey revealed that the pandemic has affected employment and small businesses on the neighbor islands even more than O‘ahu, due to dependence on tourism. Changing shopping habits could help to create a shift in that dependence and help communities become more self-sustainable in the future.