‘Kokua for Maui’ effort aims to boost local businesses after wildfires | News, Sports, Jobs

Hawaii’s four mayors are launching a collaborative effort in November called “Kokua for Maui — Shop & Show Aloha” Month, which aims to boost Maui residents and businesses in the wake of the August wildfires.

“Maui’s people and businesses have demonstrated incredible resilience during these trying times, and ‘Kokua for Maui — Shop & Show Aloha’ is dedicated to bolstering their efforts while revitalizing the island’s economy,” Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen said in a news release Friday.

A partnership between the counties and the state, the Kokua for Maui initiative will feature a series of events and activities on Maui and other islands throughout November, including some that were already in the works before the fires. Upcoming events include:

• 10th Annual Hawaiian Airlines Made in Maui County Festival (Nov. 3-4), which celebrates locally made products. It is presented by the Maui Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Maui County Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

• 22nd Annual Native Hawaiian Convention (Nov. 14-17), which will feature discussions on culture, economic development and education, with a focus on Maui’s history and future. The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement decided to move their convention to Maui this year following the wildfires.

• Taste Our Love for Maui: Special edition of Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival (Nov. 18), which will bring eight chefs with strong ties to Maui to Humble Market Kitchin by Roy Yamaguchi and Wailea Beach Resort. All ticket sales will be donated to the Kokua Restaurant and Hospitality Fund to help workers impacted by the fires. The special edition of the festival is held in partnership with the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

• Kokua for Maui at the Hilo Farmers Market (Nov. 18), which will include Maui small businesses hosted by Hawaii County.

• Kokua for Maui at the Neal Blaisdell Center (Nov. 19), which will feature Maui-based vendors and their products as part of a collaborative event with the City and County of Honolulu and community partners.

• Kokua for Maui in Waikiki (Nov. 20-21), which will bring together Maui’s entrepreneurs to showcase their products, art and more.

• Small Business Saturday featuring Kauai Made Craft Fair at the Kukui Grove Center (Nov. 25), which will showcase Maui-based vendors with a diverse range of products, services and attractions.

More events will be announced shortly.

“November is typically the month for giving, and we all know someone affected by the Maui wildfires,” Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke said in a news release. “Our islands might be separated by ocean, but we’re one island state. When one island hurts, we all feel it. We keep hearing from people, how we can help? One way to make a real difference for small businesses and local families is to keep supporting local.”

More information and updates on Kokua for Maui, as well as a directory of local businesses to support, are available at MauiNuiFirst.com.

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