Five Ways Your Business Can Help Your Community in 2021

Many communities, including the home of Kona Impact–Kailua-Kona, Hawaii–have gone through a tumultuous year. Some businesses have done OK, a few have thrived, and many have seen their business move to the precipice of failure.

It’s easy to see the negative and feel disconnected from the problems, especially if you are doing fine. That said, what if you want to be part of making things better?

One of my mentors, a person with who I served on two Boards, always had a simple yet highly impactful question: 

How can we make things better?

I always try to start with that question when I deal with business, people, or community challenges. It’s a simple guide for me.

Here are some ways for business owners to strengthen Kona’s business community.

  1. Buy local. This is perhaps the best way to make our business community in Kona stronger. When you shop online with businesses like Amazon, probably 95%+ of your spending leaves the island. If you buy from a local big box store, I’d estimate that 75% of your money leaves the island. Buy from a locally owned business, and you might see 60-90% of your money stay in the community.
  1. Support businesses that are suffering now. This includes restaurants, hospitality, and tourism businesses. Go out for a nice meal–or do takeout–to your favorite restaurants. If you want them to be here, now is the time to go out of your way to spend a little extra at these places.
  1. Donate one or all of the “the Three Ts”: Time, Talent, or Treasure. In simpler terms, share your expertise, your labor, or your money with worthy organizations or people in the community. If you look at the Three Ts as your guide, you’ll always be able to help out in some way.
  1. Make a special effort to support our local farmers. At Kona Impact, we take delivery of a box of locally-grown produce every week, which supports a local farming family and provides us with super fresh and tasty food. There are farmers’ markets in nearly all of Hawaii Island’s communities.
  1. Make 2021 a year when you focus on being kinder and more tolerant. When the pandemic began, I decided to drive a bit considerately, be a bit more tolerant of others, and share kindness more. It’s easy to do, and it can make a di