Made in Maui County Festival Encourages Community Support
By Maui Now Staff
County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of Commerce released a new brochure this week outlining the impact of the annual Made in Maui County Festival on local businesses.
This information is part of an effort to encourage private sector sponsorship of this year’s festival, a popular event dedicated to growing our islands’ business community.
The 2nd Annual Made in Maui County Festival, the largest products show in the county, will be open to the public on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Admission is $5; children 12 and under will be admitted at no charge.
“In this new collateral piece we shared some of the success stories local businesses experienced as a direct result of participating in the 2014 inaugural festival,” said Teena Rasmussen, director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. “Last year, over 130 vendors participated. These visionary entrepreneurs play a vital role in helping to provide jobs, and moving our economy forward by creating new export products. The county has made a significant investment into this program, and we would love to see private sector sponsors help us build the sustainability of the festival. We have many levels of sponsorship opportunities and can customize them as well.”
Reasons to Support Maui’s Local Businesses
Maui’s local businesses keep more money in our local economy:
According to the US Small Business Administration, there were nearly 28 million small businesses in the US in 2010. Over the past two decades, these businesses created 65% of net new jobs. For every $100 spent in locally owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures.
In 2014, over $300,000 in product sales were generated by participating MIMCF vendors–monies that were reinvested back in our local economy.
They support local jobs:
Spending locally has a direct impact on the creation of jobs. In 2014, over 180 new accounts and wholesale orders were closed, and over 1,000 leads for future sales and wholesale accounts were generated during the MIMCF.
In an effort to take advantage of events like MIMCF and other sales opportunities, Hawaiʻi Fudge Company increased their staff by 35%, which helped to boost their production and market share.
They help the environment:
Local, independent product makers cut down on processing, packaging and transportation waste. Many also try to reuse/recycle materials. For example, 2014 vendor Wrappily’s popular, chic gift wrapping paper products come in a variety of patterns printed on 100% recyclable newsprint with an eco-friendly twist.
They encourage community:
According to a 2011 national study, 93% of consumers believe it’s important to support the local small businesses in their community. And that hold true for Maui County: despite a steady downpour, thousands of residents came out to support our local entrepreneurs during the inaugural festival in 2014.
They fuel entrepreneurship:
Small business owners are visionaries–men and women who take a chance on a dream and turn an idea into reality. For example, in 2014, Matsumoto Studios showcased their products and connected with new wholesale clients at MIMCF. Their products are now sold in T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods.
They celebrate ingenuity and diversity:
Locally owned, independent businesses offer original and unique products and services that enhance the interest, diversity and character of Maui County. For example, Exfolicare’s handmade loofah soaps made with coconut and macadamia nut oils, were just some of the many uniquely Hawaiian products sold during last year’s MIMCF.
They make this community a destination:
In 2014, the inaugural MIMCF attracted over 9,500 attendees–35% of whom were visitors–puttting Maui on the map as a premier shopping destination.
“The festival is the perfect proactive, grassroots initiative supporting, growing and elevating Maui small business while perpetuating the spirit of aloha,” said Kauionalani Waller of Maui Nui Wear. “As a 2014 vendor, we had the opportunity to gain exposure that would have been hard to achieve individually–we more than doubled our wholesale orders.”
“This event provided more exposure for my small Molokaʻi business than we could have done
otherwise,” said Jamie Ronzello of Barking Deer Farm. “It also provided me, as a business owner, the confidence to continue to grow my business.”
According to Dennis Chamberlain of Dennis Chamberlain Studios, exposure was ranked among the top reasons for participating in MIMCF.
“More people saw my artwork at this event than every other exhibitions I have been in on Maui combined,” Chamberlain said.
Other MIMCF testimonials from vendors can be found online.
The new MIMCF brochure is available at the County of Maui Business Resource Center located in the Maui Mall, 70 East Kaʻahumanu Avenue in Kahului. It’s also availabel at the Maui Chamber of Commerce located in the J. Walter Cameron Center, 95 Mahalani St., Suite 22A, in Wailuku.
An online version is also available.
Various sponsorship opportunities are available for the 2015 event.
The Made in Maui County Festival is co-presented by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of Commerce.