MBB is Bringing Mom-and-Pop Businesses into the Limelight
A free series of events will be held across Maui County to engage small business owners on how to change the attention Mom-and-Pop stores are received, and raise their visibility to drive continued survival and success.
The multi-location event, The State of Mom-and-Pops in Maui, is being held by Maui Business Brainstormers to re-ignite the dedication to local small businesses and expand the mind-share of small businesses with customers in the local community.
Each forum is free and open to all small businesses or anyone considering a business on Maui.
Lānaʻi: Tuesday, Feb. 20, Lānaʻi ILWU Hall, 7 to 9:30 a.m.
Molokaʻi: Tuesday, Feb. 20, MEO Molokaʻi, 7 to 9:30 a.m.
Pāʻia: Wednesday, Feb. 21, Maui Heritage Hall, 7 to 9:30 a.m.
Wailuku: Thursday, Feb. 22, Wailuku ILWU Hall, 7 to 9:30 a.m.
Hāna: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, Travaasa Hāna, 7 to 9:30 a.m.
Kahului, Kīhei, Lāhainā and Makawao: event dates to be determined upon venue availability and hosting logistics.
Each forum will be customized for the local community, with agendas ranging from panels to “talk story” to local facilitators, and will focus on open discussion by the participants. Discussion topics could include:
- How solid is the base for mom-and-pop services and retailers in your market area?
- Do you want to widen the draw or focus very locally?
- How does the future look for small businesses in your area?
- What new opportunities might there be for a network of small business?
MBB says participation at the forums may help to reset individual business approaches as well as inspire more initiatives across the Mom-and-Pop business community as a whole, creating a stronger network of businesses that drive the overall market for all.
The Mom-and-Pop forums are being held in conjunction with National Entrepreneurship Week, on Maui and across the US. This year, National Entrepreneurship Week takes place February 17-24 across the US, with local events planned across Maui County.
Last week, a Native Hawaiian mom-and-pop business celebrated 20 years in business on Maui.
Johanna Kuuleilokelani Shin Amorin didn’t know that entrepreneurship was in her blood.
After securing a good-paying position that paid the bills and health premiums for herself, her husband, and three sons, she lost her job.
She cried for a week asking, “why me?”
“But after a week of crying, I picked myself up, applied for and got a few new jobs, but didn’t feel challenged or rewarded, so one day I woke up and decided to become an entrepreneur,” Johanna said.
Tidy Up Services, a commercial cleaning service started in 1993, was her first business. Then, five years later, Johanna and her husband Howard Amorin opened a staffing and payroll service company to help run their first business. Amorin is a US Army veteran and a retiree from the County of Maui.
When the Amorins founded Jobline X-Press, Inc. in 1998, they knew they were entering a very competitive field. However, Johanna’s experiences working in her parents’ successful lei-making business, combined with her diversified employment journey, and her upbringing acclimating to new surroundings every time her parents moved, gave her the confidence to move forward.
Jobline X-Press started in a very tiny commercial space in Wailuku, with the motto “Do What You Do Best, We Do the Rest.” Their business approach paid off, and is now celebrating 20 years of success and a bigger office space.
Tapping into their Hawaiian values and culture, the Amorins built a unique business to make it competitive. Their unique business vision consisted of a holistic set of values working together as a whole: 24-hour service, relationships honored Hawaiian-style, commitment to the community, and dedication to the needs of individual clients.
The innovative spirit of both wife and husband is reflected throughout the company and its partners, and with the employees and the clients. “No matter the size of the businesses we serve, we realize every day that our ʻohana success depends on understanding and fulfilling the needs of our partners. We are in very good company as we celebrate our 20th anniversary,” said Howard, who serves as vice president of Jobline X-Press.