Hawaii PPE Manufacturers Promoted Online via Buy Hawaii, Give Aloha

Posted on May 4, 2021 in News

For Immediate Release: May 4, 2021

HONOLULU—Locally made personal protective equipment (PPE) is now available for purchase on the Buy Hawaii, Give Aloha website (invest.hawaii.gov/buy-hawaii/personal-protective-equipment). The Hawaii manufacturers featured on the website were awarded grants from CARES Act funds to grow local sources of cleaning supplies and PPE in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an immediate shortage of PPE and cleaning supplies throughout the world, which greatly threatened Hawaii due to the very limited local capacity to manufacture PPE. Hawaii companies shifted their manufacturing to create cleaning supplies and PPE, demonstrating how a local supply chain can adapt and prioritize community needs.

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Supply Chain Program (htdc.org/innovation-grant-ppe-supply-chain) provided grants of up to $500,000 to small businesses throughout the state to help establish a local supply chain of cleaning supplies and PPE in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The program awarded all $10,000,000 of the appropriated funds to 36 companies and the projects were completed by December 30, 2020.

The Buy Hawaii, Give Aloha platform (buy.hawaii.gov) was launched by the Business Development & Support Division (BDSD) in July 2020 to support Hawaii businesses affected by travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of selling to visitors through brick and mortar retail shops, it now focuses on engaging and selling to consumers through e-commerce. In line with the “Buy Local” strategy to support Hawaii businesses and to retain capital in Hawaii, the new online PPE section was created to encourage local buyers to purchase PPE manufactured in Hawaii.

Mike McCartney, DBEDT Director, stated, “We are very pleased to have achieved our goal of increasing local production capacity of cleaning supplies and PPE, and building resilience in Hawaii’s manufacturing sector. The program enabled Hawaii companies to keep their employees working during the pandemic, while providing economic support and new opportunities to other small businesses that employed displaced workers on all islands. This program maximized the total benefit for the state by coordinating with other funds that committed matching funds and resources to help our communities endure and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”

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About the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT)
DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

About Buy Hawaii, Give Aloha
As businesses recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more important to shop and support local whenever you can. When you buy from Hawaii companies, your purchase goes toward sustaining our local economy and helping small business owners survive and help them keep employees hired. Buy Hawaii, Give Aloha is a free portal site that promotes Hawaii businesses and Hawaii-made products. Created by the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), the site directory lists local retailers, restaurants, farmers and manufacturers all in one place, so shoppers know exactly where to look to find products that are made in Hawaii. Hawaii businesses that make more than 75% of their total product offerings in Hawaii can apply online at invest.hawaii.gov/bhga-application to be listed in our company directory.

Media Contacts:
Len Higashi
Hawaii Technology Development Corporation
(808) 539-3814

Lyle Fujikawa
Business Development & Support Division
Buy Hawaii, Give Aloha
(808) 222-3498