Categorized | Entertainment

Black & White Night goes green (Nov. 4)

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hawaii Alliance for a Local Economy (HALE) in partnership with the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association (Hilo DIA) is launching a pilot Think Local, Buy Local campaign during Black & White Night Downtown Hilo 5-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4.

Black & White Night/Think Local, Buy Local buttons offer Hawaii Island residents discounts at locally owned businesses throughout the holiday season.

Buttons are $5 and are available at Black & White Night and in advance at the Hilo Information Center; Palace Theatre; Diabolik Surf & Glass; Bayfront Coffee, Kava, and Tea Co.; and Basically Books.

During the holiday season, the Think Local, Buy Local campaign will be highlighting local products and services offered by 30 locally owned businesses in downtown Hilo.

“The Hilo Downtown Improvement Association has been helping locally owned businesses thrive in downtown Hilo for 49 years. Black & White night is a major economic development event, bringing over 10,000 people to downtown Hilo businesses each year,” sayid Alice Moon, executive director of the Hilo DIA, “The partnership with Think Local, Buy Local helps raise awareness about the many locally made products, foods and services available by locally owned businesses in downtown Hilo.”

In a consumer survey conducted by HALE, Hawaii Island residents indicated they felt a personal obligation to purchase locally produced goods and services for many reasons:

* “It helps the local economy”
* “want to help the local farmers, merchants, and businesses succeed”
* “keeps jobs and money here”
* “is better for the environment”
• “we need to support our neighbors”
* “local products are usually better — especially food.”

The Think Local, Buy Local pilot campaign is funded by the County of Hawaii, Office of Research and Development.

“During challenging economic times, we feel that it is even more important than ever to find creative ways to grow our local economy”, said Randy Kurohara, director of the county Office of Research and Development. “We believe that keeping local dollars circulating in the local economy is an investment in the social, environmental and economic strength of our communities. ”

In a survey of approximately 200 Hawaii Island owned businesses, 70 percent of respondents said they would like to “increase my percentage of locally sourced goods and services.”

“We all know that most of our goods are shipped in on barges and therefore a lot of our dollars are shipped back out with our purchases, “ said Andrea Dean, project coordinator for HALE and the Think Local, Buy Local campaign.

“Steering the ship away from an import based economy and towards a strong local economy can be done by having many hands on deck,” Dean said. “In recent years, more residents and business owners have been dedicating a portion of their budgets to locally made and grown products and it has been inspiring to see many cottage industries grow.”

The Hawaii Alliance for a Local Economy (HALE) is an emerging alliance of local businesses, non-profits, government, community leaders and residents who believe that local, independent businesses are the foundation of a local living economy.

To learn more and participate in Think Local, Buy Local visit www.ThinkLocalBuyLocal.org or call Dean at 960-3727.

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