For Yoas Sorbet and Aquascapes in Ohana Hale Marketplace, it’s the latter.

“For our safety and for our workers and employees and for the safety of our costumers we didn’t want anyone coming to the store and catching anything,” said Corey Morihara, secretary of Yoas Sorbet and Aquascapes. “We didn’t want any of our friends or family to get sick.”

It’s a tough choice that comes with a cost.

“We’ve been down half of Christmas and that’s a big blow. Christmas is a busy time and it’s a long time to go without income,” Morihara said.

Retail Merchants of Hawaii says the business is not alone.

“Some stores have reduced hours, some have closed on certain days of the week,” said Tina Yamaki, President of Retail Merchants of Hawaii. “We’ve heard of some stores literally closing their brick and mortar and going totally online now as well.”

While some businesses are only temporarily shutting their doors, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is worried this COVID surge could leave behind permanent closures.

“We’re only now making up what was lost in the past couple years,” said Sherry Menor-McNamara, President of Chamber of Commerce Hawaii. “That coupled with the rising inflation, supply chain shortage, amongst other factors, it definitely has concern for many of our local businesses.”

For some companies, reopening dates have been set to the end of January. However, for Yoas, it’s unknown and they’re just hoping for the best.

“It’s a fluid situation,” said Morihara. “It’s still all up in the air. We don’t want to open prematurely. When it starts slowing down, we’ll start to open back again.”

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