Local businesses prepare for Valentine’s Day weekend while battling the woes of the COVID-19 pandemic

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — The two-week countdown is on for Valentine’s Day 2022. Local businesses are gearing up from restaurants to hotels to florists, but some lingering pandemic misfortunes are making things difficult.

Valentine’s Day is the busiest time of year for Watanabe Floral. Delivery delays have impacted them throughout the year, but they hope it doesn’t ruin the day of love.

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“The biggest issue right now is transportation and making sure there’s enough lift to get out of South America and then transport everything to Hawaii,” said Monty Pereira, general manager of Watanabe Floral.

Luckily the roses are in stock, but Watanabe Floral is still keeping its fingers crossed for other items.

“Fill-in type flowers, like just greens or baby’s breath. Those are the elements that are really short right now,” Pereira said.

Pereira said customers should place their orders early this year. The same goes for restaurant reservations. With the big game the night before, restaurants are eagerly awaiting the Valentine’s Day weekend rush.

“All these upcoming holidays would really help restaurants in general in business,” said Ave Kwak, vice president of the Hawaii Restaurant Association. “Restaurant cards, a lot of people still have them, so please spend them in our restaurants. We are depending on some of these public holidays to pick up customers.

Now, for those looking to book a stay, industry experts said it may be too late.

“We always think of the most romantic island like Kauai, and I just called a few properties there and they’re all full,” said University of Hawaii TIM professor Jerry Agrusa. “So one of them doesn’t have a room from 10 to 20.”

Meanwhile, Hawaii’s Party City said that while most of its Valentine’s Day inventory was ready, some items were still arriving.

“Balloons, what most people want is ready,” said Andrew Shum, vice president of operations for Party City in Hawaii. “There’s less candy this year for us, but it really wasn’t an omicron thing, it was more just that our salesman was having trouble on the mainland on his own.”

Local businesses are asking for support and patience this Valentine’s Day.

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“Local businesses could not have survived without the support of the public and we are very grateful to them,” said Pereira.

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