Business association holds reception, celebrates growth

KAPAA — After the recession began to dissipate in 2012, small businesses on Kauai’s eastside needed support, particularly Kapaa and Wailua. Seeing a glaring need for marketing and business promotion, the Royal Coconut Coast Association came back to life.

Five years later, the association has over 50 members and is growing.

“We wanted to create an organization to position the eastside to show all of its unique features,” said Margy Parker, RCCA spokeswoman.

The association held its annual reception Wednesday at the Hilton Garden Inn. It highlighted successes, such as noting that last year alone, its website had over 66,000 visitors.

“We’re not necessarily trying to promote one hotel or business, we’re trying to promote to whole area,’” said Troy Spalding, general manager of Kauai Coast Resort at the Beach Point.

Spalding wants more small businesses to spread the word about what they offer because that allows the hotels and resorts on the eastside to lead tourists to new restaurants and shops.

RCCA costs $10 a month. It’s affordable for small businesses considering the exposure they receive, said Hilmy Dole, general manager of Kauai Shores Hotel and president of the RCCA.

“We’ve been increasing our membership from day one,” Dole said.

Guest speaker Randy Francisco, county film commissioner, emphasized the importance of Kapaa and Wailua businesses getting positive exposure, not just on a local scale but state- and even worldwide.

Francisco was pleased to see the RCCA back in action and showing strong signs of success.

“This group does its part, it’s a good group,” he said. “When they started up again I thought, ‘Oh good, they’re doing something for this part of the island that could use a good punch.’”

Parker said the bulk of their marketing comes through online promotion and steering potential customers to websites and social media accounts of small business around Kapaa and Wailua.

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