How to report non-essential businesses still operating

How to be a super rat.


It has been nearly a month since the Governor ordered people to stay at home and shut down non-essential businesses.
But some non-essential stores are still operating, so here is what you can do about violators.

Under governmental orders, there are 26 different categories of essential businesses, including grocery stores, healthcare operations and restaurants (for take out or delivery). But some shops or stores not specifically on the list are still open.

“The order lays out what is essential, and not what is not. So there is a lot of space for businesses to determine what their primary purpose is,” stated Honolulu Public Information Officer Molly Pierce.

At the City and County of Honolulu’s COVID 19 call center, dozens of workers answer questions about the pandemic, getting up to 300 calls an hour.

“We get a lot of calls about what businesses are allowed to be open,” added Pierce.

More than 1,100 of the nearly 6,500 COVID 19 center calls came from residents reporting violations.

Viewers also call or email KITV 4 Island News with complaints about non-essential businesses still open.
So we took at look at one of those stores in Waipahu.

Professional Auto Stereo is still open, but it is anything but business as usual there.

“According to the Mayor’s orders, we have some products to stay open, so we are grateful for that, like the alarms, security, batteries, and fuses,” explained manager Sam Abdeljawad.

While customers still come in, Abdeljawad said business has dropped significantly. Now he doesn’t know how long they will manage in business under the stay at home order.

“We cut the employees times, so we don’t have to pay as much payroll. For this month and the next we can manage that — after that, we will have to let the employees go,” stated Abdeljawad.

If you believe a non-essential business is violating the current order, you should call the city’s COVID 19 hotline.
Because instead of looking for violators, city employees relies on complaints from the community to tip them off.

The same center can also be used to voice opinions on businesses that should be deemed essential.
It happened with fabric stores, following a large public outcry, and led to a change in Oahu’s orders for businesses

“With fabric stores there was a need for balance and that came from the community,” said Pierce.

Honolulu’s COVID 19 hotline number is 768-CITY (2489).
You can also find more information on COVID 19 resources, closures and answers to questions at:

2 thoughts on “How to report non-essential businesses still operating

  1. Weird. We have some states going almost full-blown “open,” which includes beaches, theaters, beauty salons, etc. Then we have other states (like mine) tightening the restrictions. Seems their narrative is contradicting itself.


    1. Their narrative contradicts itself all the time! “We” have to stay at home, but “they” don’t. “We” cannot have funerals for our dead loved ones, but “they” can! The liqour stores are allowed to be open, but the laundrymat is not! Just who gets to decide what is essential, anyways?!? Clean clothes are more essential than booze, in my opinion. The whole thing is deliberately planned out to confuse and manipulate all of us “pee-ons”!

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