Updated: Jul 25, 2020
Ever wonder what it feels like to uproot your life and move 5,000+ miles away from home?
No? Well, we know- grab a drink and let's get to know each other! I'll get us started:
Hi there! My name is Annie Wei and I am the CEO and co-founder of Mapvil, LLC (aka. The Mom & Pop Village). I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and attended Boston University majoring in Finance & Marketing and minoring in Psychology. I currently work in a corporate strategic analyst role for a large regional bank in Massachusetts.
In the past few months, I worked closely with small businesses- underwriting Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan applications to help get them much needed funding to keep their businesses in operation. During this time, I spoke with a number of mom & pops who, unfortunately, did not qualify for the government program. Having heard their pain points and struggles, I felt the need to take action... "This can't be it. There has to be more I can do to help," I thought.
Hawaii is many things- lush green mountains, beautiful beaches, fantastic food- but most importantly, it represents a culture rich with history and filled with love for its people (kama'aina) and communities. Small businesses are quintessential to the identity of our little communities and I've heard how they have suffered in the face of COVID-19. Seeing my favorite childhood businesses force to shut down from lack of support is devastating. Something in my mind clicked and Mapvil, LLC was created.
The vision I have for Mapvil is vast and continues to grow each day. Mapvil isn't just another directory for businesses, it's an online platform meant to empower, support, and connect the hardworking mom and pops who deserve to have their voices heard and presence acknowledged. They are the backbones of our communities and now is the time to take action.
Now let's get to know Mapvil co-founder, Brandon Lockwood!
My name is Brandon Lockwood and I am the CFO and co-founder of Mapvil, LLC. I was also born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and attended Amherst College majoring in Asian Languages and Civilizations with a pre-med background. I currently work in an operations analyst role for a Boston-based firm in the financial services sector.
My family operates a small, family-owned educational tourism business in Hawaii and I grew up in an environment that gave me opportunities to be involved in the business in a variety of ways. Running a small business is not easy. It takes a lot of thought and effort and the hours often do not confine themselves to the listed operating hours. COVID-19 has thrown a new complex variable into this equation. While there isn’t a lot I can do for my family’s business since travel to Hawaii has been severely limited through legislation, I hope to be able to help out other small businesses through Mapvil.
Community is one of the tenets of my family’s small business and it is also a tenet foundational for Mapvil. We understand that the small businesses and the people who run them are important parts of our local community and give our communities the unique culture that we experience every day. The loss of a single franchise of a national chain means only that we may need to drive another 15 minutes to find another, but the loss of a local business leaves a void that isn’t easily filled. It is important that we make sure we do what we can to give these businesses the support they need so that they can continue to survive, thrive, and keep our local communities vibrant.
We've talked a bit about ourselves and what Mapvil means to us, but we'd love to hear from you! These are uncertain and unprecedented times- we admit we don't know all the answers (yet), but you can bet we'll try our best to learn as much as we can and support our small business partners in as many ways as possible. We know there's a difficult road ahead, but we also know that small businesses are resilient and tough. Let's get through this together!
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P.S. We're starting small in Massachusetts, but we have BIG plans for the future. Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don't miss these major updates!