Hawai‘i Small Businesses to Receive More Relief

Small businesses that are struggling have another opportunity to apply for loans, which are expected to run out quickly.


The U.S. Small Business Administration is again accepting loan applications starting today, April 27, to help small-business owners cover payroll and other operating expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for forgivable loans of up to $10 million are due May 4, but officials say eligible businesses should apply as soon as possible.


The Paycheck Protection Program—created through U.S. Congress’ Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act—first began accepting applications earlier this month. But within two weeks, the $349 billion of funding ran out. During that first round, 11,400 small businesses in Hawai‘i were approved for loans out of the more than 20,000 that applied.


Last week, an additional $310 billion was allotted to allow the SBA to resume accepting applications.


Under the program, money must be used for rent, mortgage interest or utilities, and employees must be kept on payroll for eight weeks. Business owners need to apply through an SBA lender or other financial institution. Search for a lender here.


Gwen Yamamoto Lau of the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism encourages small-business owners to apply for the loan immediately if they haven’t already. Experts expect the money will run out even quicker than the first round, Yamamoto Lau said on today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser COVID-19 Care Conversation.


The announcement comes just as the state’s stay-at-home order was set to end on Thursday. But Gov. David Ige announced Saturday that the mandate would extend through May 31. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell had already extended O‘ahu’s stay-at-home order last week. Officials are looking to reopen the state in phases.


For more information on the SBA program and to apply, click here and here. The state also has a dedicated website listing information and resources for business relief and aid.