Maui Business

Hawaiʻi Banks Secure $1.6B For Local Businesses

April 14, 2020, 4:18 PM HST
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A report found that international students spent 25% less in Hawaii from 2015-16.

The Hawaii Bankers Association (HBA) announced that the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application became available, Hawaii banks have successfully secured SBA approval for loans to more than 7,500 companies totaling $1.6 billion. The HBA estimates this funding will help to preserve more than 100,000 jobs statewide.

The SBA PPP is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed by President Trump on Mar. 27, which provides financial relief for American workers and small businesses affected by COVID-19. The program is designed to help small businesses keep employees on payroll and off unemployment assistance for as much as eight weeks and requires applicants to use SBA-approved lenders (in Hawaii this includes HBA members American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii National Bank, Ohana Pacific Bank and Territorial Savings Bank).

“Once the Paycheck Protection Program was announced, our lender banks worked swiftly to make the application available to customers and staff up immediately to accommodate the high volume we anticipated,” said Rich Wacker, President of the Hawaii Bankers Association.

“Despite this being a brand new program with changes and conditions communicated on almost a daily basis, Hawaii bankers have worked around the clock to secure essential funding for more than 7,500 Hawaii businesses in just eight days.”

No state is allocated a portion of the loan amounts to be provided to small businesses meaning that the PPP loans are “first come, first served.” In total, HBA lender banks received nearly 20,000 applications since the program started accepting applications on Apr. 3.

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“The good news is Hawaii banks are stepping up to help local businesses and workers and we are on track to get our fair share of the $349 billion national program,” Sen. Brian Schatz said in a press release.

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“But many more people still need help and time is of the essence. That’s why I’m fighting to make sure SBA moves quickly and that this program gets more money.”

While the PPP is an option for many businesses, it may not be the best solution for all companies as the SBA has several new temporary programs available during the COVID-19 outbreak. Small business owners are encouraged to contact their primary bank or any of the HBA banks for assistance with financial hardship due to the pandemic.  Banks are offering accommodations for individual and business customers suffering financial hardship, including forbearance, payment deferment and extensions.

HBA member banks are also keeping branches open throughout Hawaiʻi to serve essential customer needs, waiving fees when using any local bank’s ATMs, providing kupuna hours and more. Dedicated to serving the community, HBA banks are also supporting a wide range of local nonprofit and community COVID-19-response initiatives.

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The Hawaii Bankers Association is a trade organization made up of FDIC insured depository institutions in Hawaii, including: American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Bank of the Orient, Central Pacific Bank, Finance Factors, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii National Bank, HomeStreet Bank, Ohana Pacific Bank, and Territorial Savings Bank.

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