Over 23,000 Hawaii small businesses tap $3B in federal aid

HONOLULU — Federal financial aid for Hawaii small businesses affected by COVID-19 has grown to just over $3 billion, according to new U.S. Small Business Administration data.

The tally includes $542 million in loans for 8,884 Hawaii businesses from a SBA economic disaster assistance program, and $2.465 billion for 23,786 Hawaii businesses from the agency’s Paycheck Protection Program approved as of Friday.


These figures represent loan approvals, through which loan proceeds have been distributed in many, but not all, cases.

In recent weeks the amount of money approved for PPP loans for Hawaii businesses has actually declined, and as of Friday was $68 million less than the $2.533 billion reported as approved through May 8.

The drop reflects changes to loan amounts as well as loan withdrawals and approval cancellations, including cases where some residential condominium associations aimed to cover the maintenance of their property with PPP loan proceeds despite not being qualified nonprofits under program rules.

The U.S. Treasury Department has refused to disclose names of PPP loan recipients despite the loans being taxpayer-funded public subsidies and the discovery that some billion-dollar companies obtained loans.


PPP loans were created to help businesses with fewer than 500 employees keep paying their workers amid the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

These loans up to $10 million can be forgiven if a borrower spends at least 75% of proceeds to pay employees over eight weeks, and the balance can be spent on rent, mortgage interest and utilities.

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