Thousands of Hawaii PPP loan recipients named in transparency effort

HONOLULU — A jewelry store chain, two hospitals and a private school are among the biggest Paycheck Protection Program loan recipients in Hawaii, according to data released Monday.

A condominium-hotel tower in Waikiki affiliated with President Donald Trump also has benefited from the program, the data shows.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration released the data following criticism about a lack of transparency over which companies received the potentially forgivable federal loans after it came to light that some billion-dollar organizations had applied for and received loans intended for small businesses hurt by efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that the data shows the program is serving small businesses, given that the average loan size is $106, 744, while 27 % of loans reached low-and moderate-income communities in proportion to population distribution in such areas.

“The PPP is providing much-needed relief to millions of American small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs and over 80 % of all small business employees, who are the drivers of economic growth in our country, ” he said.

Federal officials released PPP loan data on the same day the SBA resumed accepting applications for the program after it was recently revived by Congress.

The SBA released only the names of companies that received loans over $150, 000 as a way to protect financial information of smaller program participants.

In Hawaii, 24, 534 companies received PPP loans totaling $2.5 billion, or $101, 899 on average, as of June 30.

Of the total, 3, 228 Hawaii companies received loans over $150, 000 and were disclosed in the new data.

The SBA data doesn’t give an exact loan amount per company for the larger loans, but instead gives a range for these loan amounts.

Twenty Hawaii companies received loans in the highest range of $5 million to $10 million.

These firms included jewelry store chain Na Hoku Inc., Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital, Kona Community Hospital and Mid-Pacific Institute.

Candy company Hawaiian Host Inc., ship engineering firm Navatek LLC, stevedore operator McCabe Hamilton &Renny Co., food distributor Y. Hata &Co. and automobile dealership Tony Hawaii Automotive Group also were among recipients of the biggest loans, as was the owner of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii Tribune-Herald, West Hawaii Today and The Garden Island newspapers.

The top 20 also included three restaurant chains — Zippy’s owner FCH Enterprises Inc., Roy’s Holdings Inc. and Gyu-Kaku owner Reins International (USA ) Co. — and four hotel companies: Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki LLC, Kyo-Ya Hotels &Resorts LP, Kyo-Ya Kaiu ­lani and The Kahala owner Resorttrust Hawaii LLC.

Bloomberg News noted that the owner of Trump International Hotel Waikiki, California-based development firm Irongate Azrep Bw LLC, received a PPP loan of $2 million to $5 million.

Under SBA guidelines, PPP loans were made available to businesses and charitable organizations with up to 500 employees, though some exceptions were made for chains with fewer than 500 employees per location.

The $659 billion program was established in two phases in April to help employers retain employees displaced amid the economic fallout surrounding COVID-19.

The program expired June 30 with $138 million left to lend. Now a third phase making the leftover funds available has begun, and the new deadline to apply is Aug. 8.

The loans up to $10 million can be fully forgivable, and initially up to 25% of loan proceeds could be used for other costs including mortgage, rent and utility expenses.

Hawaii PPP loan recipients reported spending proceeds to pay 225,436 workers, including 6,737 workers for the 20 largest loan recipients, 140,053 workers for all recipients of loans over $150,000 and 85,383 workers for recipients of loans under $150,000. However, some entries in the data did not include a figure for workers retained.

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The smallest loan among Hawaii recipients was $89, according to the data. There were 76 loans made to Hawaii companies for less than $1,000.

“Today’s data shows that small businesses of all types and across all industries benefited from this unprecedented program,” SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said in a statement. “The PPP is an indisputable success for small businesses, especially to the communities in which these employers serve as the main job creators. In three months, this administration was able to act quickly to get funding into the hands of those who faced enormous obstacles as a result of the pandemic.”

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