In brief: October 12, 2020

PPP forgiveness application simplified

The West Hawaii Small Business Development Center recently provided an update for business owners who received Payment Protection Program loan for $50,000 or less.


According to the center, the Small Business Administration and Department of the Treasury have released a simple forgiveness application for businesses whose PPP loans did not exceed $50,000 that requires no calculations and exempts borrowers from reductions in forgiveness based on a reduction of employees, wages, or salaries.

A borrower must simply certify that they complied with program requirements and retain documentation. Form 3508S is available at

For more information on the West Hawaii Small Business Development Center call (808) 333-5000 or visit

New website showcases local vendors

Hawaiiverse, a new website showcasing local vendors and entrepreneurs, was recently launched to help Hawaii’s small businesses reach a broader audience online.

The free marketing platform offers special coupons and weekly giveaways to help residents find the best deals and support local businesses when many are facing huge challenges. The site’s free business listings are promoted to more than 25,000 Hawaiiverse followers on social media.

Hawaiiverse was born on Hawaii Island in 2016 as a video project documenting historical and cultural sites. However, the pandemic prompted its founders to pivot their focus toward preserving and supporting the small business community statewide.

“We all need to band together as a community to support local businesses through these tough times, which is why we decided to make our platform free,” said Hawaiiverse CEO Jared Kushi. “And we intend to continue doing what we’re doing long after the pandemic is over.”

Hawaiiverse is run by a group of small business owners and entrepreneurs who are currently volunteering their time to advance their mission. In fact, all team members have full-time jobs.

For more information, visit

Lowe’s giving another $100M to workers amid pandemic

Lowe’s Home Improvement employees are getting another round of bonuses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

All full-time hourly workers will get $300 and part-time and seasonal employees will receive $150 on Oct. 16, Lowe’s Companies said Wednesday in a news release. The Mooresville-based company gave similar bonuses in March, May, July and August.

The bonuses are for “continued perseverance and commitment to our customers” during the novel coronavirus crisis, CEO Marvin Ellison said.

This $100 million in bonuses raises Lowe’s total commitment to workers and communities since the start of the health pandemic in March to $775 million, according to the company.

More than $675 million of that has included pay increases and bonuses, profit-sharing bonuses and telemedicine services to all workers and families, even those not enrolled in the company medical plans.

Lowe’s also committed more than $100 million to the community by providing personal protection equipment to healthcare workers, and grants for minority-owned small businesses and rural communities.

Lowe’s also launched a program for small businesses to pitch products to executives for a chance to be sold with the company.

Lowe’s has more than 2,200 stores and employs about 300,000 people full- and part-time.

Petco ends sale of shock collars

San Diego-based Petco announced Tuesday that it will no longer sell electronic pet collars, also known as shock collars, as it doubles down on animal health and wellness.


The decision, effectively immediately, is more than just a symbolic gesture; it simultaneously puts to bed a $10 million-per-year business for the firm. However, the privately held company hopes that overall sales will see a lift as new and existing customers seek out alternative options such as online training classes and subscription veterinary care.

By local and wire sources

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