Small Business Matters: The times, they are a changing

Reading about what’s going on as we seem to be emerging from the misery of COVID, it’s easy to share somewhat in Charles Dickens’ tone in A Tale of Two Cities: “it was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” While we can’t take those contradictory superlatives as far as Dickens did, what we see and hear today certainly shares some of that contradiction. That goes for both public health and the economy, and it all depends on the view from where you’re standing.

Biden gives small firms exclusive access to paycheck program

President Joe Biden said his administration is seeking to help small businesses by giving them exclusive access to the Paycheck Protection Program for two weeks, and he called on lawmakers to pass his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan to provide additional assistance.

Hamakua-Kohala Health purchases Kohala Club Hotel

With the help of a bridge loan from Bank of Hawaii, Hamakua-Kohala Health recently purchased the former Kohala Club Hotel to become the new permanent home for the Kohala Health and Wellness Center.

Trump’s trade deal with China is ‘under review’

The Biden administration has former President Donald Trump’s so-called phase-one trade deal with China “under review” along with the rest of the U.S. posture toward Beijing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.

In brief

Hawaii Energy awards over $1M in grants to nonprofits, small businesses

Small Business Matters: It’s that time again: PPP revisited

Last year’s extraordinary economic meltdown led to an extraordinary business lending program by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) had the SBA processing more loan dollars in a matter of months than it had in its entire previous history. The program was also extraordinary in that the loans had the potential to be entirely “forgivable” if borrowers followed prescribed SBA ratios in expenses, meaning that the “loans” functioned more like “grants.”

Mahi‘ai Scale-up launches: Partnership helps local farmers, food distributors grow businesses

Kamehameha Schools has launched Mahi‘ai Scale-up, an agricultural business plan competition that helps established local farms and food system organizations grow their businesses. The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and The Kohala Center are partnering with Kamehameha Schools to provide participants with business training and wraparound services.