Help from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Securities Act (a.k.a. the CARES Act) includes direct cash payments to Hawai‘i residents, “plus-up” unemployment benefits, small business loans, funds for college students and human services programs to feed and house needy families. The scope is massive — and can be confusing — especially as people worry about just meeting basic needs. Hawai‘i’s U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz’s site at https://www.schatz.senate.gov/coronavirus links to fact sheets and other state resources . Other members of the state’s Congressional delegation also have CARES information on their websites.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – Good news for Hawai‘i’s small businesses: The Small Business Administration will resume accepting PPP applications from participating lenders, following Congressional approval of a second COVID-19 relief package. In the first round, more than 7,500 local companies were approved to receive $1.6 billion in PPP funds to help preserve more than 100,000 jobs statewide. SBA also is offering small businesses additional economic disaster loans of up to $2 million, including agricultural enterprises. For details, go to sba.gov. Other help for local farmers and ranchers is available through the Department of Agriculture at hdoa.hawaii.gov.
FEMA assistance for private non-profits
Community, non-profit, and faith-based organizations with COVID-19-related emergency expenses may be eligible for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance Program, said the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency. As part of its mission, FEMA provides grants to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments so they can continue offering critical community services. For details, go to https://www.fema.gov/.