Help for Stay at Home Business People

Mar 27, 2020

Survival is order the day for many Hawaii businesses as the economic impacts of working-from-home make themselves felt. Help is available.

With more than 40,000 people filing for unemployment in the past month alone and countless businesses going into stand-by mode, institutions and foundations are taking action now to help these employers survive. In PBN’s research this week, we found that all of Hawaii’s banks are assembling programs geared for families and businesses owners, offering a varying forms of debt relief. These could be forbearance on payments, deferred payments and loan extensions of up to three months. Credits unions, too, have been responding with similar options as well as new emergency assistance loans.

The Hawaii Small Business Development Center has been working diligently — if remotely from their own homes — helping small business owners apply for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Such loans provide up to $2 million of working capital to pay fixed debts, meet payroll or pay other bills while they’re going without revenue.

This relief was underway even before Congress announced a $2 trillion relief package this week. The Small Business Administration website has been swamped. One businessowner we spoke reports that it took six hours to complete their application. HSBDC’s advice is to download a paper version first and fill that out, so you have the right info handy when applying online.

Restaurants are trying to survive under the allowance that serve only take-out. The Hawaii Agricultural Foundation launched a campaign on Monday morning to support them. Called Food-A-Go-Go, it promotes restaurants that are open for take-out, delivery and curbside pickup. There’s a website, FoodAGoGo.org, where any restaurant can post their information and where people staying at home can look for a meal adding some variety to their rations of ramen and Spam.