Honolulu is further expanding its Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund.
With a new influx of $75 million, the city has allocated a total of $130 million to the program using federal CARES Act funds.
The program was launched in May and initially offered grants of up to $10,000 only to very small “mom and pop” operations with 30 or fewer employees or revenues of less than $1 million. The latest iteration is open to larger businesses and will make grant awards available in proportion to the business’s annual revenue.
Starting on Monday, businesses with less than $2 million in annual revenue can apply for grants up to $20,000. Starting on Oct. 1, businesses with $2 million to $3 million in revenue can apply for up to $30,000; businesses with $3 million to $4 million in revenue can apply for up to $40,000; and businesses with $4 million to $5 million in revenue can apply for up to $50,000.
In accordance with federal rules, the money is only granted on a reimbursement basis, meaning the companies need to provide invoices or receipts and proof of payment. The money can cover rent, utilities and payroll costs.
Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, said the island’s businesses are in a “dire situation” in which many are closing their doors – not temporarily, but permanently.
“It means jobs go away, and our small businesses, who have worked so hard like Highway Inn or Matsumoto’s shave ice among many other businesses, not being able to survive,” she said. “We appreciate the mayor and the City and County of Honolulu who launched a small business grant early on and continue to fund the program.”