Coronavirus Business Resources


Senator Hirono is aware of the challenges many Hawaii businesses and nonprofits have experienced with SBA programs, and continues to work with her colleagues to ensure these programs are implemented fairly and effectively to ensure that relief is provided to as many people as possible as we move through this pandemic. More information about these programs is available below.

Updated July 23, 2021.

Last December Congress provided an additional $284 billion for PPP, and earlier this year it provided an additional $7.25 billion for the program. PPP loans are provided through private lenders like banks and credit unions to cover payroll costs, rent, utilities, and other expenses. SBA and Treasury administer the program.

Eligibility for Loans: Generally, small businesses, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, 501(c)(19) veterans organizations, tribal businesses, and small agricultural cooperatives with no more than 500 employees; sole proprietors, independent contractors, and eligible self-employed individuals; housing cooperatives, eligible 501(c)(6) nonprofit organizations, and eligible destination marketing organizations with no more than 300 employees; and local newspapers, TV stations, and radio broadcasters should be eligible for loans if they meet program requirements. More information about program eligibility is available on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) website here. You can find answers to frequently asked questions on SBA’s website here.

The deadline to apply for PPP loans was May 31, 2021. The program has now closed.

Loan Forgiveness: For more information about loan forgiveness, visit SBA’s website here.

Updated July 23, 2021.

Earlier this year, Congress provided $35 billion for targeted EIDL grants for businesses in low-income communities. EIDL loans are provided by SBA, which administers the program.

Eligibility for Loans: Generally, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, sole proprietors, independent contractors, tribal businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and other cooperatives, and employee owned businesses with no more than 500 employees, and businesses that otherwise meet the applicable SBA size standard, should be eligible for loans if they meet program requirements.

The deadline to receive EIDL loans is December 31, 2021. You can apply online here.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program (SVOG)

Updated September 7, 2021.

Congress created SVOG to provide grants for businesses and nonprofits that need assistance due to COVID-19. SVOG grants are provided by SBA, which directly administers the program. The program was funded at $16.25 billion. More information about the program is available here.

Eligibility for Grants: Generally, live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, certain museum operators, zoos and aquariums, motion picture theater operators, and talent representatives were eligible for initial grants if they met program requirements. On Friday, August 20, 2021, SBA closed the program for new applications for initial grants.

Reconsideration and Appeals: On July 23, 2021, SBA shared updated information for businesses and nonprofits that have questions about the program’s appeals and reconsideration processes. More information is available here.

Supplemental Grants: On August 27, 2021, SBA shared updated information for businesses and nonprofits that have questions about the supplemental grant process. Specifically, SBA shared that it will begin sending invitations for supplemental grants. Businesses and nonprofits that received an initial grant and experienced substantial revenue losses this year should be eligible for grants. Generally, those eligible should be able to apply for up to 50 percent of their initial grant—with a $10 million cap of their initial and supplemental grants combined. More information will be available in the coming days.

Updated July 23, 2021.

Congress also recently created RRF to provide grants for restaurants, bars, and other foodservice and drinking establishments that need assistance due to COVID-19. RRF grants are provided by the SBA, which administers the program. The program was funded at $28.6 billion.

Eligibility for Grants: Generally, foodservice and drinking establishments that have experienced substantial revenue losses should be eligible for revitalization grants if they meet program requirements. There are certain set-asides for smaller businesses. Detailed information about the program is available here, and general information is available here.

On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, SBA closed RRF due to high demand for the program. The program is now closed.

Updated July 23, 2021.

Congress has approved funding to cover loan payments for borrowers with traditional 7(a) loans, 504 loans, and Microloans. Borrowers should contact their lenders for more information.

Further information is available on the SBA’s website here.

Lastly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also released Guidance for Businesses and Employers here.

Updated March 19 2021.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued formal guidance and other information for CARES Act provisions related to individuals and businesses at: 

NOTE: For all tax provisions, interested enterprises should consult their tax professionals.

  • Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC): Congress has extended the ERTC for businesses and other entities that have experienced mandatory closures or economic hardship due to COVID-19. The credit is available to businesses, nonprofits, and certain other employers whose operations have been fully or partially suspended due to government orders limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings, or who have experienced substantial revenue declines during the calendar quarter.

    Starting January 1, 2021, the credit rate was increased to 70 percent of qualified wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during COVID-19. The credit was also expanded to reduce the required year-over-year quarterly revenue declines to 20 percent. Businesses with 500 or fewer full-time employees are able to claim all wages paid to employees regardless of whether employees are furloughed. The credit is provided for wages and compensation, including health benefits, up to $10,000 per employee per quarter, and is available to employers through June 30, 2021.

  • Paid Sick and Family Leave Tax Credit: Congress has extended the refundable payroll tax credit for paid sick and family leave, enacted in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), through March 31, 2021. Employers who elect to provide paid leave may receive the payroll tax credit for such leave. More information is available on the IRS website.

  • Employer Payroll Taxes: Congress previously allowed taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through December 31, 2020, with all deferred amounts due in two equal installments—one at the end of 2021, and the other at the end of 2022. Payroll taxes that can be deferred include the employer portion of Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes, the employer and employee representative portion of the Railroad Retirement taxes (that are attributable to the employer FICA rate), and half of Self-Employed Contributions Act (SECA) tax liability.

  • PPP Loans: Congress has clarified that loans forgiven through PPP will not be included in taxable income, and that otherwise allowable deductions are allowed for expenses paid with proceeds of a forgiven PPP loan. The same tax treatment also applies to EIDL grants, grants for shuttered venues, and certain other loan repayment assistance programs.

Resource Pages:

As we continue to take the difficult, but necessary steps to confront the spread of COVID-19, Congress has passed meaningful relief for affected families and businesses. The American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, provides billions of dollars in aid for Hawaii's families and communities.

 Workers Page

Agriculture Page

Small Business Page

Resource Guides:

Recently enacted federal legislation provides resources and initiatives to assist businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The guides below provide summary information about major provisions that could offer critical support to Hawaii’s industries.

Agriculture Guide

Small Business Guide