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Heeding Call from Hirono and Colleagues, Biden Administration Extends Pandemic Relief for Millions of Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, applauded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) decision to extend the deferment period for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, a move she called for last week in a letter to the SBA. The COVID EIDL program was established by Congress in 2020 and has provided financial relief to nearly four million small businesses, including more than 19,000 in Hawaii, amid the economic  uncertainty of the last two years. Without an extension from SBA, some EIDL recipients would have been required to begin repaying the loans as soon as next month.

“The COVID pandemic created tremendous challenges that were devastating for small business owners and their employees,” said Senator Hirono. “In the face of these challenges, the EIDL program has enabled thousands of small businesses in Hawaii to remain open during these uncertain times. While we are on the road to recovery, there is still work to be done, so I’m pleased SBA has decided to extend the deferment period for repayment to allow small business owners to continue to focus on recovering and rebuilding their businesses. I’ll continue to advocate for the resources and support our small businesses need to thrive.”

The COVID EIDL program provided $1,649,688,100 in loans to small businesses in Hawaii. Businesses owners were able to use the funds for normal operating expenses and working capital, such as payroll, purchasing equipment, and debt repayment.