June 03, 2020

Senator Hirono: Changes to PPP Program will Bring Much Needed Relief to Hawaii Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Mazie K. Hirono issued the following statement after unanimous Senate passage of changes to the Paycheck Protection Program that will provide additional flexibility to Hawaii small businesses:

“Earlier today, I had a Zoom call with Hawaii small business owners who, in normal times, would have been in Washington, DC this week to participate in the 7th annual Hawaii on the Hill. On the call, and over the past three months, I’ve heard about how essential the PPP program has been for our local business community, and how the changes Congress was considering would provide additional flexibility in a challenging time. While I had hoped Congress could have passed these changes much sooner as businesses are starting to reach the end of the forgiveness period for the first PPP loans, today’s bipartisan effort improves the PPP program and demonstrates what we can accomplish when we work together. I will continue advocating for programs that support small businesses in Hawaii and across the country during this public health and economic crisis.”

Earlier this afternoon, the Senate passed the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA), which includes important changes for Hawaii businesses and nonprofits that have received loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Specifically, the PPPFA includes changes to provide businesses and nonprofits with additional time to use their PPP loans, and more flexibility to use their loans to cover non-payroll costs like rent and utilities. 

Last week, on Thursday, May 28, the House passed the PPPFA on a broadly bipartisan 417-1 vote.

Since March, Congress has provided $660 billion for PPP. Locally, 23,416 loans have been approved for Hawaii businesses and nonprofits through PPP ($2.4 billion). Nationally, 4.4 million loans have been approved ($510.2 billion).