Resolution that could provide rental assistance for businesses passes Honolulu City Council

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Businesses are one step closer to getting aid with rental payments.

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The Honolulu City Council passed resolution 20-208, which would establish a commercial property landlord-tenant real property tax grant program.

This would give aid for businesses and landowners by using commercial annual real estate property tax to evaluate how much each applicant should get. This will be used to determine the cost for business owners to operate.

Retail Merchants of Hawaii President Tina Yamaki said this would be a huge help to small businesses who are struggling to pay rent under the second shutdown.

“The second shutdown – there’s not a lot of help for businesses. I mean, the city has a program, but it’s for smaller businesses, and it’s a one time $10,000 deal. But for a lot of businesses, $10,000 may not even cover one month’s rent,” said Yamaki.

$100 million is the initial request for the program.

KHON2 asked City and County of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s office if this resolution will be considered. A representative from his office said:

The mayor is open to any avenue that helps guarantee businesses and individuals will receive funds and assistance necessary to navigate this pandemic. The administration will be reviewing the package in support of the many people who testified in its favor.

CARES Act funding must be used by the end of 2020, so Yamaki said they are hopeful that a decision is made soon.

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