HONOLULU (KHON2) — Small business owners and non-profits in Hawaii can get access to capital from a new program.

The Hawai’i State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism announced the program on Tuesday, July 12.

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The money is from U.S. Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative.

The program supports local financial institutions to lend funds to small businesses by reducing the credit risk.

The Hawai’i Green Infrastructure Authority will coordinate the Hawai’i Small Business Capital Program Collateral Support Program which helps borrowers get financing they might not otherwise due to a collateral shortfall. The program offers a credit enhancement in the form of cash collateral to lenders for who can get loans to businesses and nonprofits.

“According to surveys conducted by our Research and Economic Analysis Division, some 60% of Hawai’i businesses were closed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of that, 97.5% of these businesses had less than 100 employees which 76% had less than 10 employees,” said DBEDT Director Mike McCartney. “While businesses have since either fully or partially re-opened, almost 2% of Hawai’i’s businesses were permanently closed. Helping small businesses access credit not only maintains jobs and supports Hawai’i’s workforce, but it is also critical for creating new jobs and strengthening Hawai’i’s economy.”

“We look forward to working with financial institutions statewide to enroll in the HI-CAP Collateral Program to facilitate lending to their small business clients recovering from the pandemic, growing their business and diversifying our economy,” said Gwen Yamamoto Lau, HGIA executive director.

The Hawai‘i Green Infrastructure Authority and Hawai‘i Technology Development Corporation are working together to help small businesses.

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For more information, please email dbedt.hicap-loans@hawaii.gov or visit The Hawai‘i Green Infrastructure Authority website