More Loans to Native Hawaiians

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has money to lend for Native Hawaiians.

Giving some the boost to build their dreams.

Starting a business can be a daunting task, especially finding funding.

"It is quite difficult, cause there are many requirements. Like that banks require having a credit score high enough for such a big loan," said Catherine Lin Kee, who is looking for a loan.

But for Lin Kee, changes to the OHA revolving loan program could make her dreams of opening a Christian café in Waianae come true.

"Everything is in place, just need the funding to get going," Lin Kee added.

She is just one of several new applicants to the OHA Malama loan program which is available to all Hawaiians.

Not only to start up businesses but also for home improvements or education.

Up to $75,000 for a five-year fixed interest loan.

And just as important to those waiting to start up a business, a streamlined application process.

"To grow or establish businesses, time is money, time is critical," said Haunani Apoliona, the Chairperson of the OHA Board of Trustees.

While individuals or single businesses will benefit from the $24 million available in loans, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs also hopes this funding will in turn help entire communities.

"When you have a business operating, paying taxes, providing goods and services everyone benefits," Apoliona added.

And by encouraging successful businesses, this loan program also provides a positive example for other Native Hawaiians.

The OHA Malama loans will be processed at all First Hawaiian Bank centers across the state. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs hopes to distribute all $24 million in loans over the next two years.