Federal loans helped keep thousands of Hawaii businesses afloat during pandemic

Federal loans helped keep thousands of Hawaii businesses afloat during pandemic
In this June 15, 2018 photo, cash is fanned out from a wallet in North Andover, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) (Source: Elise Amendola)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than 24,000 Hawaii-based businesses and non-profit organizations applied for federal loans to help keep employees paid during the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on Monday.

Hawaii’s portion of federally-backed Payroll Protection Program funds ― nearly $2.5 billion worth ― was a mere drop in the $521 billion bucket that has already been distributed to companies across the country. But it also helped retain more than 225,000 local jobs, the data claims.

The overwhelming majority of local businesses which took advantage of the program borrowed less than $150,000. Those loans, according to the terms of the program, are to be forgiven by the U.S. Small Business Association as long as businesses use more than 60 percent of the money on payroll expenses and other essential expenditures, like mortgages.

Individual businesses which borrowed money were only identified by the Treasury if the total loan request amount exceeded $150,000. Of the more than 24,000 businesses which took advantage of the program, just more than 3,200 of them requested such loans.

Among the biggest borrowers ― listed in the $5M to $10M range ― were: FCH Enterprises, the parent company of Zippy’s Restaurants; the Hawaii Prince Hotel; Hawaiian Host; Oahu Publications, Inc., the parent company of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; and Mid-Pacific Institute in Manoa.

In all, 374 organizations took out loans of more than $1 million.

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