Kaimuki association calls on state to institute moratorium on commercial evictions

Kaimuki association calls on state to institute moratorium on commercial evictions
Local shops in Kaimuki. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Restrictions implemented because of the pandemic have forced scores of small businesses in the islands to close their doors for good.

That’s prompting some to call on government to offer more help to protect commercial tenants.

Melissa Bow, president of Kaimuki Business Professional Association, said rent is one of the biggest concerns of her members.

While the city’s Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund has been helpful, Bow says it was enough for some owners to only pay a month’s worth of rent.

The association has drafted a resolution that calls for a temporary moratorium on commercial evictions and a prohibition on late fees for commercial tenants.

She’s hoping it gets the attention of the City Council, the mayor or the governor.

“The purpose is to get landlords and tenants to work together and it’s something that the governor is saying, like we need to do this in order for all of us to survive,” said Bow.

“All of us to survive as one team, one family, one community.”

Bow said they wrote the resolution based on similar measures were passed in California, Washington and Oregon.

Amid the pandemic, shops that have been in Kaimuki for decades have closed their doors for good like Gecko Books and Comics which shut down this weekend.

The Pillbox Pharmacy is also preparing to close permanently.

Bow said the city’s tier system has been helpful to restaurants, but they are also hoping on a solution to help bars make a living since they’ll have to remain closed for the rest of the year.

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