SBA offers loans for Maui homeowners, business owners affected by wildfires

Thousands of business owners in Lahaina lost their stores in the Lahaina fire.
Published: Aug. 27, 2023 at 1:09 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 29, 2023 at 8:26 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the recovery process continues in Lahaina and West Maui, more financial resources are being made available to impacted homeowners and businesses.

Cynthia Cowell, Public Information Officer of the U.S. Small Business Administration, joined HNN’s Sunrise Weekends to discuss the current challenges of Maui business owners and offer them assistance.

The U.S. Small Business Administration launched the disaster recovery loan program to provide immediate financial assistance. Businesses and non profits are eligible for long-term, low-interest loans of up to $2 million under the program.

“2.5% is our low rate, most borrowers get that rate,” Cowell said.

All businesses on Maui can qualify for some form of financial assistance, including those damaged by the fires and those experiencing the disaster’s economic ripple effects including a loss of income due to fewer visitors on island.

Meanwhile, homeowners can access $500,000 loans if they suffered property damage. Renters can also apply for up to $100,000 in assistance.

Some wildfire survivors tell HNN they’ve had a hard time filing SBA paperwork due to missing documents like ID’s and tax documents that were burned in the fire. Cowell invites the public to visit the SBA Business Recovery Center in Kihei for help applying and getting the documentation required.

“The important thing is to get your application in, if we require more information we can request that once the application started. As far as tax returns you can get those from the IRS it does take a little bit of time. But if you are declined because you do not have the paperwork, you have 6 months to come back and say okay now I do. If you lost your financial records, your financial statements, etcetera, we recommend you talk to people that are our partners and they will help you free of charge to create your financial documents. We have a small business development center in Maui and they are willing to help,” she said.

The SBA has a field office in Kihei where visitors can access computers and receive assistance in recovering lost financial records.

Here are the details:

  • SBA Business Recovery Center + Maui Research & Tech Center (590 Lipoa Parkway, Kihei, Bldg. A, Suit 119)
  • Hours of operation: Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Those interested can apply online at