The U.S. Department of Treasury has approved $62 million in federal funding for Hawaii small businesses to be distributed via the Small Business Credit Initiative, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, announced on Thursday.
The funding, included in last year’s American Rescue Plan Act, will go toward providing financing and credit to local small businesses and investing in businesses operating in key sectors, including renewable energy and supply chain management.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely challenging for Hawaii’s small businesses, which are critical to the strength of our state’s economy,” Hirono said. “We passed the American Rescue Plan last year to help our communities weather and rebuild from this pandemic, and that’s exactly what this funding will do. This funding will help to drive innovation, create good-paying jobs, and spur economic growth in Hawaii by making it easier for small businesses to access capital. I’ll continue working with state and federal leaders to ensure this funding is used as effectively as possible and to provide the additional relief Hawaii needs and deserves.”
Treasury deputy secretary Wally Adeyemo acknowledged Hawaii’s vulnerability as a state whose economy heavily depends on tourism.
“Hawaii’s plan will help diversify its economy and spark innovation in key sectors, including renewable energy, to promote economic growth,” Adeyemo said. “Treasury will continue working with Hawaii to help make sure this capital is having maximum impact in communities across the state.”
Michael Tsai covers local and state politics for Spectrum News Hawaii.