City and County of Honolulu in partnership with local credit unions launches the Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund
Today at noon, the City and County of Honolulu in partnership with four credit unions — Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union, Hawai‘i State Federal Credit Union, Hawai‘i USA Federal Credit Union, Honolulu Federal Credit Union — launched the Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund that provides up to $10,000 in reimbursements to O‘ahu’s small businesses with less than $1,000,000 in gross annual revenue and thirty or fewer employees.
The response from the business community has been overwhelming, and the participating credit unions are dealing with a heavy volume of applications and queries from applicants. The large volume of applications and the submission of incomplete applications has resulted in a backlog, and individual applicants may have experienced frustration with the application uploading process and response times.
However, applications are being received and processed. As of 4 p.m. today, the most recent application information is as follows: Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union received 226 applications; Hawai‘i State Federal Credit Union received 277 applications; Hawai‘i USA Federal Credit Union received 249 applications; and Honolulu Federal Credit Union received 434 applications. Based on these reported numbers, the program has accepted 1,186 applications island-wide from local small business in the first four hours of being open.
“We launched this program for small local businesses with $25 million in CARES funding because we knew there was need,” said Mayor Caldwell. “I want to assure applicants that we stand ready to allocate more funds as the applications come in and get approved through this week.”
The City Economic Development Office has been informed by partner credit unions that many applications are either incompletely filled out or submitted without required documentation, adding to the response time. The City encourages applicants to visit the Required Information for Application tab on the City’s small-business page that shows all required information and documentation for application so you can prepare yourself adequately for the application process. The Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund tab also includes a FAQ page to answer most questions regarding the program.
“Our credit union partners are working at full capacity to process applications and respond to inquiries,” said Ed Hawkins, Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development. “We ask for your understanding if you experience backlog on your application, or issues in your application process during this very busy launch period. We are working together to smoothen the application process and service your requests. We are also working with local Chambers of Commerce and other community group to get the information out to the businesses and assist those who may need help in applying.”
Applicants are reminded that the City’s oneoahu.org website is only a portal to the servicing partner credit unions that applicants choose. The City call center and the City email response teams are not collecting information for applications or able to answer questions about the application form and materials. Phone numbers for each partner credit union are listed on the City’s oneoahu.org/small-business webpage to inquire about individual business application status.
The City’s COVID-19 hub for information at www.oneoahu.org has been the main portal for eligible businesses to find the correct credit union to apply for assistance based on their GET number. OneOahu.org had over 40,000 page views today, and has now been visited as a resource by nearly 20% of all Oʻahu residents since the City first launched the site on March 23, 2020.