Mayor's office partners with credit unions to aid small businesses

on "May 12, 2020 2:56 pm"

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced a $25 million fund today to help small businesses on Oahu because of the coronavirus pandemic. Officials including credit union CEOs held a news conference today at the state Department of Agriculture’s Tree Park on the corner of King and Keeaumoku streets.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveiled a new wave of financial assistance called the Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund. This fund will provide up to $10,000 to help local small businesses.  To qualify, businesses must have a commercial address and 30 employees or less or have an annual revenue of $1 million or less.

The purpose of this fund is to reimburse small businesses for costs incurred from business interruption due to Emergency Proclamations and help small businesses implement safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City and County of Honolulu through the Office of Economic Development is partnering with local credit unions who will distribute the grant funds, including Aloha Pacific FCU, Hawaii State FCU, HawaiiUSA FCU, and Honolulu FCU. Businesses need not be members of the credit union to apply for the funds. Funding for the program comes from the federal coronavirus relief act.

“Using the CARES Act money to help our small businesses and get our economy back on its feet is essential,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “Mahalo to the credit unions that have stepped up to offer their services to the mom-and-pop shops, senior homes, retail businesses, and restaurants across Oahu. Seeing these not-for-profit lending institutions come together during a time like this is a true indicator that the Aloha Spirit shines through and will be with us long after this pandemic is over.”

Hawaii State FCU President/CEO and Hawaii Credit Union League Chairman Andrew Rosen explained why credit unions are well suited to participate in this initiative.

“Credit unions in Hawaii were established 80 years ago to serve our local community, especially in tough economic times like today,” Rosen noted.  “When the City asked for our assistance, my credit union colleagues and I were eager to help. We look forward to helping our small businesses and to kick starting our economy once again.”

“When you think of business recovery you don’t always think of credit unions,” said Vince Otsuka, President/CEO of Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union. “But these are unprecedented times. We are seeing a record number of our neighbors seeking relief during this crisis and we’re proud to join the other major credit unions in the state at providing a helping hand. We look forward to this opportunity to help get Oahu safely back to work.”

Mayor Caldwell said if the grant is successful, the funding will be increased to $50 million. He also urged small business owners to visit for more information.

View the Mayor’s entire press conference.

051220 caldwell press

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces a new relief program for small businesses.

051220 andrew rosen press

Hawaii State CEO and Hawaii Credit Union League Chairman Andrew Rosen talks about how credit unions are eager to assist small businesses recover as more are allowed to reopen.

Mayor and CEOs shaka

Pre-press conference "shaka"! Appropriately masked and social distance compliant are (L-R)  Aloha Pacific FCU CEO Vince Otsuka, HawaiiUSA FCU CEO Karl Yoneshige, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Hawaii Credit Union League CEO Dennis Tanimoto, and Hawaii State FCU CEO Andrew Rosen