LIHU‘E — As of Friday, the Kaua‘i Small Business Boost Program approved and awarded 650 grants to local businesses, totaling $5 million of the county’s share of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March, according to a press release.
The County of Kaua‘i directed $5 million in aid to this program, offering grants of $7,500 to businesses with 20 employees or fewer to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant funds are intended to help with re-opening expenses and to offset other COVID-19-related expenditures.
The county partnered with Gather, Kaua‘i Government Employees, Kaua‘i Teachers and Hawai‘i USA federal credit unions, with the help of county Department of Finance Director Reiko Matsuyama.
The credit unions have processed hundreds of applications received within a few hours of the program’s launch Monday morning. Businesses which have been awarded the $7,500 grant will receive their funds over the next few days.
“We would like to thank the County of Kaua‘i and the Office of Economic Development for working so hard to get this grant program off the ground to help Kaua‘i small businesses,” said Monica Belz, CEO of KGEFCU and board member of the Hawai‘i Credit Union League.
“On behalf of the credit unions involved in administering the program, we are humbled by the demand and overwhelming response from our local Kaua‘i businesses,” said Belz. “The grant recipients are immensely grateful to the County of Kaua‘i and to the credit unions for helping them obtain this lifeline for their business.”
The credit unions received a standard administration fee to administer the program, similar to the O‘ahu and Maui small-business-grant programs.
“Credit unions are the financial first responders during challenging economic times such as these,” said Belz.
“Credit unions are community-owned, not-for-profit financial institutions with the mission of people helping people.”