Paycheck Protection Program funding continues

LIHU‘E — Four weeks before its scheduled end, the federal government’s signature aid effort for small businesses ravaged by the pandemic — the Paycheck Protection Program — ran out of funding on Tuesday afternoon and stopped accepting most new applications.

Congress allocated $292 billion to fund the program’s most recent round of loans, and nearly early all of that money has now been exhausted. The U.S. Small Business Administration, which runs the program, informed lenders and trade groups on Tuesday.

Some money — around $8 billion — is still available through a set-aside for community-development financial institutions which generally focus on lending to businesses run by women, minorities and other underserved communities.

Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union is Kaua‘i’s only designated community-development financial institution, and has been given priority from the SBA to continue accepting PPP applications.

Every small business, sole proprietor, limited-liability company, independent contractor and various other small-business entities on Kaua‘i are encouraged to apply for PPP Round Two funding through KGEFCU as soon as possible.

“KGEFCU will continue to support the island as a lifeline of federal funding to the small-business community across Kaua‘i,” said Monica Belz, CEO of KGEFCU.

KGEFCU’s role in supporting resilience and recovery on Kaua‘i over the past year has been significant, and will continue to be, with anticipated aid to small businesses expected to exceed $20 million in 2021 as the economy rebounds, she said.

“In this post-pandemic recovery period, our primary concern is to create a vibrant, sustainable small-business environment and local jobs,” Belz added.

The CDFI approach represents a thriving model of public-private partnership where limited federal resources are used to attract private-sector investment into low-income communities, she explained.

This strategic relationship not only injects vital sources of new capital into economically-underserved areas, it also ensures that important investment decisions are made locally by trusted organizations that know their communities best, she said.

For further information on eligibility or for assistance in applying, businesses should apply online at kgefcu.org/ppp, email ppp@kgefcu.org or call 808-353-8026.

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