Federal CARES Act Funding Available To Help Businesses with Utility Bills and Other Expenses

October 19, 2020, 10:53 AM HST · Updated October 21, 11:20 AM
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Hawaiian Electric Bill. Photo Courtesy

Federal CARES Act funding is still available for businesses struggling with the financial impact of COVID-19, but businesses should apply now for help with utility bills and other expenses. Deadlines  are fast approaching for some assistance programs while others are nearing their funding limits.

Hawaiian Electric has been working to help connect businesses with the available assistance programs. Go to www.hawaiianelectric.com/COVID19 for a list of programs.

“Connecting our commercial customers to these federal funds helps boost our local economy
and provides much-needed financial relief to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,”
said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of customer service. “We’re here to
work with our customers to help them through this difficult time.”

The assistance programs include:

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Maui County – Kokua Maui County Small Business Recovery & Relief Fund
▪ Program provides maximum grant award of $7,500 in CARES funding for
businesses with $2 million or less in annual gross revenue
▪ Eligible expenses include rent/lease payments, utilities, COVID-19 safety
precautions at place of business
▪ Applications will be accepted online only through Oct. 31, 2020

City & County of Honolulu – Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund
▪ Program provides up to $50,000 in CARES funding reimbursement to qualified
businesses, depending on gross annual revenue:
➢ Up to $20,000 for business with up to $2 million in annual revenue
➢ Up to $30,000 for business with $2 to $3 million in annual revenue
➢ Up to $40,000 for business with $3 to $4 million in annual revenue
➢ Up to $50,000 for business with $4 to $5 million in annual revenue
▪ Businesses, nonprofit organizations eligible
▪ Eligible expenses include rent, utilities, payroll, physical distancing measures

Hawaiʻi County – Holomua Hawaiʻi Small Business Relief & Recovery Fund
▪ Program provides CARES funding with one-time reimbursement grants
up to $10,000 to businesses and nonprofit organizations with 50 or fewer
employees

▪ Eligible expenses include rent, payroll, non-government utilities, costs to meet
social distancing requirements and employee/customer safety, medical insurance
premiums, workers compensation and other annual expense

Commercial customers should also take advantage of Hawaiian Electric’s special payment
arrangement plans to help keep past-due balances manageable. Go to
www.hawaiianelectric.com/paymentarrangement to learn more about the interest-free plan
options for business and residential customers. Late fees are waived while on a payment
arrangement.

Submitting the payment arrangement request form is the quickest way for customers to start the
process. The request form and an informational flier have been translated in different languages
(Marshallese, Chuukese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Ilocano and Mandarin) and can be
accessed from the same webpage.

Hawaiian Electric service disconnections for nonpayment have been suspended through Dec.
31, 2020. The company suspended its collection efforts in March to ensure customers’ electric
service would not be disrupted while many were staying home.

As a result of the pandemic, the company’s walk-in payment centers are closed, but
there are several payment methods available to customers. Go to www.hawaiianelectric.com/paymentoptions for available payment methods. Customers who prefer to pay in person may do so at no charge at Western Union payment locations at retailers throughout the company’s service territory. The company website lists the locations.

For assistance managing energy costs, Hawaiʻi Energy is a trusted resource for tips and rebates
to help offset the costs of energy-saving equipment and services. Visit
https://hawaiienergy.com/tips for more information.

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