Maui News

Federal low-interest disaster loans available for Hawai’i businesses and residents

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Kīhei Bay Vista flooding on Dec. 6, 2021 during the “Kona low” weather system. Photo Credit: Kevin J Olson

For businesses and residents affected by severe storms, flooding and landslides during the “Kona low” weather system that struck Hawai‘i Dec. 5-10, 2021, there are now low-interest disaster loans available from the US Small Business Administration.

Disaster loans of up to $200,000 are available for homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, and up to $40,000 for homeowners or renters to repair or replace personal property that was damaged or destroyed. The loans have terms of up to 30 years at interest rates as low as 1.438%.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. The up-to-30-year loans have interest rates as low as 2.83% for businesses and 1.875% for private nonprofit organizations.

The Small Business Administration also can lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help pay for improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

Small businesses (including aquaculture), small agricultural cooperatives and most private nonprofits may be eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster, even if the business did not suffer property damage.

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Businesses and residents of Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, the City and County of Honolulu and Kalawao can apply for a loan through “virtual assistance centers” starting Monday, Jan. 31. The centers will operate Monday through Friday from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Hawai‘i and can be reached at 800-659-2955 or at [email protected]

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Applications are available for download immediately at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ .

The deadline to apply for property damage is March 29, 2022; economic injury applications must be filed by Oct. 28, 2022.

“We are pleased that SBA has made federal assistance available after the record-breaking rainfall and widespread damage produced by the December 2021 Kona low,” said Luke Meyers, Administrator of the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA).

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HI-EMA worked with the counties and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assess damages from the storm. Hawaiʻi Gov. David Ige submitted a formal request for a disaster declaration, which SBA received Wednesday.

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