Gov. David Ige and Small Enterprise Administration District Director Jane Sawyer introduced a number of initiatives in the present day to attempt to assist small companies to remain afloat, rapidly retrain staff and assist staff who lose their jobs within the fallout from the unfold of the coronavirus.
The SBA in the present day accepted a certification request from Ige, which clears the best way for Hawaii small companies to faucet the SBA’s Financial Harm Catastrophe Mortgage Help Program. The loans of as much as $2 million can be utilized to pay mounted money owed, payroll and different payments that may’t be paid due to a catastrophe’s affect.
“Small companies are a significant financial driver in our neighborhood, and we should do all the things we will to assist them as they wrestle by means of this disaster,” Ige stated in a written assertion. “We admire the SBA’s fast motion to approve this mortgage program for small companies which were hit so arduous by COVID-19 outbreak.”
Rates of interest for the loans are 3.75 p.c for small companies with out credit score out there elsewhere, and the rate of interest for nonprofits is 2.75 p.c. Mortgage varieties and extra data might be accessed on-line on the SBA’s Catastrophe Help Mortgage Portal. Phrases are decided on a case by case foundation, based mostly upon borrower’s skill to repay.
Based on an evaluation by the state Division of Enterprise, Financial Growth and Tourism, there are 8,302 companies in Hawaii with 99 or fewer staff. These companies account for 96,189 jobs with a mixed annual payroll of $3.16 billion.
In a associated improvement, Ige and Division of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Scott Murakami introduced state actions to deal with unemployment claims submitting issues and a program to effectively prepare and switch labor into Hawaii’s companies to assist cut back job losses.
New unemployment filings overwhelmed the state system on Wednesday, and the state is increasing the net claims submitting system capability and rising the telephone services to area inquiries, partly by shifting employees from different state applications to facilitate claims submitting and processing, in line with the announcement.
Advantages will likely be paid to those that file their preliminary unemployment claims late, and “the state will interpret Hawaii’s unemployment legal guidelines to the broadest extent potential to cowl those that are out of labor due to COVID-19,” in line with Ige and Murakami.
“Please be assured that we’re taking the actions needed to make sure that all unemployment advantages claims will likely be filed and paid as rapidly as potential. Please bear with us as we develop capability and broaden factors of entry for submitting claims,” Ige stated within the assertion.
The state will make changes loosen eligibility necessities for claimants and cut back or get rid of expertise price changes for employers due to staff who obtain unemployment advantages due to COVID-19, in line with the assertion.
Ige and Murakami additionally introduced the launch of a program known as Lowering Unemployment Disruption & Driving Financial Regeneration, or RUDDER, to assist non-public hiring throughout the disaster.
This system will present as much as $100,000 of reduction to Hawaii companies for brand new staff employed after March 1, together with an preliminary $500 cost for every new worker to offset coaching prices, and a second cost for every worker for staff who’re retained for six months of steady employment.
“The first goal of RUDDER is to facilitate an environment friendly labor alternate between the sectors hardest hit by COVID-19 and well being care sector employers hiring staff to fight COVID-19,” stated Murakami. “We all know that jobs involving cleansing, corresponding to lodge housekeepers, might transfer into jobs within the well being care with minimal coaching and the RUDDER program will facilitate that alternate.”
The DLIR has posted a COVID-19 Office Updates web page to supply extra data.