Hawaii businesses petition governor for more COVID aid
Dear Governor Ige: April 13, 2020
Hawaii’s business community is struggling to keep the lights on and employees on payroll due to the Coronavirus pandemic. On behalf of our 2,000+ Chamber of Commerce Hawaii members and 800 signers of the attached petition, we urge you to take further state action to save our local businesses.
While we appreciate the federal resources provided to small businesses under the CARES Act, it has become clear that for many businesses, these loans and grants will be too little, too late. Delays and other difficulties with the application processes have been well documented in the media. As we’ve written to you in the past, our members agree that more needs to be done to keep our businesses open.
The attached petition, following up on letters sent to you on March 20 and 25, and our meeting on March 28, requests that you work to take the following measures to provide immediate support for Hawaii businesses:
• Suspension, deferment of general excise tax collections
• Greater opportunity for direct capital infusion
• State support or matching of loans for businesses who receive loans from SBA
There is precedent from other states to pursue these actions. At least nine states, including New York, Florida, Colorado and Maryland, have all provided some type of relief to businesses regarding sales tax collection. These states have either pushed back the deadline for collection, or have removed penalties for late payments. Additionally, numerous states have also relaxed rules on alcohol sales in order to allow non-sealed containers to leave the properties for consumption.
We also would like to thank you for signing the Executive Order that recently established Hawaii Economic and Community Recovery and Resiliency Navigator to establish our state’s recovery and resiliency plan for the future, and stand ready to assist Mr. Oshima and his efforts.
We appreciate your consideration of the attached petition. There is a long road ahead of us to achieve economic recovery and we hope that we can work together to support local businesses during this difficult time.
President and CEO
Chamber of Commerce Hawaii
PDF: Full Text
PBN: Hawaii businesses petition governor for more COVID aid
PBN: UHERO, chambers team up to survey Hawaii businesses on COVID impact