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Hawaii banks secure $2.1B for small businesses during COVID-19 pandemic

  • STAR-ADVERTISER FILE
                                The seven SBA-approved lenders are American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii National Bank, Ohana Pacific Bank and Territorial Savings Bank.

    STAR-ADVERTISER FILE

    The seven SBA-approved lenders are American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii National Bank, Ohana Pacific Bank and Territorial Savings Bank.

The Hawaii Bankers Association said Friday that its seven Small Business Administration-approved lenders collectively secured $2.1 billion from the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program that benefited 11,400 local companies and is supporting payrolls for an estimated 170,000 jobs statewide.

“Our Hawaii banks worked tirelessly to qualify and process an unprecedented wave of applications for the Paycheck Protection Program,” said Rich Wacker, president of the Hawaii Bankers Association, in a statement. “By any measure, the $2.1 billion of funds secured for our local businesses represents several hundred million dollars above our fair share of the total program. The banks are ready to relaunch our efforts if Congress approves more funds for this key program.”

The seven SBA-approved lenders are American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii National Bank, Ohana Pacific Bank and Territorial Savings Bank.

The $2.1 billion of PPP loans are being disbursed to approved applicants as the banks complete the processing and documentation mandates required under program rules. The HBA expects the local banks will have funded nearly all of the PPP loans by the end of the month.

The PPP is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act signed by President Donald Trump on March 27 that provides financial relief for American workers and small businesses affected by COVID-19. The $349 billion program is designed to help small businesses keep employees on the payroll and off unemployment assistance for as long as eight weeks.

Loan guarantees under the program were “first come, first served” nationwide, and the program funding was fully allocated by Thursday.

In addition, the HBA said its member banks processed between $330 million and $400 million in Economic Impact payments to hundreds of thousands of Hawaii residents statewide this week. The payments — another measure under the CARES Act — are expected to total $1.2 billion for Hawaii taxpayers this year.

“Together, the PPP funds and Economic Impact payments represent more than $2.5 billion of financial support reaching the people and businesses of our state this month as we deal with the economic fallout of this crisis,” Wacker said.

HBA member banks also are waiving fees when using any local bank’s ATMs and providing kupuna hours to allow older customers and those at risk to conduct their banking during the first hour of branch operations.

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