State wants small businesses to complete, turn in COVID-19 economic impact statements by Wednesday

The Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is currently available to businesses that are being impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

These working capital loans of up to $2 million can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.

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SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance is coordinating with Gov. David Ige’s office to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance.

In order for the governor to make an economic injury declaration, SBA needs Hawaii’s small businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 disaster to submit the estimated economic impact of the disaster on their businesses by completing the worksheet which can be downloaded at bit.ly/2QqpTdg, and then emailing it to: dbedt.cbed@hawaii.gov.

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism needs these forms to be returned to the above email by the deadline of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Judi Mellon, director of the Hawaii Small Business Development Center in Hilo, said these forms are not the loan applications themselves, but information the governor needs.

“In order for Gov. Ige to make a declaration, he’s trying to get a gauge of the impact. We don’t want him to wait, yet he needs enough data to make that decision. That’s why it’s kind of a rush,” Mellon said.

The “Estimated Adverse Economic Impact” section of the Economic Injury worksheet needs to be fully completed, with all questions answered regarding business revenue, whether there was any business interruption insurance, as well as the comments section.

The comments section should indicate that the economic impacts are a direct result of COVID-19.

“What business owners are telling me is that they’ve seen the impact in the last one week or two weeks. And they can’t really monetize that impact at this point, but they can say this is going to have an estimated percentage impact on them,” Mellon said.

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Further information will be available about the SBA loan application process once the federal government approves Hawaii’s application for disaster assistance.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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