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Pivot Grant Program Launching to Help Small Businesses During Pandemic

by Thunda

Help is on the way for thousands of small Hawai‘i businesses. At a news briefing today, Gov. David Ige announced that the State of Hawai‘i is partnering with the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii to launch the Hawai‘i Business Pivot Grant program. The program will provide approximately 2,500 small businesses and non-profits with grants up to $10,000 to reimburse them for expenses incurred while making changes to their business models since the pandemic’s arrival in March 2020. The program’s objective is to help small to mid-size businesses who employ tens of thousands of Hawai‘i residents and are central to the state’s economy, financially cope during COVID-19.

In the briefing Gov. Ige said, “In recent months, businesses have had to show creativity and grit just to survive. In other words, they’ve had to ‘pivot’ from one way of working to something radically different. This has meant changes such as investing in e-commerce, reconfiguring spaces, and altering customer sales processes. Companies that are able to successfully pivot, will not only survive, but thrive. This grant helps take some of the pressure off businesses and helps them figure out how to pivot in this new environment.” Chamber of Commerce Hawaii President and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara added, “We hope this grant will help ease the burden on companies who are making the shift, while inspiring others to rethink ways that they can add to their resilience of their business.”

In collaboration with  Chamber of Commerce Hawaii the State of Hawaii’s Hawaii Business Pivot Grant Program will begin accepting applications on October 22, 2020.

Overview

  • Grant Purpose: The Hawaii Business Pivot Grant Program is designed to help businesses and non-profits adjust to marketplace changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Source of Grant Funds: Federal CARES Act funds awarded to the State of Hawaii.
  • Program Elements:
    • Grant reimbursements of up to $10,000.
    • Technical assistance, workshops, training and consultant resources to support businesses adjusting their operations.
    • Online marketplace for businesses to access products and services. Costs incurred may be eligible for reimbursement under the grant program.
  • Important Dates: Applications will be accepted beginning October 22, 2020. Businesses and non-profits must apply for funding by November 23, 2020, as funds are available.
  • Processing Time: Application review is expected to take seven to ten business days for complete and accurate applications.
  • Informational Webinars: Sign up for a business pivot grant workshop at https://www.hawaiibizpivot.org/webinars/
  • Contact Phone: (808) 657-3495 8:00 am to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday
  • Contact Email: HawaiiBizPivot@cochawaii.org
  • Program Website: https://www.hawaiibizpivot.org/

Eligible Applicants

  • Companies or non-profits registered to do business in Hawaii who have less then 100 employees at the time of application.
  • Company must have suffered economic injury due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • An eligible business must operate in a physical commercial space. Home based businesses are not eligible to apply.
  • Business owner must be a resident of the State of Hawaii.
  • Must have been in business prior to March 20, 2020.

Eligible expenses

  • Web development and design, social media, and E-commerce.
  • Consulting services.
  • Professional services related to pivoting your business.
  • Related equipment and supplies.
  • Physical distancing measures (expenses incurred after October 1).
  • Payroll expenses are not allowable under this grant program.  Other grant programs may cover these expenses.  However, the recruitment expense to find that person with a different skill as part of your “pivot” plan is an eligible expense.
  • Expenses must not have been reimbursed or covered under another federally funded CARES Act Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or other county business assistance program, etc.

For full details and to apply visit https://www.hawaiibizpivot.org/

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