(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi County Council on Wednesday voted to support a resolution aiming to help small businesses that are struggling to make ends meet in the stalled COVID-19 economy.
Puna Councilmember Matthew Kanealii-Kleinfelder has introduced Resolution 574-20, urging the governor to prevent evictions of small businesses until May 30, 2020.
“The small business community needs a voice,” Kanealii-Kleinfelder wrote in an email prior to the meeting. “They are being mandated to be closed and many may not survive. It is absolutely imperative that we all SHARE the SACRIFICE.”
Resolution 574-20 reads:
A RESOLUTION URGING THE HONORABLE GOVERNOR DAVID Y. IGE TO WIDEN THE HAWAII STATE JUDICIARY ORDERS IMMEDIATELY HALTING EVICTIONS FOR NON-PAYMENT OF RENT IN THE RESIDENTIAL SECTOR TO INCLUDE EVICTIONS OF SMALL BUSINESSES UNTIL MAY 30, 2020.
WHEREAS, on March 4, 2020, a Proclamation was issued declaring a state of emergency to support ongoing State and county responses to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, a Supplementary Proclamation was issued suspending certain laws hindering State and county responses to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on March 21, 2020, a Second Supplementary Proclamation and Emergency Rules Relating to COVID-19 implemented a mandatory self-quarantine for all persons entering the State, effective at 12: 01 a.m., on Thursday, March 26, 2020; and
WHEREAS, on March 23, 2020, a Third Supplementary Proclamation was issued to mandate and effectuate social distancing measures throughout the State in order to reduce the spread of COVID- 19; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 127A-13 (a)(2), Hawaii Revised Statutes, the governor has the authority to “Relieve hardships and inequities, or obstructions to the public health, safety, or welfare, found by the governor to exist in the laws and to result from the operation of federal programs or measures taken under this chapter, by suspending the laws, in whole or in part, or by alleviating the provisions of laws on such terms and conditions as the governor may impose, including licensing laws, quarantine laws, and laws relating to labels, grades, and standards;” and
WHEREAS, in light of the Governor’s emergency proclamations issued in response to COVID-19, the judiciary limiting court proceedings, and the rapidly evolving response to COVID-19, the Hawaii Department of Public Safety determined it was in the best interest of our community to suspend residential evictions effective March 17, 2020; and
WHEREAS, a small business is categorized by the federal government as a business with less than 500 employees, and
WHEREAS, the 2018 Small Business Profile created by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy stated that there were 128, 863 small businesses in the State of Hawaii, which equates to 993 percent of all businesses in the State of Hawaii; and
WHEREAS, according to the 2018 United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Report, in the State of Hawaii, small businesses employed 360,475 people, or 66.2% of the private workforce. now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF HAWAIʻI that it hereby urges the Honorable Governor David Y. Ige to widen the Hawaii State Judiciary orders immediately halting evictions for non-payment of rent in the residential sector to include evictions of small businesses until May 30, 2020.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the County Clerk shall transmit a copy of this resolution to the Honorable David Y. Ige, Governor; the Honorable Josh Green, Lieutenant Governor; the Honorable Harry Kim, Mayor; Roy Takemoto, Managing Director; Rhea Lee Moku, Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce President; and all Hawaii Island legislators