(BIVN) – Federal relief funding for Hawai‘i in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to top more than $7 billion, according to U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaiʻi).
Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says the new total “includes federal funding already received and expected to be received by Hawai‘i small businesses, families, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, state and county governments, and other organizations.” The funding has been provided through several coronavirus relief bills signed into law, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.
“While we continue working to secure more federal funding that will help Hawai‘i recover and reopen, this is a solid start,” said Senator Schatz.
According to Sen. Schatz, the updated federal funding total includes at least:
- $2.5 billion for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans to Hawai‘i small businesses;
- $61 million for Economic Injury Disaster grants to small businesses;
- $2.4 billion for direct cash payments (stimulus checks) to individuals and unemployment assistance; and
- $2 billion for hospitals, COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, schools, public transportation, state and county governments, and other Hawai‘i organizations and programs.
Congress is not done with coronavirus relief. Schatz says last week he introduced legislation “to create a new federal jobs program that would help hire and train up to 1.5 million recently unemployed people for new jobs in public health.” Schatz also wants “additional flexible funding” for state and county governments and new federal dollars for social service nonprofits.