Coronavirus Federal Relief Plan

As communities across Hawai‘i and our nation struggle to cope with the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, President Trump has signed into law the historic $2.2 trillion coronavirus federal relief plan called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

This is the largest stimulus package ever passed by Congress, and it will provide immediate aid to Hawai‘i and the rest of our nation in response to this unprecedented crisis. The funds will be divided among states based on population and will provide critical assistance to unemployed Americans, businesses and healthcare organizations.

While we don’t yet know specifically how much of the funding will be directed to Hawai‘i, here are major components of the plan that you should know:

Direct Payments to Workers

One-time cash payments of:

  • $1,200 per individual adult making up to $75,000 per year
  • $2,400 per married couple making up to $150,000 per year
  • An additional $500 payment per child
  • The value begins decreasing and then completely phases out for those making more than the full payment income cap.
  • Determinations as to eligibility will be based on the adjusted gross income (AGI) from the 2019 income tax form. If the 2019 taxes have not yet been filed, the 2018 taxes will be used.
  • Payments are expected within 3 – 8 weeks and will be made through direct deposit if the recipient has direct deposit set up with the U.S. Treasury or alternatively by check sent via United States Postal Service.


Unemployment Insurance Benefits

  • $260 billion for a federally-funded unemployment insurance program that will help middle- to low-income workers keep their full salaries and benefits for up to four months if they are furloughed but not terminated.
  • Expanded access to the federally-funded unemployment insurance program for part-time, self-employed, gig economy workers (i.e., musicians, Uber/Lyft drivers, etc.), and individuals with limited work history.


Small Business Relief

  • $350 billion in loan forgiveness grants to small businesses and nonprofits to help them maintain their existing workforce and pay for expenses like rent, mortgage, utilities through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
  • $10 billion for SBA emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
    • Includes an expansion of eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) grants. It covers losses incurred from January 31, 2020 - December 31, 2020. "Eligible entities" include a) a business with not more than 500 employees; b) any individual who operates under a sole proprietorship, with or without employees, or as an independent contractor.
  • Forgivable loans programs include the following:
    • Loans of up to $10 million for businesses with 500 or less employees (or meets SBA size standards).
    • Interest rates capped at 4% on qualified loans.
    • Deferred interest payments (for six months to a year).
    • No personal guarantees or the use of assets as collateral required (up to certain limits).
    • Funds spent on eight weeks' worth of payroll expenses will not need to be repaid (are "forgivable").
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
Loan Period February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020 January 31, 2020 to December 31, 2020
Maximum Loan Amount Per Business $10 million

Businesses should work with their lenders to apply the recommended formula to determine the appropriate loan amount based on past payroll expenses.

$2 million
How to Apply Businesses can apply through banks, credit unions, and private lenders approved to issue 7(a) small business loans.

Need to find a lender? You can search for a lender in your area on the SBA website.

Apply directly to the SBA at
Eligible Borrowers
  • Any small business, private or non-profit, veterans service group, or food and hospitality businesses with less than 500 employees or meets SBA size standards
  • Businesses in operation as of February 15, 2020
  • Self-employed individuals
  • Independent contractors
  • Sole proprietorships
  • Any small business, private or non-profit with less than 500 employees or meets SBA size standards
  • Self-employed individuals
  • Independent contractors
  • Sole proprietorships
Debt Forgiveness Loan forgiveness may be applied to 8 weeks' worth of funds allocated for payroll cost, mortgage interest, rent, and utility expenses incurred after receiving funding. Loan forgiveness may only be applied to the $10,000 emergency cash grant.

The cash grants will also be credited towards the maximum forgivable amount under any PPP loan.


Health System Plan

  • $130 billion for our nation’s hospitals, clinics and nursing homes to continue operating and to assist them in purchasing personal protective equipment, testing supplies, increased workforce and training, new construction to house patients, emergency operations centers and more. This also includes Medicare payment funding for hospitals and providers as well as investment in surge capacity and COVID-19 medical research.


Coronavirus State & Local Government Funding

  • $150 billion in financial assistance for state and local governments. The State of Hawai‘i and the Counties could receive at least $1 billion in emergency federal assistance.

As a State Senator, I am in contact with Hawai‘i’s Congressional delegation, my colleagues in the State Legislature, Governor Ige, and Mayor Kim, and I look forward to sharing more about the progress of this historic federal relief plan as funding makes its way to Hawai‘i to aid in our state’s recovery.