Chamber Asks Governor for Support, Clarity of Message

March 22, 2020, 2:25 PM HST (Updated March 22, 2020, 2:25 PM)
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The business community is asking the state government for clarity and support.

The Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i released a statement asking Gov. David Ige to take more aggressive action to provide a unified message and assistance to Hawai‘i’s small businesses, many of which are struggling to keep the lights on due to COVID-19 impacts, the Chamber said.

Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i President & CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara requested that the governor take immediate action to provide relief to small businesses to ensure that they will be able to maintain operations and provide for their workers for the duration of an extended disruption.

“Businesses, especially our small business community, need direction, help and immediate solutions to ensure they can keep their doors open and their workers employed to the greatest extent possible,” Menor-McNamara wrote. “We, respectfully, urge a more immediate response and commitment to our state’s economic recovery process. Public and private sector partners must come together to support our small business community now. The Chamber is sincerely committed to help with solutions during the economy recovery stage. For now, we need urgent action.”

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The Chamber requested the following action items from Governor Ige:

One, unified, consistent message. The Chamber has received the public messages from the Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the House Scott Saiki and some of the County Mayors, and support their recommended immediate actions for stricter measures, but a unified message is needed.

  • Expedited expansion of the availability of testing and testing sites.
  • Limited rent and mortgage relief by government, and other mitigating measures.
  • Temporary tax relief or extension of the filing deadline and payments.
  • Loan forgiveness programs and pausing any government debt payments.

Click here to read the full letter.

The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii launched a dedicated site for the business community to receive COVID-19 updates at covid19.cochawaii.org.

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