Hawai‘i Businesses Say GET, Other Tax Relief Paramount to Survival

March 29, 2020, 10:12 AM HST (Updated March 29, 2020, 10:12 AM)
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Businesses say tax relief is the best way the government can help aid them during the economic downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey by the Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i.

The second in a series of weekly surveys being conducted by the Chamber indicates that the prevailing opinion within the business community is that a suspension of the General Excise and other tax collection will do the most to help local businesses survive and recover.

“The results of our second survey confirm that Hawai‘i businesses need more financial assistance than what is already available from our government,” said Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i. “Our local businesses are responding as best as they can to safely meet the needs of our community while trying to survive the unprecedented impacts of the coronavirus. But, we’re hearing from many of them that they’re on their last heartbeat and their message is loud and clear. To keep their doors open and to be able to retain their employees to the best of their abilities, government relief is direly needed.”

Over 160 businesses responded to the Chamber’s second survey, which was conducted in partnership with the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce and Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce. According to the press release, the survey also found that:

  • 50.3% of businesses are still operating, 36.1% operating on a limited basis, 13.5% not operating
  • 45.1% are working from home, 32.2% are cutting employee hours, 33.5% have furloughed or laid off employees, 16% said there were no changes necessary (essential businesses)
  • 66.8% of respondents would like suspension of GET or other tax collection
  • 54% would like mortgage/rental relief
  • 45% would like low/no interest loans
  • 42.3% would like a grant or other direct capital from the government
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Other requests included better supply chain management and clear information

The Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i is updating its COVID-19 resource for businesses page at www.cochawaii.org.

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