Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Young Brothers Asks For $25 Million in Aid

May 26, 2020, 5:46 PM HST
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PC: Young Brothers.

Young Brothers, LLC, a major shipping operation in Hawai‘i, announced Tuesday that it is seeking assistance from the state Legislature and Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to alleviate an impending “cash crisis” brought on by a 30% drop in cargo volumes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The interisland shipping company reported losing nearly $8 million through April and projects mounting losses totaling approximately $25 million by the end of the year. YB said “essential operations continue” despite the financial setbacks.

However, in a letter filed with the PUC on Tuesday, Young Brothers described its financial situation as “extremely dire” and indicated the company will no longer receive cash infusions from its parent company as of June 1, 2020.

YB is seeking $25 million in CARES Act funding from the state Legislature to sustain operations through December 2020.

“Until now, our parent company has graciously and generously covered our losses,” said Jay Ana, president of Young Brothers, LLC. “But they are not in a position to continue covering the staggering (COVID-19) losses and have told us that we must now find other solutions. We know they have deep aloha for Young Brothers – and for Hawai‘i – and we are grateful to them for carrying us through the challenging times. But we must now find a cooperative solution with the state that allows YB to continue to operate.”

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The Office of the Governor responded to the request Tuesday afternoon.

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“Every business in Hawai‘i has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including Young Brothers,” Gov. Ige said. “The company is part of the state’s critical infrastructure that keeps goods moving to and between the islands. We will be considering the request as part of the recovery and resiliency efforts underway.”

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