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  • 14 Jul 2020 5:43 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Original Source of the Article

    Program Helps Offset Transporting Costs for Farmers and Ranchers Outside the Contiguous U.S. 

    HONOLULU, Hawaii , July 13, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Hawaii State and the Pacific Basin today announced that the enrollment period for the Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program (RTCP) for fiscal year 2020 begins July 13 and will run through Sept. 4.

    “RTCP will help eligible farmers and ranchers offset a portion of the cost of transporting agricultural products over long distances,” said AL Frenzel, State Executive Director. “This program helps U.S. farmers and ranchers outside the 48 contiguous states who are at a competitive disadvantage when transporting agriculture products to market.”

    The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020, reauthorized RTCP and allows farmers and ranchers in Alaska, Hawaii and insular areas including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands of the United States, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Republic of Palau, to recover any costs to transport agricultural commodities or inputs used to produce an agricultural commodity.

    RTCP payments are calculated based on the costs incurred for transportation of the agricultural commodity or inputs during a 12-month period, subject to an $8,000 per producer cap per fiscal year. If claims for payments exceed the funds available from the program for a fiscal year, payments will be reduced on a pro-rata basis.

    Farmers and ranchers interested in participating in RTCP can obtain applications and other documents by calling toll-free 1-866-794-1079.

    To find your local FSA county office, visit farmers.gov/service-center-locator.

  • 14 Jul 2020 5:39 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Hawaii Tourism Authority has made some adjustments to their workshop series and have changed them to a webinar series. They've also increased their mini-grant funding to build agri-tourism capacity statewide.


    If you are still interested in attending a webinar or applying for a mini-grant 
    click here to register and get more info.


  • 13 Jul 2020 11:35 AM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    For HCA Members ONLY

    BigCommerce E-Commerce Alliance and Offer

    BigCommerce is a leading e-commerce platform that helps small and medium (SAM) businesses set up online stores as fast and affordably as possible. In response to the COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus) pandemic, FedEx and BigCommerce are collaborating to provide the first 4 months of BigCommerce service free.

    HOW TO ENGAGE BigCommerce – TO LEARN MORE

    Step one: Please request a demo or start a trial at bigcommerce.com/dm/fedex.
    Step two: Utilize your existing FedEx Account number
    Step three: BigCommerce will reach out to the referred business within 2 business days.

    HOW IT WORKS

    BigCommerce

    An e-commerce store is essential to helping merchants stay in touch with current customers and find new ones. BigCommerce develops low-cost, quick turnaround solutions for developing online marketplaces and e-commerce websites. It allows users to build an online store, accept payments, ship and fulfill orders, drive traffic via SEO, and convert visitors to buyers.

    Special Offer

    Due to COVID-19, many brick-and-mortar businesses are closing their stores and seeking ways to move their retail operations online. There are a handful of SAM businesses who don't have online operations and need to get online as fast as possible in order to continue making sales.

    To assist these businesses, the FedEx and BigCommerce alliance offers:

    • First 4 months of BigCommerce free

    BIGCOMMERCE BENEFITS

    • Templates and step-by-step guides make building stores easy: BigCommerce offers free and paid themes, so users can design a store with no web design expertise needed. Its video library walks users through each step of store launch, from setting up products to selling on marketplaces. If customers want one-on-one support, BigCommerce offers launch service packages
    • Advanced marketing toolkit: once users choose a theme and upload their products, they can use the built-in marketing and sales tools to attract customers. Advanced SEO features help them gain visibility to new audiences, and easy-to-manage promotions and gift certificate capabilities help them remarket to existing customers
    • 0% transaction fees: BigCommerce will never charge transaction fees, so users can keep more of what they earn

    RESOURCES ON FEDEX.COM

    Click link for the page to populate as below:

    https://www.fedex.com/en-us/big-commerce.html

  • 13 Jul 2020 10:57 AM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    For more information, click here.


  • 15 Jun 2020 12:30 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Click here to see the Job Description.

  • 11 Jun 2020 1:00 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Coffee is not yet eligible for relief under CFAP (we are working on it), but the attached will help you prepare for the application, if/when coffee is made eligible.

    See the slides from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Producer Webinar.

  • 11 Jun 2020 12:00 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Guide

    Above you will find an updated resource guide for Hawaii’s Agriculture Industry from Senator Hirono.

    It is very similar to the last one but provides updated information (since April 27th) on available federal relief. In it you will find updated information about USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), SBA Programs (both PPP and EIDL/EEIG), Residential Mortgage Provisions, and Federal Tax Provisions.

    As programs are dynamic and details are subject to change, this guide provides links to websites where you can access up-to-date information from the relevant federal agencies. 

  • 04 Jun 2020 1:04 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Beginning last week, members of the Hawai'i Coffee Association worked with the Oregon Coffee Board to create a "Coffee Industry COVID-19 Playbook". Because each state and county has adopted different measures and guidelines, we have created this Playbook specifically for cafes & roasteries reopening this month in Hawai'i as others have adopted the same outlines for their regions. This document is provided to all members of HCA and we wholly encourage you to share it with your fellow coffee colleagues within the state, including all staff and employees of cafes and roasteries. In it, you will find useful information regarding Tips for Business Owners, Relief Package Updates, New Sales Channels, Cafe & Roastery Guidelines, Workers' Rights, Unemployment Information and much more.


  • 01 Jun 2020 8:05 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 (For Stakeholders and the Public)
    Time: 2 PM Eastern

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program provisions included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

    B&I CARES Act Program loans must be used as working capital to prevent, prepare for or respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The loans may be used only to support rural businesses, including agricultural producers, that were in operation on Feb. 15, 2020.

    The Department began accepting applications on May 22, 2020. Applications must be received no later than midnight Eastern Daylight Time on September 15, 2021, or until funds are expended. Program funding expires Sept. 30, 2021.

    Eligible applicants may contact their local USDA Rural Development State Office in the state where the project is located.

    Eligible Program Applicants: Federal or State-Chartered Banks, Savings and Loans, Farm Credit Banks, Credit Unions

    Webinar Topics: Program and Application Requirements, Program Resources, Guidance on How to Apply.

    Who Should Attend:

    Rural Lenders, Stakeholders and the General Public

    Register Here

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