• 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

  • 20 May 2020 8:25 AM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Aloha HCA Members and Friends,

    We hope this message finds you well.

    We are trying to measure the impacts of COVID 19 on Hawaii’s Coffee industry.

    Please help us by completing the survey questions below. We need to understand the scope of the impacts so that we can best access and advocate for relief.

    Thank you for your prompt attention.

    Stay well,

    Christopher A. Manfredi
    Hawaii Coffee Association

  • 20 May 2020 8:00 AM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)


    The Covid-19 virus pandemic has had multiple impacts on people and their families within the farming and agriculture networks in Hawaii, some more significantly than others.  Please tell us how this pandemic has affected you and your families.

    Your participation will help us identify where help is needed, and how we can best assist individuals and families in the community with which the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources works or partners.  

    Here is the web link for the online survey.  It takes about 15 minutes to complete.


    The survey will close on Friday, June 5 at noon.



    Michael Cheang

    Associate Professor

    Human Development & Family Studies 

    Department of Family & Consumer Sciences

    College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources


    (808) 956-2252


    Lynn Yamashita


    Human Development & Family Studies 

    Department of Family & Consumer Sciences

    College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources 


    (808) 956-0803

  • 15 May 2020 9:39 AM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Original Source of the Article

    The purpose is to reimburse small businesses for costs incurred from business interruption due to Emergency Proclamations and help small businesses implement safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City and County of Honolulu has been allocated funds under the Coronavirus Relief Fund, with Federal guidance that authorizes application of a portion of these funds for expenses associated with the provision of economic support in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency.

    The fund will be called “Small Businesses Relief and Recovery Fund” or SBRRF, to provide grants to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency and provide one-time grants of $10,000 to each qualified business. Beneficiaries of this Relief Fund would include businesses greatly injured by the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency such as boutiques, food establishments, accommodations, entertainment and recreation establishments, personal care services, auto transportation, retail businesses, and other businesses

    The City and County of Honolulu through the Office of Economic Development (OED) will partner with participating local credit unions who will distribute the grant funds.

    The partner Credit Unions are:

    ·        Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union

    ·        Hawaii State Federal Credit Union

    ·        Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union

    ·        Honolulu Federal Credit Union

    Read the full press release here.

    Guidelines, Application, and other details will be added on this website as they become available. The program will launch on Monday, May 18th.

  • 13 May 2020 2:52 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Original Source of the Article

    The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) and the Pacific Urban Resilience Lab (PURL) at the University of Hawaii, supported by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and community partners, conducts research and develops training courses for first responders and emergency mangers. They are conducting this brief survey on the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Hawaii. The information from this survey will be used to understand the spread and impacts of the infection. WE ENCOURAGE ALL RESIDENTS TO TAKE OR RETAKE THE SURVEY AS CIRCUMSTANCES MAY HAVE CHANGED. We hope that you can help to distribute the questionnaire more widely. They need to hear more from neighbor island communities and from high risk and under-represented groups. The questionnaire will take about 10 minutes to complete and your participation is Voluntary.

    For more information about the survey see the attached PDF.

    Here is the SURVEY.

    If you have any question regarding this research project, please contact:

    Eric Yamashita (ericyama@hawaii.edu)
    Jiwnath Ghimire (jiwnath@hawaii.edu)
    National Disaster Preparedness Training Center
    Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Hawaii at Manoa
    2424 Maile Way, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA.
    Phone number: 808-956-5007


    Marcia Yoshiyama
    Marcia Yoshiyama
    Economic Development Technician
    County of Hawaii
    Department of Research and 
    25 Aupuni Street, Room 1301
    Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720
    Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720
    Direct Line: (808) 961-8085
    Email: Marcia.Yoshiyama@hawaiicounty.gov

  • 05 May 2020 8:43 AM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    The following pamphlet, called “A Guide for Our Community,” was developed to provide information of what programs are available, including financial assistance, food assistance, medical assistance, help for seniors and other resources. 

    If you are an essential business that is open at this time and would like to provide the guide to your customers and staff, please email chresdev@hawaiicounty.gov with your mailing address and the number of copies, and we will mail you copies.

    Find help for your small business at  www.hawaiicounty.gov/covidbusinesshelp

  • 05 May 2020 8:40 AM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today that agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. SBA’s EIDL portal will reopen today as a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The legislation, signed into law by the President one week ago, provided additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    “For more than 30 years, SBA has been prohibited by law from providing disaster assistance to agricultural businesses; however, as a result of the unprecedented legislation enacted by President Trump, American farmers, ranchers and other agricultural businesses will now have access to emergency working capital,” said Administrator Carranza. “These low-interest, long-term loans will help keep agricultural businesses viable while bringing stability to the nation’s vitally important food supply chains.”

    Agricultural businesses include businesses engaged in the legal production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)). Eligible agricultural businesses must have 500 or fewer employees.

    The SBA will begin accepting new EIDL applications on a limited basis only, in order to provide unprecedented relief to U.S. agricultural businesses. For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL loan application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will move forward and process these applications without the need for re-applying. All other EIDL loan applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis.

    To prepare your application, review this webinar on EIDL and reference this helpful tutorial video that walks through the application process, step by step.

    For more information, please visit: www.sba.gov/Disaster.

  • 29 Apr 2020 2:27 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Original Source of the Article

    Release Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2020

    Release Number: 20-35

    Contact: Press_Office@sba.gov, (202) 205-7036

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and U.S. Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza issued the following statement today on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):

    “The Paycheck Protection Program is providing critical support to millions of small businesses and tens of millions of hardworking Americans.

    “We have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan.  To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application.  Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.

    “We remain fully committed to ensuring that America’s workers and small businesses get the resources they need to get through this challenging time.”

    Continue Reading...

  • 27 Apr 2020 3:49 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)
    Original Source

    Recently enacted federal legislation provides resources and initiatives to assist businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    This guide provides summary information about major provisions that could offer critical support to Hawaii's agriculture industry.


  • 17 Apr 2020 8:22 AM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Original Source of the Article


    Office of Legislative Affairs


    DHS and USDA Move to Protect American Farmers and Ensure Continued Flow of America’s Food Supply

    Department to Temporarily Amend Certain H-2A Requirements During COVID-19 National Emergency

    The Department of Homeland Security, with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has announced a temporary final rule to change certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment, protect the nation’s food supply chain, and lessen impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. These temporary flexibilities will not weaken or eliminate protections for U.S. workers. 

    Under this temporary final rule, an H-2A petitioner with a valid temporary labor certification who is concerned that workers will be unable to enter the country due to travel restrictions can start employing certain foreign workers who are currently in H-2A status in the United States immediately after United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives the H-2A petition, but no earlier than the start date of employment listed on the petition. To take advantage of this time-limited change in regulatory requirements, the H-2A worker seeking to change employers must already be in the United States and in valid H-2A status.

    Additionally, USCIS is temporarily amending its regulations to protect the country’s food supply chain by allowing H-2A workers to stay beyond the three-year maximum allowable period of stay in the United States. These temporary changes will encourage and facilitate the continued lawful employment of foreign temporary and seasonal agricultural workers during the COVID-19 national emergency. Agricultural employers should utilize this streamlined process if they are concerned with their ability to bring in the temporary workers who were previously authorized to work for the employer in H-2A classification. At no point is it acceptable for employers to hire illegal aliens. 

    “This Administration has determined that continued agricultural employment, currently threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, is vital to maintaining and securing the country’s critical food supply chain. The temporary changes announced by USCIS provide the needed stability during this unprecedented crisis,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf. 

    “USDA welcomes these additional flexibilities provided by the Department of Homeland Security today,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Providing flexibility for H-2A employers to utilize H-2A workers that are currently in the United States is critically important as we continue to see travel and border restrictions as a result of COVID-19. USDA continues to work with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor and the Department of State to minimize disruption and make sure farmers have access to these critical workers necessary to maintain the integrity in our food supply.”

    The temporary final rule is effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register. If the new petition is approved, the H-2A worker will be able to stay in the United States for a period of time not to exceed the validity period of the Temporary Labor Certification. DHS will issue a new temporary final rule in the Federal Register to amend the termination date of these new procedures in the event DHS determines that circumstances demonstrate a continued need for the temporary changes to the H-2A regulations.

    The H-2A nonimmigrant classification applies to alien workers seeking to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature in the United States, usually lasting no longer than one year, for which able, willing, and qualified U.S. workers are not available.

    # # #

    Connect with DHS:
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    U.S. Department of Homeland Security

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