MEO handling fire grants for businesses with $300,000 revenues or less | News, Sports, Jobs

Maui Economic Opportunity Business Development Center specialists Jaimie Dukelow (right) and Lianne Peros-Busch teach a Teen Financial Literacy course in July. MEO’s BDC will be assisting businesses that were directly or indirectly impacted by the wildfires and with gross annual incomes of less than $300,000 as part of the Maui Business Bridge Grants.

WAILUKU — The Maui Business Bridge Grant, which provides financial support to businesses directly or indirectly impacted by the August wildfires, began accepting applications yesterday, Nov. 13, with Maui Economic Opportunity working with establishments of $300,000 in gross revenue or less.

The program is funded by the state through the County of Maui in a partnership with MEO, Credit Unions of Maui and Maui Business Development Center. The funds are intended to stabilize businesses and assist them to move forward.

Luana Mahi, director of the County of Maui Office of Economic Development, emphasized the pivotal role of small businesses in Maui’s economy.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our community, employing residents and supporting its vitality,” she said. “Faced with challenges from wildfires and economic downturn, this Bridge grant program will play a vital role in assisting businesses during these challenging times.”

To qualify, applicants:

– Experienced direct or indirect impacts from the Aug. 8 wildfires.

– Had a primary business operating on Maui as of July 31, 2023.

– Have an active Hawaii General Excise Tax ID with a registered business address on Maui.

– Need to provide a copy of a recent Hawaii GET filing, dated Aug. 31, 2022, to July 31, 2023. A 2022 G49 filing is preferred to determine annual gross income.

Rental property landlords/businesses are not eligible.

Grant funds may be used for costs after Aug. 9, 2023, including:

– Rent, lease or mortgage payments on replacement sites for properties damaged by the wildfires.

– Utility deposits and bills for replacement sites.

– Insurance premiums.

– Inventory, equipment, supplies and marketing.

Grants cannot be used for:

– Rent, lease, mortgage or utility payments for destroyed or damaged properties in the wildfires.

– Repayment of loans.

– Staff salaries, wages or payroll, including benefits.

MEO’s Business Development Center will process applications for businesses with gross revenues of $300,000 or less in 2022. Credit Unions of Maui will handle applications between $300,001 and $599,999 and MEDB, $600,000 and above.

While the largest companies could receive as much as $20,000 in grants, businesses in the MEO tier are eligible for between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on size. Businesses up to $50,000 could receive a maximum of $5,000; $50,000 to $150,000, $7,500; and $150,000 to $300,000, $10,000.

MEO received $5.5 million for the grants. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds are expended.

Online applications for all sizes of businesses are available at For more information about applications for businesses in the MEO tier, call (808) 243-4318.


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