HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – Businesses say things are improving. Since the pandemic, businesses in Hawaii have faced many challenges such as navigating lockdowns, firing workers and even closing their doors.
But, Hawaii Commercial Rents Survey officials said this quarter looks promising, especially as PPP loans are likely to be extended.
Ryan Tanaka, president of Island Business Management and owner of Giovanni Pastrami in Waikiki, partnered with other organizations to conduct the commercial rent survey. Currently, the investigation is in its fourth go-around and he said businesses have been feeling more optimistic since the last quarter of December.
“We are starting to see a speedy recovery,” Tanaka said. “We anticipate that the forward outlook period for the results of our investigation will be more favorable, although we do not expect a significant improvement. “
While many business owners are optimistic, they are still emerging from a deep hole.
“Businesses settle the arrears rent with their landlord until a commercial rent relief program is implemented,” Tanaka said.
Tanaka and others are crossing their fingers for House Bill 1324, which would create a program that would administer commercial rent relief grants. Tanaka said he could hopefully provide up to three months of unpaid rent to the hardest hit businesses.
This potential subsidy could be in addition to relief received by businesses as well as PPP loans and other aid, which Tanaka said has not been enough for businesses to take the turn.
The US Senate voted to extend P3 loans until May, which gives more options for homeowners to receive assistance.
“For many of them, the first round of PPP was the only help they received,” said Tina Yamaki, president of Retail Merchants of Hawaii. “We hope the second round can float more companies, so they can stay alive, hopefully next year at least.”
Sarah Nguyen, owner of Pizza Press in Pearl City, said two rounds of PPP certainly helped.
She said that in recent weeks her team has been keeping up with more and more families feeling comfortable eating out. However, it will take a long time for her to make up for the money she has lost.
“I am optimistic,” Nguyen said. “I’m very happy that we got to level 3. It has been good for us.
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