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In response to COVID-19, disconnections are suspended through May 31, 2021 and payment arrangement options are available. Read our latest COVID-19 updates.

CARES Act funding for businesses available for limited time

Businesses urged to apply for assistance with utility bills, other expenses

Release Date: 10/19/2020

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HONOLULU, Oct. 19, 2020 – Businesses struggling with the financial impact of COVID-19 are urged to apply now for financial assistance from government and nonprofit sources that cover utility bills and other costs. Millions of dollars in additional federal CARES Act funding have been made available through the end of the year.

"Connecting our commercial customers to these federal funds helps boost our local economy and provides much-needed financial relief to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of customer service. "We're here to work with our customers to help them through this difficult time."

Deadlines for some assistance programs are fast-approaching while others are nearing their funding limits. It's important to apply while assistance is still available. Eligibility requirements vary. Go to for a list of programs. Among them:

  • City & County of Honolulu - Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund
    • Program provides up to $50,000 in CARES funding reimbursement to qualified businesses, depending on gross annual revenue:
      • Up to $20,000 for business with up to $2 million in annual revenue
      • Up to $30,000 for business with $2 to $3 million in annual revenue
      • Up to $40,000 for business with $3 to $4 million in annual revenue
      • Up to $50,000 for business with $4 to $5 million in annual revenue
    • Businesses, nonprofit organizations eligible
    • Eligible expenses include rent, utilities, payroll, physical distancing measures
  • Maui County - Kokua Maui County Small Business Recovery & Relief Fund
    • Program provides maximum grant award of $7,500 in CARES funding for businesses with $2 million or less in annual gross revenue
    • Eligible expenses include rent/lease payments, utilities, COVID-19 safety precautions at place of business
    • Applications will be accepted online only through Oct. 31, 2020
  • Hawaii County - Holomua Hawaii Small Business Relief & Recovery Fund
    • Program provides CARES funding in the form of one-time reimbursement grants up to $10,000 to businesses and nonprofit organizations with 50 or fewer employees
    • Eligible expenses include rent, payroll, non-government utilities, costs to meet social distancing requirements and employee/customer safety, medical insurance premiums, workers compensation and other annual expense

Commercial customers should also take advantage of Hawaiian Electric's special payment arrangement plans to help keep past-due balances manageable. Go to to learn more about the interest-free plan options for business and residential customers. Late fees are waived while on a payment arrangement.

Submitting the payment arrangement request form is the quickest way for customers to start the process. The request form and an informational flier have been translated in different languages (Marshallese, Chuukese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Ilocano and Mandarin) and can be accessed from the same webpage.

Hawaiian Electric service disconnections for nonpayment have been suspended through Dec. 31, 2020. The company suspended its collection efforts in March to ensure customers' electric service would not be disrupted while many were staying home.

As a result of the pandemic, the company's walk-in payment centers are closed, but there are several payment methods available to customers.

Go to for available payment methods. Customers who prefer to pay in person may do so at no charge at Western Union payment locations at retailers throughout the company's service territory. The company website lists the locations.

For assistance managing energy costs, Hawaii Energy is a trusted resource for tips and rebates to help offset the costs of energy-saving equipment and services. Visit for more information.