SBA Hawaii District Office - News and Upcoming Events


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Jane with State Winners

District Director's Message:

Summer’s Heating Up for Small Businesses

Spring flew by! The summer months are always busy.  SBA is open for business and pushing to help with financing, new opportunities for training and technical assistance and more (see our calendar).

The month of May kicked off with National Small Business Week and celebrations of small business and their contributions across the State.  Hawaii was represented in the nation’s capital by the State Small Business Persons of the Year, Rolf Klein and Alvin Bongolan of Hawaii Energy Systems, the leading provider of state of the art building automation, energy management and energy efficiency solutions. After accepting their award on May 3 at the 32nd Annual Statewide SBA Small Business Awards at the Hawaii Prince, the state winners jetted off to join the other top small business owners in Washington, D.C.  Mahalo to Hawaii Business Magazine for a wonderful event honoring the top small business owners and advocates.   You can learn more about all these movers and shakers at

Mark your calendar for the SBA Advocacy Small Business Forum on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at the Hawaii District Office at 500 Ala Moana Blvd, #1-306 in Honolulu from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  Giving small employers a voice is key to reducing the negative impact of regulations on small businesses and creating a more business friendly environment.  This is a great opportunity to present ideas and opinions on regulations, policies and issues that affect doing business in Hawaii and the U.S. and meet Region IX Advocate Marina DeWit.

At SBA, the Office of Advocacy is the independent voice for small business within the federal government, the watchdog of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and a source of small business statistics and research. Advocacy advances the concerns of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and policymakers. Marina DeWit serves as Region 9 Advocate and works with small business owners, state and local governments, and small business associations to bring the voice of Region 9 to Washington DC.  You can learn more at .

Don’t miss other features in this newsletter:

  • SBA Offers New Grant for Makerspace, Training and Collaboration
  • Growth Accelerator Awards Return with SBA Competition this Month
  • SBA Lender Match increases Access to Capital for Small Businesses
  • Supporting Recovery from Natural Disasters: SBA Application Deadlines Announced

Lender Match

Are You Ready for the MaTCH Challenge?                

In today’s booming economy, our nation’s employers are searching for qualified workers to fill the increasing amount of positions currently available. That’s why the U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the Makerspace Training, Collaboration and Hiring (MaTCH) Pilot Competition which seeks to address the job skills and placement gaps faced by U.S. businesses. MaTCH will provide funding to create or expand programs with job-specific and soft skills training within existing makerspaces. The SBA will award up to $1 million in total prizes to fund selected winning proposals.

The submission period began on May 21, 2019 and ends on July 8, 2019. For more information, go to Match Challenge.


Are You a Tech Startup?  Join the Growth Accelerator Competition for a Chance to Win Cash Prizes

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Office of Investment and Innovation (OII) is pleased to announce the fifth round of the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC).  This Competition will recognize the nation’s most innovative accelerators (as well as incubators, co-working startup communities, or other similar models) and award these organizations cash prizes.  In 2019, SBA will award up to 60 prizes of $50,000 each for a total of $3 million in prizes under this announcement.

This year’s Competition is geared towards Growth Accelerators that provide assistance to technology focused entrepreneurs. This will help to build the pipeline for new SBIR and STTR applicants.  The prizes can fund operations costs associated with traditional accelerator activities.

Applicants must have been in operation for at least two years and must target at least 60 percent of the effort under this funding opportunity to entrepreneurs in one of the following groups:

1) Women;

2) Socially and economically disadvantaged individuals;

3) Businesses that are located in and operate out of states or territories that are underrepresented by SBIR/STTR awardees; 

4) Businesses that are located in and operate out of Opportunity Zones. 

Prize competition applications consist of a brief twelve slide presentation and an optional two-minute video. The growth Accelerator Competition rules, requirements, and additional information can be found at .  Applications can be submitted starting June 10, 2019 and no later than June 20, 2019.

Lender Match

Are You Ready to Take Your Business Plan to the Next Level?

Start with our Lender Match program. Lender Match brings together entrepreneurs and SBA lenders to help increase access to capital. The free online tool allows small business owners to fill out a quick online form, without registration, and then connects them with lenders within 48 hours. After lenders have reviewed the information submitted to them by entrepreneurs, those who express interest in the loan will respond within two days. In addition, borrowers will also receive counseling information and resources from the SBA within their local area.

Prospective borrowers can go to to get matched.

SBA: Supporting Recovery from Natural Disasters

Economic Injury from Hurricane Lane – August 22-29, 2018  

SBA Disaster Field Operations Center-West would like to remind Hawaii private nonprofit organizations of the June 27, 2019, deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for economic injury caused by Hurricane Lane that occurred Aug. 22–29, 2018. Private nonprofits that provide essential services of a governmental nature are eligible for assistance.  These low-interest federal disaster loans are available in Hawaii, Kauai and Maui counties.

The interest rate is 2.5 percent with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

       Economic Injury Loans from Typhoon Mangkhut – September 10-11, 2018

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West would like to remind the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands small businesses of the July 1, 2019, deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for economic injury caused by Typhoon Mangkhut that occurred Sept. 10-11, 2018. These low-interest federal disaster loans are available in Rota, Saipan and Tinian.

The interest rate is 3.675 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

How to apply:

For any federally declared disaster, applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

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SBA Small Business Events

Go to and click on Small Business Events to register or find out more information:

ManaUp Summer Showcase for Small Businesses:  Pitch Presentations & Marketplace – June 6, 2019, Thursday, 4:30pm-9:00pm, T Galleria by DFS, Hawaii, 330 Royal Hawaiian Avenue, Honolulu, HI  96815 (Waikiki). You’ll have a chance to learn how 10 local product companies are growing globally, plus a ManaUp marketplace and party featuring 25+ vendors.  RSVP: #manaup #supportlocal 

SCORE Workshops Set for Summer 2019 - The workshops will be presented in the SBA HDO training room at 500 Ala Moana Blvd. (Waterfront Plaza), Building 1, Suite 306, Honolulu, HI  96813.  Advanced registration is required.  Register by phone today at (808) 547-2700.  Cost is $45.00 per class (by credit card or check).  

Sensory Evaluation on Quality Shelf Life Testing - Lihue – June 10, 2019, Monday, 9:00am-1:00pm, UH Kauai Community College, OCET Room, #106D, Lihue, HI  96766.  Cost:  $50 (up to 2 per company).  To register, go to Sensory Evaluation.

How to Start a Small Business - Oahu – June 10, 2019, Wednesday, 10:00am-12:00noon, Fee:  $10.00.  To register, go to How to Start or call (808) 945-1430. 

Sensory Evaluation on Quality Shelf Life Testing - Honolulu – June 12, 2019, Wednesday, 9:00am-1:00pm, Foreign Trade Zone FTZ9, Homer A. Maxey International Trade Resource Center Conference Room, 521 Ala Moana Boulevard, Pier 2, Honolulu, HI 96813.  Cost:  $50 (up to 2 per company).  To register, go to Sensory Evaluation.

Logistics and Shipping from Hawaii to Overseas Markets – June 13, 2019, Thursday, 9:00am-12:00pm, Foreign Trade Zone FTZ9, Homer A. Maxey International Trade Resource Center Conference Room M-401 (2nd floor), 521 Ala Moana Boulevard, Pier 2, Honolulu, HI 96813.  To attend in person:  Register on Eventbrite. To attend via Livestream: Register on Zoom. Registration Deadline: Tuesday, June 11, 2019. 

17th Annual Hawaii Small Business Forum – June 18, 2019, Tuesday, 8:00am-3:30pm, Honolulu Country Club, 1690 Ala Puumalu Street, Honolulu, HI 96818.  For more information and to register, go to Forum Registration.

Boots to Business – June 18 & 19, 2019, Tuesday & Wednesday, Joint Base Pearl Harbor, HI.  Open to transitioning military.  Registration required: 

A Beginner’s Strategy for Using Facebook Ads – Hilo – June 20, 2019, Thursday, 9:00am-11:00am, Hawaii Innovation Center, 117 Keawe Street, Hilo, HI  96720.  Fee:  $25.00.  To register, go to Registration for Using Facebook Ads.

Hawaii Small Business Advocacy Forum – June 20, 2019, Thursday, 1:00pm-3:00pm, SBA Hawaii District Office, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Bldg. 1, Suite 306, Honolulu, HI 96813. RSVP to or (808) 541-2990.

Sensory Evaluation on Quality Shelf Life Testing - Kahului – June 21, 2019, Friday, 9:00am-1:00pm, UH Maui College – MFIC, Laulima Room, #106, 310 Kaahumanu Avenue, Kahului, HI  96732.  Cost:  $50 (up to 2 per company).  To register, go to Sensory Evaluation.

Hawaii DOT DBE Program and MBDA Business Center of Honolulu presents:  One-on-One Networking – June 25, 2019, Tuesday, 10:00am-12:00pm, Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Terminal 1, Interisland Terminal 7th Floor Conference Room, Honolulu, HI.  Attendance is limited with a maximum of two attendees per firm.   Registration is open on-line until June 14, 2019 at

Introduction to Patents - Kona – June 26, 2019, Wednesday, 9:00am-11:30am, Hale Iako (NEHLAL/OTEC campus), 73-970 Makako Bay Drive, #119, Kailua-Kona, HI  96740.  Fee:  $20.  For more information, call (808) 333-5000 or go to Patents.

Grow Your Business On Instagram – Hilo – June 27, 2019, Thursday, 9:00am-11:00am, Hawaii Innovation Center Conference Room, 117 Keawe Street, Hilo, HI  96720.  Fee:  $25.  To register, go to Grow.

Boots to Business – June 27 & 28, 2019, Thursday & Friday, Ft. Shafter, HI.  Open to transitioning military.  Registration required:

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Business Expo/Annual Membership & Installation Luncheon – June 28, 2019, Friday, 10:00am-2:00pm, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Ballroom, 72-100 Kaupulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740.  Cost: $95 for a tabletop-only vendor space. For more information or to register, go to: Expo Registration.

This bulletin includes information, events, and activities that may be of interest to the Small Business community but should not be considered an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any other person or entity. All SBA programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. For SBA sponsored events, reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.

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