Home Business Foundation and MEDB partner for the Maui Business Recovery Fund | News, Sports, Jobs

Foundation and MEDB partner for the Maui Business Recovery Fund | News, Sports, Jobs

by Stella Morgan

KIHEI — In partnership with the Principal Foundation, Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) has recognized 95 small businesses eligible for the Maui Business Recovery Fund. The purpose of the fund is to support small businesses that have been directly impacted by the Aug. 8, 2023 Lahaina and Upcountry wildfires.

Single payments for the $1,000 grants will be issued over the next week. Priority consideration was given to applicants whose physical businesses were within the fire impact zones.

Applications were open for a brief period in mid-September.

“With the high demand for the funds, the application link was closed in less than 48 hours, and unfortunately there were dozens of applications that were unable to be accommodated with this round of funding,” said Leslie Wilkins, president and CEO of MEDB.

“We are working with the County of Maui, Hawaii Community Foundation and other partners to expand recovery fund offerings.”

Of the 95 businesses, three were based in Kula and the remainder in Lahaina. Seventy percent of businesses were destroyed, with the remaining 30 percent suffering partial destruction or closure of business due to location and lack of visitors.

“The wildfires in Maui and resulting losses have captured the thoughts, hearts and prayers of the world,” added Wilkins. “We would like to assure residents that we will strive in the weeks and months ahead to serve our community’s vision for recovery and renewal.”

MEDB is a nonprofit corporation established in 1982 with a mission to lead and inspire innovation in business, education and community. MEDB is immersed in recovery efforts and coordinating with groups to maximize the support, from assisting small businesses with grants and loans, to collaborating with the space technology community to deploy satellite technology for Wi-Fi and cell connectivity to affected areas.

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