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News Release: Mayor signs Bill 40, providing financial support to local businesses impacted by Skyline construction

Mayor Blangiardi, left, and Councilmember Tyler Dos Santos-Tam attend Friday’s ceremonial bill signing in Kalihi.

HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi on Friday participated in a signing ceremony for Bill 40, which provides $10,000 in annual grant funding for eligible local businesses impacted by the construction of Skyline, the City’s rail transit project. The Honolulu City Council approved the legislation late last month.

“Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our City, and we are going to do everything in our power to support them. We are confident Skyline will become an economic engine for Honolulu, but we recognize that our local entrepreneurs are going through a challenging time during construction,” said Mayor Blangiardi. “So, we are taking extraordinary action, in partnership with our compassionate City Councilmembers, to provide yearly grants of $10,000 for qualifying businesses.

“Together, we are working to ensure our local businesses will continue to play a key role in our thriving economy, which will be undoubtedly amplified with the completion of Skyline,” the mayor added.

Councilmembers Tyler Dos Santos-Tam and Radiant Cordero — who each represent portions of the Kalihi community — introduced the bill to alleviate the financial strain on businesses caused by traffic disruptions related to rail construction.

“There’s no doubt that rail construction has hurt businesses on Dillingham Boulevard,” said Councilmember Tyler Dos Santos-Tam. “These mom-and-pop shops are the backbone of the Dillingham corridor. They’re what give Kalihi its unique character. We can’t let them close down, and so we took action to give them some hope. While this fund isn’t the end-all, be-all solution, it’s a step toward giving these small businesses the relief they need.”

“This Transit Mitigation program strives to retain the existing local businesses that are impacted by rail construction,” said councilmember Radiant Cordero. “This bill seeks to provide relief for an important component of a well-rounded and successful community – the small businesses whose owners are doing everything they can to keep their businesses afloat.”

Bill 40 will provide yearly grants of up to $10,000 to businesses that:

  • Have fewer than 15 employees
  • Generate less than $750,000 in annual revenue
  • Are located within one block of active construction
  • Were open for business prior to January 1, 2022.

Grants will continue to be available for businesses along the rail line as construction continues toward Civic Center Station and, eventually, Ala Moana Center.

 

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