Bank of Hawaii Provides Seed Funding to Community Loan Fund for Micro-Enterprise Businesses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 14, 2011

Honolulu, Hawaii – The nonprofit Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) has received seed funding in the amount of $30,000 from the Bank of Hawaii Foundation to establish a micro-loan fund dedicated to small business firms.  CNHA is certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the U.S. Treasury, with existing loan programs for single family homes and residential solar energy systems.

“This investment by Bank of Hawaii Foundation makes it possible for our loan fund to assist small businesses, farmers, and outdoor marketplace vendors with our loan fund,” said Napali Woode, CNHA Senior Vice President.  “With Bank of Hawaii Foundation as a funding partner, we will be able to reach borrowers who are unable to qualify for conventional financing.”
The Bank of Hawaii Foundation investment opens the door for the CNHA loan fund to establish a track record in micro financing and to become eligible to apply for hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal capital.

“It’s a great partnership that with a small local investment can lead to significant capital streams flowing to our state from existing federal sources not tapped before,” Woode continued. “Serving micro businesses is a big need, whether the borrower is an artisan or a vendor or a farmer selling goods at an outdoor marketplace venue.  The seed funding gets us started in serving this segment of the community while also getting positioned to attract capital from outside Hawaii to our state.”

The nonprofit is scheduled to begin accepting micro-enterprise funding applications in July 2011.

Donna Tanoue, Bank of Hawaii Foundation president, said, “Our foundation is proud to support small entrepreneurs across the state through the innovative work of the CNHA, which directs resources to locally owned and operated businesses that are so important to Hawaii.”

Bank of Hawaii Foundation provides charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations in Hawaii, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa with an emphasis on education, community development, human services, and arts and culture. For more information on Bank of Hawaii Foundation, please visit www.boh.com/community.

CNHA is a national network of Native Hawaiian Organizations, providing assistance in accessing capital and technical resources, and is a policy voice on issues important to Native Hawaiian communities. Its mission is to enhance the well-being of Hawaii through the cultural, economic, and community development of Native Hawaiians.  For more information about CNHA please contact us at 808.596.8155, toll-free at 1.800.709.2642, by e-mail at info@hawaiiancouncil.org, or visit our website at www.hawaiiancouncil.org.

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