The Conversation: How the Latest Federal Relief Funds Will Reach Hawaii Small Businesses

Jan 5, 2021

Breaking down the latest federal relief funding for small businesses; Hawaii Island photographer on latest volcanic eruption; Reality Check with Civil Beat: State sent out ineffective masks during mad dash for PPE; Nonprofit thanks ride sharing company for helping kupuna; Jim "Kimo" West's album up for a Grammy

Breaking down the latest federal relief funding for small businesses

For many of the nation's struggling small businesses, the latest $900 billion coronavirus relief package is a much needed shot in the arm to coincide with the new year. And with stricter terms, loan caps and earmarked funds for minority-owned businesses, this round of relief comes with more oversight to ensure that money is going into the pockets of businesses that really need it. Emily Marr is the Assistant General Counsel for the Hawaii Employers Council. She spoke with The Conversation's Harrison Patiño to break down the latest relief package.

Credit Courtesy Mick Kalber

  Hawaii Island photographer on latest volcanic eruption

Pele stirs. The lava-ravaged neighborhoods on Hawaii Island are understandably a bit on edge. We caught up with news photographer Mick Kalber, who has made a career of filming the lava's flow. Displaced during the devestating 2018 eruption where hundreds lost their homes, his home was spared. However, many in the Kupono Gardens and Leilani Estates subdivision were overrun. Kalber talked with us after going back up to film the growing lava lake at Halemaumau Crater. He says the recent activity is making many uneasy. (Pictured: Top photo taken at Kalber's home July 2018. Bottom photo taken January 2021.)

  

Reality Check with Civil Beat: State sent out ineffective masks during mad dash for PPE

Since March, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has tracked down $81.5 million worth of personal protective equipment and supplied it for free to recipients, including hospitals, state agencies, schools, elderly and child care facilities, medical or dental offices, nonprofits and small businesses. But in the midst of the massive undertaking, HI-EMA sent out hundreds of respirators with exhalation valves - the type of mask that could actually do more harm than good by propelling the virus further. Civil Beat reporter Eleni Avendaño tells us more about the "inventory control error." Click here to read the story at CivilBeat.org.

Nonprofit thanks ride sharing company for helping kupuna

King Van Nostrand is the executive director of Na Hoaloha, a Maui nonprofit that provides support services for seniors. He talked to The Conversation's Jason Ubay about how the nonprofit was affected by the pandemic and how a ride sharing company came to their rescue. 

  Jim "Kimo" West nominated for Grammy

Jim "Kimo" West's latest slack key guitar album, "More Guitar Stories," has been nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Age Album category. Click here to listen to the interview.