My turn: small businesses are the heart of local economies


As the Hawaii Pacific Islands SBA District Manager, I am honored to work with small businesses in Hawaii, Guam, and American Samoa. I hear about how the pandemic has affected small businesses; and how the Paycheque Protection Program (P3P) enabled employers to keep staff on payroll and pivot operations to accommodate.

SBA appreciates entrepreneurs and their families for their daily sacrifice to continue during these unique times. Small businesses support local economies, adapt to challenges and prepare for new opportunities with the following characteristics:

• Visionary Risk-takers: During COVID-19, many entrepreneurs started a new business or pivoted to keep their employees and customers safe while learning new ways of doing business, such as alfresco dining, services online, home deliveries, and more.

• Financial managers: As the pandemic unfolded, small business owners turned to the SBA for financial resources. As of May 31, 2021, small businesses in Hawaii and Guam had secured 21,447 PPP forgivable loans, for a total of more than $ 1.4 billion.

• Job Creators: Small businesses generate two out of three net new jobs and provide essential goods and services to our community. About half of all American workers are employed by a small business or own a small business.

• Focused: Among all the tasks that must be accomplished to run a successful business, entrepreneurs know how to stay focused. SBA and its resource partners provide online and local resources to help entrepreneurs manage and grow their businesses.

• Community Supporters: Small businesses sponsor sports, arts and charities for local youth that enrich our communities by sharing the unique cultures and flavors of Hawaii, Guam, the surrounding Pacific Islands and America.

Small businesses are the heart of local economies. Let’s all do our part to help small businesses succeed and thrive.

Thornton “Mark” Spain is the US Small Business Administration District Director for the Pacific Islands District of Hawaii, overseeing the SBA offices in Hawaii and Guam and serving the Pacific Island Nations. For more information visit

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