Small Business Grants In Hawaii

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Lori Pace

Are you a small business owner in Hawaii looking for financial assistance? Look no further!

This article will explore the various small business grants available in Hawaii that can help support your business growth and development. Hawaii offers a range of grant programs specifically designed to support small businesses, providing funding for various purposes such as expansion, innovation, recovery, and more.

Whether you are a woman-owned business, a startup, or a business looking to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, grants are available to meet your specific needs.

Hawaii’s State Trade Expansion Program (HiSTEP) is one option for small businesses looking to expand their reach beyond the local market. This grant program provides financial assistance to eligible businesses participating in international trade shows and exhibitions, allowing them to showcase their products and services to a global audience.

Another program, Innovate Hawaii, focuses on supporting businesses in the innovation and technology sectors. This grant program offers funding for research and development, technology commercialization, and workforce training, helping businesses stay at the forefront of technological advancements.

These are just a few examples of the grants available in Hawaii to help small businesses thrive and succeed. 

Hawaii’s State Trade Expansion Program (HiSTEP)

Hawaii’s State Trade Expansion Program (HiSTEP) is a federal program that provides financial assistance and technical assistance to eligible businesses in Hawaii. It aims to help businesses engage in international trade and increase their export activities.

The program is open to various types of businesses, including manufacturing businesses and nonprofit organizations. HISTEP offers grants for all types and sizes of businesses, which can be used for activities such as market research, trade show participation, and international marketing campaigns.

Through HISTEP, small business owners in Hawaii can access valuable resources and support to expand their reach and compete in the global marketplace.

Innovate Hawaii

Innovate Hawaii is a program under the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP). It aims to foster innovation and competitiveness in Hawaii-based manufacturing companies.

Through their various initiatives, Innovate Hawaii assists eligible applicants, including small businesses, non-profit organizations, and private organizations, in areas such as technology commercialization, product development, and management consulting.

With Innovate Hawaii’s support, local manufacturing businesses can thrive and contribute to the state’s economic growth. 


GrantWatch provides a comprehensive database of grants available to businesses in Hawaii, including those for small businesses, home-based businesses, and women-owned businesses. By utilizing GrantWatch, entrepreneurs can access grant assistance and professional grant writing assistance to help them navigate the application process and increase their chances of securing grant funds.

Although this program does not offer direct cash assistance, it provides entrepreneurs valuable access to federal and private grant programs. These grants can be used for various purposes, such as business plan development, export sales expansion, job creation, and support for sole proprietorships.

With the support of Hawaii’s GrantWatch, entrepreneurs can find the financial resources they need to turn their business ideas into reality and contribute to the growth and prosperity of Hawaii’s economy. 

Amber Grant for Women

The Amber Grant for Women is a program specifically designed for women business owners who have a business dream or venture they want to pursue. To promote economic growth and provide comprehensive export assistance, the Amber Grant for Women offers a wealth of knowledge and resources to help women entrepreneurs succeed.

By applying for the Amber Grant, women in Hawaii can receive financial assistance to start or expand their small businesses. The application process is accessible and user-friendly, making it easier for women entrepreneurs to navigate.

Additionally, the Amber Grant provides professional grant writing assistance to help applicants present their business ideas effectively.

With the support of this grant, women-owned businesses in Hawaii can thrive and contribute to the local economy. 

Oahu Business Recovery Grant

The Oahu Business Recovery Grant is designed to help small business owners recover and rebuild after the past year’s challenges. This grant provides funding that can be used for various purposes, such as business financing options, professional grant writing assistance, and accessing federal RD awards.

The Oahu Business Recovery Grant aims to promote economic stability and education within the community by offering business funds. Additionally, the grant encourages entrepreneurs to explore private organizations for further support. 

To apply for this grant, entrepreneurs can submit a business funding application that demonstrates their needs and outlines their business dream. This opportunity is a valuable resource for small business owners in Oahu, providing them with the necessary funding and support to navigate the path to recovery and success. 

Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

The Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program provides grants to small businesses in Hawaii to support their research and development efforts. Through the SBIR program, small businesses can access funds to develop innovative technologies and products that have the potential for commercialization.

The program focuses on supporting small businesses in Hawaii to develop high-risk, high-reward innovations. It provides funding through grants to help small businesses conduct research and development activities. In addition, small businesses can utilize the funds to hire research and development personnel, purchase equipment and materials, and conduct feasibility studies.

By participating in this grants program, small businesses in Hawaii can access the necessary funds to drive innovation, develop new products, and contribute to the state’s economic growth.

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union Business Loans and Lines of Credit Program

The Hawaii State Federal Credit Union offers a program for local businesses to access loans and lines of credit to support their financial needs. This program aims to provide businesses with the necessary financial resources to grow and thrive in the local economy.

Through the Hawaii State FCU, businesses can secure capital loans and lines of credit that can be used for various purposes, including business development, expansion, and working capital. Additionally, the Hawaii State FCU also offers access to business development programs and business training, which can further support the growth and success of small businesses.

Whether it’s funding for new equipment, inventory, or marketing initiatives, the Hawaii State FCU strives to provide businesses with the financial tools they need to succeed. 

Enterprise Zones (EZ) Partnership Program

The Enterprise Zones (EZ) Partnership Program aims to provide assistance to government agencies, partners, and the business sector by promoting economic stability and growth within the community.

Through this program, businesses can receive various forms of support, including business training, community grants, and reduced state taxes. Thus, encouraging the stimulation of business activities and job preservation and creating high-quality jobs for the people of Hawaii. 

Moreover, the program also focuses on developing the homestead community, fostering a sense of ‘ohana (family) and collaboration among businesses and residents.

By participating in the Enterprise Zones (EZ) Partnership Program, your company can contribute to the community’s overall well-being while enjoying the advantages of being part of a thriving business environment in Hawaii. 

ARPA Fiscal Recovery Funding

The ARPA Fiscal Recovery Funding provides small business grants in Hawaii, offering a lifeline to businesses affected by the pandemic. These grants aim to support disadvantaged businesses and provide financial assistance to help them recover and thrive. 

In addition to grants, low-interest loans may be available to eligible businesses. It’s important to note that this funding is not limited to for-profit businesses only; private nonprofit organizations can also apply for support.

By taking advantage of the ARPA Fiscal Recovery Funding, your business can benefit from the resources and assistance the government provides. So, seize this opportunity to secure award grants and propel your business toward a brighter future. 

Eligibility Requirements and Application Guidelines for Small Business Grants in Hawaii

To be eligible for these grants, businesses must meet certain criteria, such as being registered and in good standing. Additionally, businesses must demonstrate a need for financial assistance. They must be able to show how the grant funds will be used to support their operations and contribute to the economic stability of their community.

The application process involves submitting a detailed proposal, including a business description, a plan for utilizing the grant funds, and any supporting documentation required. It’s important to carefully review the application guidelines to ensure all requirements are met and increase the chances of receiving a grant.

By understanding and following the eligibility requirements and application guidelines, small businesses in Hawaii can have a better chance of securing the much-needed financial support they need to recover and thrive. 

How to Find the Right Grant for Your Small Business

Discovering the perfect grant for your thriving enterprise is like stumbling upon a hidden treasure chest in the vast ocean of opportunities.

Regarding business grants in Hawaii, there are various options available for small businesses seeking financial support. To find the right grant for your business, it’s crucial to understand the grant eligibility criteria and application guidelines.

Start by researching the different grant opportunities specifically tailored for small businesses in Hawaii. Look for grants that align with your business’s industry, location, and goals. Pay close attention to the grant eligibility requirements, such as net income loss documentation and proof of operations on Oahu.

Once you have identified potential grants, carefully review the grant criteria and selection process to ensure your business meets all the qualifications. Take note of any deadlines or specific application guidelines, as missing out on these details could jeopardize your chances of securing grant funding.

It’s also beneficial to contact local business organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, for additional information and guidance.

Remember, finding the right grant for your small business requires thorough research, attention to detail, and proactive engagement with the grant application process. So dive into the world of grant opportunities and unlock the financial resources your business needs to thrive. 

Alternative Resources for Small Businesses in Hawaii

Looking for alternative resources for small businesses in Hawaii? In addition to small business grants, other options are available to help you grow and thrive. Consider these alternative resources that can provide valuable support and assistance for your business:

  • Business Accelerator Program: Joining a business accelerator program can provide you with mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to resources that can help you accelerate the growth of your business.
  • Community Grants: Many communities in Hawaii offer grants specifically designed to support local businesses. These grants can fund various needs, such as marketing, equipment, or renovations.
  • Assistance for Courses: Some organizations in Hawaii offer financial assistance for business owners to take courses or attend training programs that can help them develop new skills or expand their knowledge in specific areas.
  • Assistance to Government Agencies: Hawaii has various government agencies that offer assistance programs for small businesses. These programs can provide eligible businesses guidance, resources, and financial support.
  • OHA Grants: The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) provides grants to Native Hawaiian individuals and organizations that are working to improve the economic well-being of the Native Hawaiian community. These grants can be a valuable resource for businesses that serve or are owned by Native Hawaiians.

Exploring these alternative resources can give you access to additional support and opportunities to grow your small business in Hawaii. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements to qualify for the Amber Grant for Women in Hawaii?

You need to meet certain requirements to qualify for the Amber Grant for women in Hawaii. These may include being a female small business owner, residing in Hawaii, and demonstrating financial need. Further details can be found on the Amber Grant website.

Are there any specific industries or sectors the Oahu Business Recovery Grant targets?

The Oahu Business Recovery Grant does not specifically target any particular industries or sectors. It is open to all eligible small businesses in Oahu, regardless of their industry.

How can small businesses in Hawaii apply for the Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)?

To apply for the Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, small businesses in Hawaii can visit the program’s official website and follow the application guidelines outlined there.

What maximum loan amount is available through the Hawaii State Federal Credit Union Business Loans and Lines of Credit Program?

The Hawaii State Federal Credit Union offers business loans and lines of credit, with a maximum loan amount available. You can contact the credit union directly for more information to find out the maximum loan amount.

Can businesses located outside of Enterprise Zones still apply for the EZ Partnership Program in Hawaii?

Businesses located outside of enterprise zones can still apply for the EZ Partnership Program in Hawaii. This program provides incentives and assistance to businesses, regardless of their location, to encourage economic growth and job creation.


In conclusion, small business grants in Hawaii provide valuable opportunities for entrepreneurs to access funding and support to grow their businesses. Small businesses can find various avenues to secure financial assistance through programs like Hawaii’s State Trade Expansion Program (HiSTEP), Innovate Hawaii, GrantWatch, Amber Grant for Women, Oahu Business Recovery Grant, and ARPA Fiscal Recovery Funding. These grants cater to different sectors and needs, ensuring that businesses from all industries can benefit.

To apply for these grants, businesses must meet specific eligibility requirements and follow the application guidelines provided by each program. It’s essential to carefully review the criteria and submit a well-prepared application to maximize the chances of receiving funding.

Additionally, entrepreneurs should explore alternative resources for small businesses in Hawaii, such as business development centers, industry-specific organizations, and local community programs that may also offer financial assistance and guidance.

Overall, with the availability of small business grants in Hawaii and the support provided by various programs and resources, entrepreneurs can take advantage of opportunities to fuel their business growth, drive innovation, and contribute to the local economy. By effectively leveraging these grants and resources, small businesses can thrive and succeed in the competitive landscape of the Hawaiian market.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!