HI-CAP

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— What is Hi-CAP?

The State of Hawaii’s Hi-CAP program provides capital assistance to Hawaii’s businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs. It is funded by the U.S. Treasury for the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), a part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

The program is jointly managed by HTDC and HGIA (Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority). Both state agencies are attached to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT).

Read about the official announcement of Hi-CAP here.

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— When will the Hi-Cap program go into effect?

The State of Hawaii received authorization to proceed with the implementation of the program on May 19, 2022. Our team is in the midst of establishing application processes with administrative partners and anticipate all programs to be up and running from mid-August, 2022.

To receive updates when the program launches, sign up to be on our mailing list here.

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— Who can apply for capital assistance through Hi-CAP?

Businesses – Most businesses are eligible for Hi-CAP loan programs and must meet SSBCI guidelines as dictated by the U.S. Treasury. As a Department of the Treasury and Hawaii State objective, Hi-CAP will be targeting small businesses and Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individual (SEDI) business owners. See next section for complete list of loan programs.

Venture Capital Funds – click here for list of requirements.

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— What are the capital assistance options through Hi-CAP?

There are four main offerings of capital assistance:

1. Hi-CAP Collateral
Administered through our local financial institutions
Suited for small businesses and non-profits where collateral is needed to be approved for a loan. The state will work with local financial institutions to provide collateral to help you secure the loan.
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2. Hi-CAP Loans
Administered through HGIA
Suited for businesses and non-profits spearheading transformative projects with community impact. The state will lend capital to help bring eligible projects to reality. Projects considered transformative include (but are not limited to) those in renewable energy, innovation, local agriculture, dual-use technology, manufacturing, or creative industry projects that spur economic development.
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3. Hi-CAP CDFI Loan Pool Program
Administered through our network of CDFI partners
Suited for small businesses requiring micro loans. The state will work with Hawaii’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to provide capital, which will in turn serve as loans to Hawaii’s small businesses.

If you are a CDFI interested in joining our network, contact us at hicap@htdc.org with the following:
1. Company information (please include website, areas of focus)
2. State current venture-capital related activities taking place within Hawaii
3. If from out of state, specify reasons for your interest in the Hawaii market

Upon review, we will contact you to schedule a discussion.

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4. Hi-CAP Invest
Administered through HTDC
Suited for managers of venture capital (VC) funds. This “Funds-of-Funds Venture Capital” program is designed to invest in high quality investment managers with the capacity to mentor and advise entrepreneurs and facilitate follow-on investments. Click here for list of requirements.

If you are a VC fund interested in being considered for Hi-CAP Invest, contact us at hicap@htdc.org with the following:
1. Company information (please include website, areas of focus)
2. State current venture-capital related activities taking place within Hawaii
3. If from out of state, specify reasons for your interest in the Hawaii market

Upon review, we will contact you to schedule a discussion.

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— How can I apply for capital assistance?

Depending on the offering that would be most helpful to your business, application will be done through our administrative partners and the process will vary per program. For instance, if you are interested in Hi-CAP collateral, you will apply for capital assistance through your local bank.  Information and how to apply for each program will commence when the Hi-CAP program goes into effect from mid-August, 2022.

To receive updates when the program launches, sign up to be on our mailing list here.

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— Are there other forms of assistance for companies?

Yes, the Hi-CAP is currently working on the structure of the Technical Assistance Program (TA), a grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Treasury for the purpose of providing legal, accounting, and financial advisory services to companies who intend to participate in the SSBCI Hi-CAP Program or other federal programs that support small businesses. Those eligible for this grant award will become TA program providers and will be required to provide legal, accounting, or financial advisory services.

When the TA Program is activated, small businesses will be able to:
a) access vetted services easily and quickly
b) obtain the tools needed to better utilize federal programs, for instance gaining assistance in securing licenses and certifications as well as preparing essential documentation and financial statements, etc.

The TA Program is meant as a stepping stone for small businesses who do not know where to start in the event that they are interested in applying for a federal small business program.

Upon approval of the State of Hawaii’s TA Plan by the Treasury, more information on the program will be announced publicly. We recommend signing up to be on our mailing list here for future updates.

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Questions? Email us at hicap@htdc.org