OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Keola Rapozo, Owner, FITTED Hawaiʻi, Hua Kanu Loan recipient had this to say about his experience, "In business, it is crucial for growth that access to funds is available. OHA has provided an irreplaceable partnership in our business as it has allowed for a number of expansion opportunities over the years. The hiring of new employees, the building of new workspace and the expansion of our product offerings have all been made possible with the kōkua and guidance of OHA." Photo by Mark Kushimi.

Hua Kanu Loan

Hua Kanu Loans are designed for established businesses owned by Native Hawaiians. Created on July 17, 2013, the low-cost loans are intended to help these small-businesses expand. Under the program, highly-qualified applicants are eligible for between $200,000 and $1 million. They are required to repay the loan over a seven-year period. The interest rate on this business loan is 4.00% APR 6.25 percent.


To enhance access for all persons of Native Hawaiian ancestry to credit, capital, and financial services & skills so as to create jobs, wealth, and economic & social well-being for all the people of Hawaiʻi

Important Information Regarding the OHA Hua Kanu Business Loan:

  • The OHA Hua Kanu Business Loan is NOT the OHA Mālama Loan. Inquiries about the OHA Mālama Loan should be addressed to OHA Mālama Loan staff.
  • Can be used for a loan or line of credit
  • Due to limited funds, decisions on completed applications will be made on a first come first served basis.
  • Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis.
  • Financing up to $1,000,000.
  • OHA shall refer potential loan applicants to a technical assistance provider that will guide the applicant in completing the loan application packet. Applicants will not apply directly with the servicing bank.

Rates & Terms

Interest Rate Type Amount
4.00% APR (Final rate yet to be determined) Term Loan 7 year term with possible 14 year amortization $200,000 – $1,000,000

Eligible Applicant

The requirements of the principals and the types of entities that may be eligible to submit a loan application are as follows:

  • All Principals must be U.S. Citizens
  • All Principals must be Hawaii Residents
  • Principals must be Native Hawaiian (verified by birth certificate, OHA Hawaiian Registry Card, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands or Kamehameha Schools verification letter)
  • Type of Business Entity and Proof of Eligibility:
    • Sole Proprietor (Verification of Hawaiian ancestry)
    • Non-Profit Organization (Organization‚ as approved by-laws and/or articles of incorporation that indicates the primary purpose is to serve Native Hawaiians and allows the organization to enter into a binding loan agreement)
    • Cooperative Association (An association of Native Hawaiian individuals organized pursuant to State of Hawaii law, for the purpose of owning and operating an economic enterprise for profit, with profits distributed or allocated to patrons who are members of the organization. → Its mission is to serve the needs or better the conditions of Native Hawaiians and its community)
    • Partnership (Organizations of two or more individuals joined together in the same business, sharing its profits and risks, and organized pursuant to State of Hawaii law. The partnership must be one hundred percent (100%) Native Hawaiian owned)
    • Associations (Organizations that are operated primarily for religious, philanthropic, charitable, educational, or other similar purposes and that are not operated for profit which primarily serve Native Hawaiians and their community. Associations that are not organized for profit and are described in section 501(c)(3) through (13) and (19) and section 528 of the Internal Revenue Code, such as church organizations; professional associations; trade associations; labor unions; fraternities, sororities and similar social organizations)
    • Corporations and Limited Liability Companies (An entity organized pursuant to State of Hawaii law, as a corporation, with or without stock, for the purpose of owning and operating an economic enterprise. » This entity must be 100 percent Native Hawaiian-owned)

Unallowable Loan Activities

The following are unallowable uses for the loan proceeds:

  • Eligible activities which are moved from the State of Hawaii;
  • Investing in high interest accounts, certificates of deposit or other investments;
  • Relending of the loan amount by the borrower;
  • Purchase of land or buildings;
  • Construction of buildings;
  • Purchasing or financing equity in private businesses;
  • Distribution to owners except as ordinary and reasonable compensation for services;
  • Refinancing loans made by other lenders deemed to be inadequately secured and in position to sustain a loss;
  • Purchase of goodwill or other intangible assets;
  • Any principal that is incarcerated.

Required Documentation

The following are required documents that must be submitted at time of application:

  1. Completed and current Business Plan
  2. Verification of Collateral ‚ The loan-to-value ratio must not exceed 100% [acceptable collateral includes real estate (100% assessed value), equipment (100% assessed value), receivables , inventory, purchase orders and contracts may be considered.
  3. Tax Returns ‚ 1 to 3 years of business tax returns may be required depending on the size of the loan requested
  4. Financial pro forma for a period of 2 to 3 years
  5. Certificate of Good Standing from DCCA
  6. Verification of being an eligible applicant
  7. Verification that the loan proceeds will not be used for unallowable activities
  8. Other items as may be required by the bank, OHA, or the technical assistance provider


Given the limited resources available and the high loan amount, OHA has established a rigorous and competitive evaluation process. Below are the criteria that each loan will be evaluated and scored.

The applicant must be able to address each of the criteria below in order for their loan application to be reviewed:

Business Criteria Explanation
Industry experience (10 points maximum) Demonstrates understanding of own business’ industry, minimum of two years operating in same or similar industry, and understands opportunities and threats within the industry.
Differentiation (5 points maximum) Understands business’ strengths and weaknesses. Developed a realistic business strategy and understands its relationship to its competitors.
Leadership experience (5 points maximum) Demonstrates a proven track record in a leadership role(s), a minimum of three years as head of a company, and understands all segments of the business’ operations.
Owner’s/Manager’s understanding of the business plan (5 points maximum) Is knowledgeable of all aspects of their business plan, can justify assumptions and projections, and can easily communicate the operational processes in regards to the stated goals and objectives.
Overall Reasonableness (5 points maximum) Is the plan supported with current data and past performance information that justifies the assumptions and projections? Is the plan aligned with the trends in both the operations and industry? Have weaknesses been addressed?
Marketing Strategy (5 points maximum) Does the marketing strategy support the projected outcomes of the company? Does the marketing plan address a variety of advertising strategies (radio, newspaper, social media, etc.)
Industry experience (10 points maximum) Are revenues based on realistic expectation? Are expenses reasonable and account for any changes? Are assumptions reasonable?
Financial Projections (5 points maximum) Is there a reasonable chance for the business to be profitable? Was the company profitable last year?
Profitability (5 points maximum) Is there sufficient working capital to support current operations? Are Accounts Receivable collected within industry norm? Are Accounts Payable and Inventory controlled reasonably?
Owner’s Commitment (5 points maximum) Has the owner contributed tangible assets in organizing the business? Is he readily willing to provide his personal guaranty and collateral?
Operating and net Profitability (10 points maximum) Are annual revenue stable or improving? If increasing, is there sufficient capital to support the increase? Is profitability stable?
Cash Flow (5 points maximum) Is business operating with a positive cash flow? Is cash flow managed systematically?
Owner Compensation (5 points maximum) Is owner’s total compensation reasonable? Does it include excess distribution or bonuses for tax purposes?
Character (5 points maximum) Review credit report of the principals of the business. Determine history of payback obligations. Are there any negative credit reports in the company’s history?
Is the business operating with a positive cash flow? (5 points maximum) How is the cash flow of the business? Do they have sufficient capital resources?
Character (5 points maximum) Review credit report on the company. If none, then credit report on the principals of the company. Determine history of payback obligations. Are there any negative credit reports in the company’s history?
Capacity (5 points maximum) Is the business able to absorb the debt amount? Is there sufficient cash flow to service its debt obligations? Will there be sufficient cash flow if the business does not meet its projected revenue?
Capital (5 points maximum) Is the company adequately capitalized to support ts existing obligations? Does the business have adequate capital to support its projected growth or expansion?
Collateral (5 points maximum) Can the collateral requirement able to be met?
Conditions (5 points maximum) Is this company operating in an industry that is stable in Hawaii?

For more information please call Robert Crowell at (808) 594-1924.


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