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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

OHA loan impacts Moloka‘i in a big way

MOLOKAI — If you need sound support for a concert, meeting, party or large event on Molokaʻi you will likely be referred to Molokaʻi’s resident sound guy Sherman Napoleon, Jr. Napoleon is the owner of Lohea Audio, a Hawaiian-owned, small business that has been operating on Molokaʻi for over 30 years. In that time, he has worked with big name entertainers like Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, the Brothers Cazimero, Katchafire, Common Kings and more.

Molokaʻi also relies on Napoleon to provide sound at community events such as school concerts, and hula festivals. So when his truck that he uses to transport his audio equipment to gigs suddenly broke down, he needed to act quickly to continue to service his community. Within a week, Napoleon was able to order a truck online and secure financing from the dealership to pay for truck, but the loan had a high interest rate of 8%. Soon after Napoleon was able to get a Mālama Loan from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs that provided a much lower 4% interest rate.

“The Mālama Loan provides me with a big savings, since it cuts the interest payments in half,” said Napoleon. “As soon as I pay off this Mālama Loan I’m going to buy more new sound equipment for my business.”

OHA provides low-interest Mālama Loans to Native Hawaiians to pay for college, make home repairs, consolidate debt and start or expand businesses. For more information about OHA’s Mālama Loan program visit oha.org/malamaloan.

OHA Digital Media
Produced by Alice Malepeai Silbanuz
Video by Ryan “Gonzo ” Gonzalez and James Hall
Edit by Alexis Panoncillo

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