That’s particularly devastating for local businesses who rely on visitors, including Nui Mizel, who’s been farming for 30 years in Maui with acres of papaya, avocados and pumpkin. In a typical week, she’d be conducting farm tours, providing lunch from the food truck where her son cooks, and selling orchids and birds of paradise as bouquets and leis for weddings.

With most events canceled, and hotels, schools, and restaurants closed, the three wholesale companies that usually purchase Mizel’s fresh produce either haven’t renewed orders or have stopped operating. Business is down about 95% for her.

“I’m really afraid -- I can’t sleep,” Mizel, 67, said. “I’ve just been pacing back and forth thinking how we’re going to survive this. I put too much money into this.”

Jobs on the tropical island heavily depend on small businesses like those run by Mizel and Mava: More than half of the total labor market is reliant on firms with fewer than 100 employees. The state has the highest share of small businesses at risk to job loss in the country, said Parilla from the Brookings Institution.

The Washington, D.C., research group ranked the Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina metropolitan area in West Maui as the second-most at risk economically in the U.S from the pandemic, with about 40% of jobs vulnerable. It’s second only to Texas oil town Midland.

Other unique quirks of the islands also exacerbate the crisis, including slower internet speeds potentially delaying online applications for government aid, according to Pamela Tumpap, president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce. And the unemployment data may not even reflect the worst of the hit yet, since response rates for jobs surveys have been lower than usual, according to Phyllis Dayao, research and statistics officer for the state of Hawaii.

Federal relief has helped mitigate the impact. As of April 16, Hawaii firms got 11,553 loans approved under the main small-business rescue program, valued at $2.05 billion and ranking fourth in the country as a percentage of eligible payroll. But many of the smallest businesses were shut out before the fund was exhausted within two two weeks, and a new tranche of $320 billion that started April 27 could soon be depleted as well.

Michelle Estling, who manages a scuba diving business in Maui with her partner, was bracing for a busy spring-break season before lockdowns in March brought revenue to a halt.

One month on, she’s spending hours on her computer researching different types of financing.

“The money will help take away the stress,” Estling, 53, said, adding that she has used her savings to cover costs such as insurance and boat permits.