It has been twenty days since non-essential businesses and government services were officially shut down. We all understand the need to do our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and we did just that - non-essential businesses closed. We have complied with social distancing and quarantine guidelines set forth by our government at a huge cost to our businesses and the employment of thousands of workers in the private sector.
At the time of this message, Guam has recorded 121 positive COVID-19 cases. In the midst of this health and economic crises that is COVID-19 the private sector and members of the community have come together to make things just a little better for others. Our food industry folks have daily contributed much appreciated food and beverages to the medical profession, to hospitals, public safety officials, and others in essential positions who tend to the most vulnerable in our community. Our hotel owners and workers have provided lodging and assistance to thousands that need these services. Donations of amenities and handmade masks continue to be ongoing. More and more, our community is banding together amid social distancing to fill a need and hold each other accountable to stop the spread of this virus. This is what communities do in the midst of a calamity.
Although we understand and are doing our part, we continue to implore our government officials to do their part: to assist our local businesses, to save jobs and benefits for our families who are in dire need now.
As we continue our outreach with the government, if your company is in need, we urge you to seek assistance from the various opportunities offered by the federal government through the
Small Business Administration
Department of Treasury
has guidelines if you elect to take advantage of payroll tax credits contained in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Call your favorite tax person to get you started in the right direction. You may also want to contact your lender to take advantage of financing opportunities associated with COVID-19 through their lending institution. This may be slow going at first but stay diligent and patient. Lenders want to help.
There is now talk that Congress and the Department of Treasury are moving to add more funding ($250B) to the SBA PPP Program. The House has session scheduled for this Thursday (our Friday) so we should know soon how this goes.
If you need further guidance, please make an appointment to speak with a business counselor at the
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
who can assist you with the many questions you may have about the programs available. Their services are free of charge. Please scroll down for additional information about the services of our local SBDC.
As we work toward the road back to normal, thank you for your kindness and your continued support of our small businesses which are so much appreciated. Every little purchase helps and every act of kindness makes a huge difference in our community. Please keep the emails and phone calls coming. Your comments, suggestions and ideas are being put into action.
Keep well and be safe.
Guam Chamber of Commerce