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 . The IRS and 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.

Onward Together,

Catherine Castro
Guam Chamber of Commerce

CARES Financial Assistance Comparison Matrix
A few members have asked for a comparison matrix to figure out what program would work best for their business. It took awhile but here it is ready for you!

Pacific Islands SBDC
The Guam SBDC and CNMI SBDC provide free one-on-one counseling to small business owners. SBDC Business Advisors will assist small businesses in their application for EIDL and other business advising services.

If you are an existing SBDC client in Guam or CNMI, please contact your current SBDC Business Advisor. If you are a new, prospective client, please contact your local SBDC to request for counseling. Virtual advising is available.

It is encouraged for small business owners to check their Facebook page under PISBDCN for up to date information as it changes from day to day. SBDC is working on a COVID19 special landing page that will have the information for SBA and other resources that are helpful and reliable for small business owners.

Guam SBDC: 671-735-2590 / sbdc@pacificsbdc.com

CNMI SBDC: 670-664-3018 / cnmisbdc@pacificsbdc.com
When: Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Time: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

UOG Live Stream Telethon
The University of Guam is hosting a live stream telethon today, Wednesday, April 8th to support the personnel in the front lines fighting the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak here at home.

The goal of this telethon is to raise $20K which will go entirely towards the needs of emergency medical personnel. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Today, Senators introduced Bill No. 340-35 (COR), or the Recovery Income Support and Empowerment (RISE) Act of 2020. The measure allows the Governor to transfer up to $15 million from any government account to pay for locally-funded financial assistance. The proposal is meant to help up to 30,000 families by:
  • Limiting eligibility to taxpayers reporting less than $40,000 in income for single filers and $80,000 for joint filers;
  • Granting $400 to eligible single filers and $800 to eligible joint filers; and
  • Allowing the Department of Revenue and Taxation to remit these funds using electronic means, rather than distributing paper checks.

The Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA) released an Update to the CARES Act Selected Programs Presentation to include the SBA Paycheck Protection Program Interim Final Rules just released on April 6, 2020.

GVB has gathered market intelligence and local updates that affect our industry.

Guidelines for Public Welfare Applications (SNAP, Cash Assistance, Medicaid, MIP, CCDF) DPHSS Bureau of Economic Security (BES) advises its clients that BES program applications and forms may be downloaded from the department’s website

Register for on-line business services with the Department of Revenue and Taxation for assistance and other services.

The Wage and Hour Division provides information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to COVID-19, and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Payroll Protection Program PPP
Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorshipscan apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap.

Economic Injury Loan
This program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million.

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program
This program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork.

671.472-6311 | info@GuamChamber.com.gu