It’s labor day and its one like no other. This year’s September calendar has no place holder for family barbecues, the annual company labor day picnic or even labor day shopping deals because of the stay at home mandate. The holiday that puts aside time for us to recognize the hard work and contributions of the American worker is today, one to be contemplated rather than celebrated.

As I ponder this historic holiday I am thinking about the thousands of our Guam workforce without jobs who are probably praying for financial relief and wondering when guidelines will be lifted so they can seek any available job opportunities in this current pandemic situation. Some are probably figuring out if it will be worth it to consider learning a brand new trade if it means a steady income again. I’m thinking about the entrepreneurs and small business owners that have closed their doors and are contemplating next steps. I’m thinking about all those essential workers who have been busting their chops to keep up with the demand for their services and feeling overwhelmed and overworked.

This pandemic has surely wreaked havoc in our lives but it has also taught us lessons and showed us silver linings. In my extremely little corner of the world, I have the pleasure of interacting and communicating with every day workers who make a difference in their spheres of influence. I’d like to recognize them today:

  • All the people in food service that I have spoken with over the phone or through the fast food window to place my order for a meal and their great curbside delivery etiquette;

  • The tech support folks who have helped me with my mobile device (my voice mail works now!), walked me through an issue with an accounting feature on the computer and, have reset my login because I messed up my password one too many times;

  • The people that run financial internet portals that make sure that all my online bill payments get credited correctly;

  • The people assigned to keep all ATM machines working;

  • The gas station attendants all across the island;

  • The cashiers, baggers, butchers, stockers and merchandisers at the grocery & essential retail outlets - special shout out to the person who helped me with the big bag of dog food!;

  • The folks that take care of timely car maintenance because parking lot worship services are real and long lines at coffee places are no joke;

  • The attorneys, accounting and auditing partners that keep us legal;

  • The nurses who gave me shots the other day who complemented my hair and warned me that I might have flu-like symptoms but take acetaminophen and I should feel better - I’m still working on feeling better;

  • My counterparts on Guam, Saipan and the Asia Pacific Region who share ideas and insight as we all navigate this global crisis and help our members with resources and information;

  • The marketing teams that keep us focused, on point and ask the right questions because it is so easy to be all over the place;

  • The folks at the hospitals for keeping it together with the resources they have and keeping their positive attitudes while interacting with patients and their families;

  • Our admin staff who are on top of stuff whether they are in the office or teleworking - you ladies rock!; and,

  • Our Chamber members and Chamber Board who provide advice and volunteer time and energy to make things happen at the Chamber - you are pretty awesome!

I’m sure that I may have missed some people and I am sure the list would be longer if we didn’t have PCOR1 restrictions in place. Thank you to all our workforce in the private and public sectors who help us run our operations and whose contributions are invaluable - you are the reason we commemorate Labor Day today.

We have had really good feedback about Action PAC, the new political action committee co-founded by your Chamber. The Guam Chamber along with a number of business organizations have come together to form the PAC to address very specific initiatives. We welcome you and others interested in affecting change in our government to join the group as a member and as a financial contributor. We also need your support in getting the word out about the organization by talking about the PAC and its initiatives at your dining room tables, during your phone conversations and sharing information via social media chats and outlets. Visit Action PAC’s website for more information or email about how you can get involved.

In these stressful times, you or someone you know may find value in the recorded Chamber webinar from May 15th featuring Risha Aguon, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, on the topic: Addressing Mental and Emotional Health During This Crisis. Feel free to share the link!

Thank you for all you do everyday to keep sanitation protocols ever ready and always top of mind. As always, we welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions - please keep them coming. Happy Labor Day!

Onward together,

Catherine Castro
The Guam Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association with the cooperation of the Guam Association of Realtors, the Guam Contractors Association, the Guam Women's Chamber and the Korean Chamber of Commerce have formed a political action committee known as Action PAC, Inc.

View the Press Conference & Official Launch
The Guam Department of Public Health & Social Services, the Office of Technology and the Office of the Governor have worked on a contact tracing smartphone app to help control the spread of Covid-19 in our community. The launch date will be very soon. Please visit their website for more information about the app available for both iPhone and Android platforms.

Your Guam Chamber hosted a successful Congressional Forum on August 26, 2020 featuring all three candidates. Members who weren't able to attend may view the recap of the event on our Guam Chamber YouTube.

We would like to thank members for sending in their business updates during this time. Please share any updates with Rebekah and we can share with the members in the upcoming Roll Call.

The Saipan Chamber of Commerce and Guam Chamber of Commerce partnered with our national affiliate, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to host an informational webinar regarding Phase 4 Legislation for Businesses and Travel and Tourism: Economic Outlook for Recovery on Thursday, August 27th.

In case you missed it, feel free to view the event here.
Looking for a new music playlist?

We've updated music in our Keep Breathin' playlist found on Spotify. Have a listen and follow us for your workplace or your cruising listening enjoyment.

The Secret Service are now available to respond to Business Email Compromise (BEC), Ransomware, and Point of Sale (POS) breaches on Guam. Should your company need any assistance, you may contact Special Agent James Ingram.

U.S. Secret Service
Office: 671-472-7395
Monday - Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

The U.S. Department of Labor today published additional guidance for workers and employers on how the protections and requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) affect the workplace as workplaces reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance from the Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) includes commonly asked questions and answers that address critical issues in all three laws.

The Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service today issued guidance implementing the Presidential Memorandum issued on August 8, 2020, allowing employers to defer withholding and payment of the employee's portion of the Social Security tax if the employee's wages are below a certain amount.

The National Retail Federation - Retail Industry Leaders Association released guidelines for A Blueprint for Shopping Safe'.

GEDA Extends Qualifying Certificate Community Contribution Grant Program Application Deadline
Application deadline extended to Friday, September 11, 2020
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA) has announced the extension of its Qualifying Certificate Community Contribution (QCCC) Grant Program deadline for applications that was originally due on August 28, 2020. The QCCC grant program aims to provide grant funding up to $10,000 per award to non-profit organizations (NPOs) toward eligible projects and programs that will benefit our island community. This grant funding is provided by Guam Regional Medical City and TNN Guam dba Tsubaki Hotel.

The deadline for QCCC grant applications has been extended to September 11, 2020 at 5:00pm.

GEDA will be accepting grant applications online or in-office for projects that must fall within one of the following seven (7) categories: (1) health care, (2) public safety, (3) higher education, (4) cultural preservation, (5) tourist attractions, (6) sports tourism, or (7) economic development.
For more information on the QC Community Contribution Grant Program, interested applicants are encouraged to visit the GEDA website at or contact our Grant Coordinator at
Guam Chamber of Commerce