While the Guam Chamber of Commerce appreciates that the Leon Guerrero Administration is addressing the current economic situation resulting from the global breakout of Novel Coronavirus, we are concerned that the TEAM Guam Plan as presented does not truly offer relief to businesses. The plan defers payment of taxes, if businesses so desire, and with declining incomes, the burden becomes steeper.
One of our concerns about the Plan is that it does not address or take into consideration the core problem that many in the private sector are experiencing today, which is being able to sustain adequate working hours for their employees. Deferring business privilege tax payments for three (3) months does not provide a company any relief if operational expenses remain status quo but income has decreased.
The Plan notes that loans will be available for businesses, and while this will be appreciated by some entities, there are many business owners that would prefer not to add additional debt to their expenditures during these times of economic uncertainties. And although waiving credit card payments is certainly a great benefit for island residents who utilize a debit or credit card at the Treasurer of Guam, this benefit cannot be availed by many businesses that pay government fees and taxes utilizing a company check. Both proposals do, indeed, provide some positive options that businesses can avail of.
In summary, the Guam Chamber of Commerce would like to see our government do more in stepping up its support of our Guam businesses - after all, without the business community there would be very little in our government coffers. We would like to see a true and robust relief plan from our government - a sound plan that would help small businesses, provide opportunities to protect employees, and one that one that would provide a balance.
We look forward to further dialogue and true partnership as we weather this storm together.
For more information, contact the Guam Chamber of Commerce at 472-6311/8001 or
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March 10, 2020