Rent payment assistance is now available for Guam's small businesses struggling to keep their operations afloat due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The governor's office today announced the establishment a $3-million Small Business Rent Assistance Grant Program funded through the federal CARES Act. Awards will equate to two months' rent or $15,000, whichever is less, to be used for rents paid or unpaid during the pandemic period.
"Guam remains in Pandemic Condition of Readiness One ("PCOR I") which has had an impact on businesses throughout the island," Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero stated in a new executive order, which established the program administered by the Guam Economic Development Authority.
"The restrictions imposed by PCOR 1, while necessary, has caused many local small businesses to lack the necessary financial resources to pay their obligations," the executive order reads.
Qualifying businesses include food and beverage establishments, brick and mortar retail, and personal services such as salons, which fall under the Small Business Administration's definition of "small business."
“Small businesses are the anchor of our economy, and we understand how policies to protect the health of our people have also affected these businesses,” Leon Guerrero said. “As we continue to slow the spread of Covid-19, we hope this grant provides some relief to our small business owners.”
“Business owners across the island have invested time and resources to ensure their businesses are safe for their consumers during a global pandemic. This grant was created to ease some of the financial burdens they have faced because of Covid-19,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio.
The governor's office said applications will be made available on Nov, 25, at 8 a.m. and can be found on GEDA’s website, investguam.com. The application deadline is Dec. 11 and is subject to fund availability.
Businesses must provide, at minimum, a lease statement from their landlord and, if current on rent, evidence of business interruption, such as business privilege tax filed.
The governor's office said all information except for award amount will be made public, including application status, so applicants may check the status of their award. Completed applications will be processed first come, first served.