The government today announced a $20 million program to rescue Guam's small businesses that are on brink of collapse due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA) said it will open the application period for the federally-funded Guam Small Business Pandemic Assistance Grant Program 2021 on Thursday.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has signed an executive order authorizing the distribution of business grants funded through President Biden's American Rescue Act.
The PAG2021 program will provide direct financial assistance to Guam small businesses that meet all eligibility criteria and can demonstrate at least 25 percent business interruption during the Covid-19 pandemic. Grant funds can be used for a wide scope of eligible business operating costs.
“As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on not only the public health, but also the economic health of Guam," GEDA CEO/administrator Melanie Mendiola said. “This newest grant cycle will provide much-needed assistance to our hardworking small businesses. It is our goal to push out funds as swiftly as possible.”
The full program guidelines, application form and application checklist will be posted on the GEDA website on Wednesday, Sept. 8
GEDA will accept applications via email or dropbox at the GEDA office located on the fifth floor of the ITC Building, Tamuning.
Besides the direct grant, the governor's executive order also includes a $1.8 million allocation for the Small Business Rent Assistance Grant, and $5 million for the establishment of additional economic recovery and support programs to be administered by GEDA.
These economic recovery initiatives include programs to support the aquaculture, agriculture and fishing industries of Guam through capital improvements activities, support for operational costs, as well training and workforce development for existing local small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The grant also includes programs that encourage the establishment of new local small businesses and entrepreneurs through business incubator programs.
A total of $500,000is allocated to GEDA for costs excluded from regularly budgeted items associated with the implementation and administration of the programs.