By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Eligible small businesses on Guam will receive another round of government assistance through a $20 million stimulus program.
Starting Jan. 9, local businesses can apply for the Local Employers Assistance Program Supplemental Grant II or LEAP II, which provides financial aid to local small businesses that experienced significant levels of pandemic-related business interruption in calendar year 2022.
The program was created through an executive order that allocated $5 million in addition to Public Law 37-15, which allocates up to $15 million in local funds to LEAP II.
The Guam Economic Development Authority will continue accepting LEAP II applications through Feb. 8.
Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio said the administration has allocated more than $90 million in aid to local small businesses since the first round of LEAP was implemented last year.
" While signs of economic recovery are positive, we remain committed to providing much-needed assistance to the small business community that serves as the backbone of our economy,” Tenorio said.
“LEAP II provides targeted assistance for our tourism-facing and other businesses that have suffered substantial levels of pandemic caused business losses, and we encourage all eligible small businesses to apply for this aid program," he added.
“As with the other assistance programs, we aim to review and award LEAP II grants as swiftly and efficiently as possible,” said Melanie Mendioa, GEDA administrator.
"Although the program is an offshoot of the initial LEAP, all small businesses, regardless of whether they received an initial LEAP award, may apply. The program will provide grants to Guam small businesses that meet all eligibility criteria, chief among them a demonstration of at least 35 percent business interruption experienced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic," she added.