It was the worst of times, it was the best of times

Headed to recovery, Guam is submerged in an unexpected tsunami of resources it has never seen in history



The Covid era is a perplexing period that is full of paradoxes. At the onset of the pandemic, doomsayers predicted an economic apocalypse, filled with carcasses of dead businesses, emaciated homeless people in tattered clothes and a shrunken government with depleted resources.


None of this doomsday scenario seems to be happening on Guam. The island is headed to recovery, submerged in an unanticipated tsunami of resources it has never seen in history. It's raining money.


New business openings outnumber business shutdowns. Construction is booming. Despite the mass layoffs, residents rushed to the restaurants and bars as soon they reopened and raided store shelves with their unemployment benefits and stimulus checks in hand. They purchased random items, gratifying themselves like there is no tomorrow.


Notwithstanding the tourism freeze that led to a 70 percent decline in the industry’s receipts, the Covid economy has accomplished something that has never been seen before — it shrank the Guam government’s deficit into a negligible figure. Adelup’s unaudited financial statements for the end of fiscal 2020 showed the government deficit dropping to $1.57 million from $47.8 million in the previous year.


Adelup's Fifth Popular Annual Financial Report showed a surplus of $46.28 million in the general fund. GovGuam ended fiscal 2020 with $1.82 billion in total revenues. Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero claimed credit for this feat and congratulated her administration, relegating the federal cash infusion into a mere footnote.