Chamber fully supports Governor’s recovery plan

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Guam Chamber of Commerce President Catherine Castro said the plan they independently put together recommended phases of gradually re-opening businesses like retail shops and restaurants based on meeting certain guidelines.

The Governor’s recovery plan has the full support of the Guam Chamber of Commerce. In fact, the Chamber’s own recovery plan submitted to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero last week was considered in coming up with the final plan to gradually reopen the island.

Catherine Castro, Chamber president, said: “We developed the plan even as we were going through the shutdown and we were just very pleased to provide our proposal to the Governor and we were very happy that our chairwoman, Christine Baleto, was asked to sit on their recovery group and we are pleased that many of our proposals were seriously considered and implemented. We are just pleased that we were able to make the contribution.”

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Castro says that the plan they independently put together recommended phases of gradually re-opening businesses like retail shops and restaurants based on meeting certain guidelines. She says this is one of the recommendations the Governor included in the Chalan Para Hinemlo’ (Road to Recovery) plan.

Currently, Guam is in PCOR1, the most restrictive phase of the plan, which means it could be months before PCOR 4, the nonrestrictive phase, is declared.

Despite the possibility of the recovery plan’s implementation occurring over a lengthy period Castro says the thought of re-opening businesses is a happy one.

“I think businesses overall are pretty happy. I think if we could have started last week, they probably would have been happier. But I think overall the health and safety of our community is first and foremost. So I think most businesses understand where the physicians group is coming from, looking out for the health and safety of our community,” Castro said.

A survey of the Chamber’s members indicated that businesses want to get back to work and get the island working again. But they also want to make sure that people feel safe and are not fearful for their health walking into establishments.

Castro says to do this, establishments are referring to their industry guidelines and making sure that plans to implement the protocols from the recovery plan are made now in preparation for re-opening.

“I truly believe that everybody in the community would like to see this happen. There are folks that are in dire need of cash infusion so we really, really want our people employed so that they can avail of financial opportunities that happen only when we open our businesses,” Castro said.

The Chamber says they are still eyeing the May 9th target date to re-open businesses granted the number of positive COVID-19 cases stay low to none and all the guidelines and sanitation protocols are in place.

That, however, is a call for the Governor to make.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.