If the Guam Chamber of Commerce had its way, many businesses would have reopened by now and the roadblocks and barriers to public parks would have been lifted.
This is based on the premise, of course, that the rate of COVID-19 infections continues on its downward trajectory and other public health criteria have been met.
The scenario is presented in the Chamber’s Economic Recovery Proposal, which was put together based on recommendations from the White House, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber’s Ad Hoc Committee made up of members from various industries, and the Guam Chamber board of directors.
According to the Chamber, it gathered input from various industries and small businesses through the past few weeks, most recently via its Pulse Poll survey of the Chamber’s membership.
And the message was loud and clear: businesses need to get back to work and get the island’s population working again.
The Chamber’s proposal offers a phased-in approach based on following and adhering to sanitation protocols and social distancing guidelines as outlined by the Department of Public Health and Social Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
“Getting back to work means returning to a life that we are familiar with: the ability to gather as family and friends. To interact in communal activities and fellowship. To engage in commerce and activities that help us improve and increase our livelihood,” the Chamber said.
As part of its plan, the Guam Chamber has put together a proposed outline for discussion to get the business community moving forward.
Topics of the discussion involve identifying possible issues that would need to be resolved for a successful phase-in approach back to work including:
• Essential services for employers and employees; and
• Support for SMEs (Small – Medium Enterprises) that have been the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is also additional discussion on what a phase-in approach looks like and over what period the phases will take place.
Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has already assembled a recovery panel made up of various members of the health and business community, including Chamber Chairwoman Christine Baleto.
It is the Chamber’s hope that its proposal which has been developed independently from the advisory group, will be considered by the Governor’s Recovery Panel.
“By joining forces and working together, we would ensure cohesive recovery and a responsible phase-in program for the reopening of Guam,” the Chamber stated.