Chamber to hold rally; asks GovGuam to support businesses

Christine Baleto, chairperson of the Guam Chamber of Commerce (file photo)

The Guam Chamber of Commerce is inviting people to make their voices heard at a rally that will be held tomorrow morning.

The Guam Chamber of Commerce community rally will be held to show support for people who have been laid off, had their hours reduced, or otherwise been impacted by the pandemic economically.

People can participate by driving in a motorcade from GPO to Adelup.

Or by standing at the Guam Congress Building while, of course, wearing masks and social distancing.

Christine Baleto, chairperson of the Guam Chamber of Commerce, told Patti Arroyo Tuesday morning on Newstalk K57 that she hopes to encourage GovGuam officials to do more to help the island’s business community.

She said she appreciates steps that have been taken, but in these unprecedented times, even more needs to be done.

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“Can we look at some kind of grants..or some other deferrals? What can our legislature do to support the economy of our island?” Baleto asked.

Baleto says some of the things she’s hoping the government will consider include a moratorium on a property tax increase, allowing alcoholic beverages to be sold as take-out, and rolling back the business privilege tax by 1%.

She says these measures may not seem like much individually, but every bit helps.

“We’re not talking about profits, we’re talking about survival right now. And every day we’re seeing businesses close and we’re seeing some substantial, big businesses closing their doors and saying, ‘We just can’t make it.'”

Baleto was also quick to point out that this rally is not directed at the governor specifically.

“I’ve been asked several times if this is against the governor..or if we’re protesting against her. That’s not our intent. The governor and I have spoken and, of course, we’ve not always agreed with each other…sometimes we don’t agree..but we respect her decision and we understand she’s prioritizing the health and safety of our people and we support her,” Baleto said.

Showtime for the motorcade is 8:30 tomorrow morning and go time is nine. Showtime to stand outside the Guam Congress building is 9:30 in the morning.