Chamber urges lawmakers to reduce the BPT

131
The Guam Chamber of Commerce is asking its members to contact the senators of the 35th Guam Legislature and urge them to support a reduction in the Business Privilege Tax.
In a statement to its members Sunday, Chamber President Catherine Castro wrote: “We are imploring all who are concerned about our employees and keeping them employed to join us in contacting our senators for support of our request. This is about saving jobs as we survive this crisis.”
Speaker Tina Muna Barnes has called an emergency session of the Legislature for tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31. It is scheduled to get underway at 10 AM.
The Chamber statement also notes that the Governor’s latest Executive Order, 2020-07, requires businesses to report employment data to the Guam Department of Labor, suspends all eviction proceedings, and clarifies laws on price gouging.
The Chamber urges all businesses to submit this information as soon as possible because “it is essential for the Government of Guam to be eligible to qualify for federal assistance to receive unemployment benefits related to COVID-19.”
Members who have not submitted that data can download the questionnaire here and submit it to: [email protected]
The in a conference call Saturday also advised all essential businesses that conduct face-to-face transactions with the public to apply more stringent measures at the workplace to further reduce the risk of exposure for customers and employees .
Additional guidance in relation to this directive include:
  • Separation of patrons by at least six (6) feet from each other within the business establishment:
  • Controlling the number of people that enter into a facility;
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of “high-touch” surfaces; and,
  • Provide access to employees and patrons to hand washing facilities with soap and water or with hand sanitizer.
Congressman San Nicolas also sent the Chamber a handy flowchart to pass along to all the business community that simply breaks down the CARES Act for small businesses.
READ the release from the Guam Chamber in FULL below:

UPDATE: MARCH 29, 2020

Greetings!

Governor Leon Guerrero issued Executive Order 2020-07 yesterday, Saturday, March 28th, which formally extends the closure of non-essential businesses and furthers the continuation of the quarantine and social isolation period to April 13, 2020. It additionally requires businesses to report employment data to the Guam Department of Labor, suspends all eviction proceedings and clarifies laws on price gouging.

The call to submit employment data to the Department of Labor is now a requirement as described in EO 2020-07 and we urge you to submit this information as soon as possible if you have implemented a reduction in workforce or employee hours. This is essential for the Government of Guam to be eligible to qualify for federal assistance to receive unemployment benefits related to COVID-19. If you have already completed and submitted the forms, there is no need to resubmit. If not, please download the questionnaire, complete and submit to: [email protected]

Yesterday, in a conference call with various business organizations and grocers, the Governor advised all essential businesses that conduct face-to-face transactions with the public to apply more stringent measures at the workplace to further reduce the risk of exposure for customers and employees . Additional guidance in relation to this directive include:

Separation of patrons by at least six (6) feet from each other within the business establishment:
Controlling the number of people that enter into a facility;
Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of “high-touch” surfaces; and,
Provide access to employees and patrons to hand washing facilities with soap and water or with hand sanitizer.
Read these guidelines and more provided by the Department of Public Health here [ DPHSS Guidance Memo. 2020-02] . New supplementary guidance is being prepared by the Governor’s legal team. This will be forwarded once available. In the meantime, we urge all our members including supermarkets, village mom & pop stores, hardware centers and banking institutions to comply with these guidelines.

This morning, Congressman San Nicolas sent us a handy flowchart to pass along to all the business community that simply breaks down the CARES Act for small businesses. Please download your copy here. The US Chamber also developed an information sheet to cut through the quagmire to help you determine if your company is eligible for a loan, how much you can borrow, what lenders are looking for and if the loan can be forgiven. Use these tools together to get you headed in the right direction.

We understand that the Guam Legislature has called a special session for Tuesday, March 31st. We are asking all our Guam businesses to contact your Senators via email or phone to support our small businesses by reducing the BPT. As reported to you on Friday, the Guam Chamber sent a letter to the senators seeking their support to decrease the Business Privilege Tax. If you missed this, you can view the letter here. We are imploring all who are concerned about our employees and keeping them employed to join us in contacting our senators for support of our request. This is about saving jobs as we survive this crisis.

Our quarantine and social distancing situation is all about prevention – being responsible while reducing the risk of exposure. As we all make the most out of this situation, please know that your continued efforts in following the guidelines and supporting our community in your special way has not gone unnoticed. Thank you for what you, your family and your company are doing to address the needs and community impact of COVID-19 in our island and our region.

See you in the next newsletter!

Onward Together,

Catherine Castro
President
Guam Chamber of Commerce