Congressman San Nicolas pleads for Guam businesses to keep people on payroll

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Congressman Michael San Nicolas (PNC file photo)

Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas is pleading for businesses to keep their payrolls for at least three more weeks.

In a media release, the Congressman said, “as we talk about ‘flattening the curve’ to reduce the rate of virus infection we need to talk about another related issue.”

“The economic curve of impact that this pandemic is causing needs to be flattened as much as possible also.”

San Nicolas said keeping the workers paid and insured for just three more weeks will make all the difference in helping to contain the virus spread and reduce the economic damage.

He goes on to say that right now, businesses are laying people off, cutting hours, closing their doors, “due to business being pretty much dead.”

“The problem is that when you displace the workforce in such a rapid way, it causes economic shocks that damage the economy faster than we can roll out relief and stimulus to sustain it,” said San Nicolas.

He said part of flattening the health curve is flattening the economic curve.

“And this is important from a health standpoint, because unemployed people are surely uninsured. The propensity to congregate goes up as families group up to help support unemployed family members, undermining social distancing.”

“I promise if we can all help each other hold on, the federal economic relief packages will kick in and pick up the slack very quickly, helping all of us to pull through together,” said San Nicolas.

Read the Congressman’s full release:

Congressman pleads with businesses to keep their payrolls for at least 3 more weeks

“As we talk about “flattening the curve” to reduce the rate of virus infection we need to talk about another related issue.

The economic curve of impact that this pandemic is causing needs to be flattened as much as possible also.

Right now, businesses are laying people off, cutting hours, closing their doors, due to business being pretty much dead.

The problem is that when you displace the workforce in such a rapid way, it causes economic shocks that damage the economy faster than we can roll out relief and stimulus to sustain it.

And this is important from a health standpoint, because unemployed people are surely uninsured. The propensity to congregate goes up as families group up to help support unemployed family members, undermining social distancing. Desperate families will find themselves reaching out MORE for help and likely joining groups of others in the same boat.

Part of flattening the health curve is flattening the economic curve.

On that note, I am asking all business owners, landlords, employers and managers and HR departments to PLEASE…hold on to your workforce as long as you can – even for just three more weeks – so we can have the time we need to roll out the federal relief packages being worked on. Even if their is no business to be had during the period, just preventing the compounded damage will help tremendously for relief to be effective.

Keeping the workers paid and insured for just 3 weeks will make all the difference in helping to contain virus spread AND reducing the economic damage.

Businesses please help other businesses. Give them your best discounts or extend their payables out just a bit. Banks defer a month of debt service. GPA and GWA defer a utility billing cycle or discount it to bare bones. Everyone do whatever you can to help everyone pull through for just three more weeks without letting people go or cutting their payrolls.

I promise if we can all help each other hold on, the federal economic relief packages will kick in and pick up the slack very quickly, helping all of us to pull through together.

We have an advantage as a small community to be able to get coordinated faster than larger ones…let’s come together on this and we will all be much better off in the short and long term.

God Bless Guam.”

– Michael F.Q. San Nicolas