COVID relief package has provision to help Guam’s long suffering restaurants

Many restaurants and tourism-related businesses have been adversely affected by the lack of tourists visiting the island. A bill proposing a $500 debit card to be distributed to residents for use in local establishments is aimed at helping out these struggling businesses. (PNC file photo)

The latest coronavirus relief package in the House of Representatives has a special provision that will assist long-suffering restaurants in the mainland and here on Guam.

According to Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas, the relief package has a special restaurant revitalization fund that will provide $25 billion nationwide for a new program that the SBA will be offering to assist restaurants, and other food and drinking establishments.

$5 billion of this amount is set aside for businesses with less than $500,000 in 2019 annual revenue.

Moreover, San Nicolas said this restaurant revitalization fund is on top of the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP already provided to qualified businesses.

“I know we have a lot of restaurants and workers that have been adversely affected. And so over and above PPP, we’ve been able to have additional funding provided specifically for restaurants.

Under the package, $5 billion has been set aside nationwide for businesses of less than $500,000 in 2019 annual revenue. Grants are available for $10 million per entity with a limitation of $5 million per physical location and entities are limited to 20 locations.

“I don’t even think we even have that many McDonald’s on Guam so we should be good to go,” San Nicolas said.

During the first 21 days upon passage of the package, applications from restaurants, owned and operated by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals will receive priority grants.

San Nicolas said these grants may be used for a wide variety of expenses, including payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities, supplies, food and beverage expenses, paid sick leave, and operational expenses.