GEDA, mayors secure $1.3 million grant to renovate village markets

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Guam Economic Development Authority (PNC file photo)

U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo recently announced on September 9, 2021, that the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA) was awarded $1.3 million for its Guam Green Markets Project, a construction project to improve Hågat and Mangilao Markets and build a new outdoor market in Sinajana.

“I am proud of the collaboration between my office, GEDA, and the Mayors of these villages to get this project funded,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.

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“The project builds on the success of the existing Hågat and Mangilao markets that have become incubators for food trucks, home-based and brick and mortar businesses over the years,” said Sinajana Mayor Robert Hofmann. “I am excited to see the same success and future business growth in Sinajana as we encourage the entrepreneurial spirit with a new market for our village.”

The project is intended to repair, renovate, storm-harden, and construct green market facilities to provide a more viable commercial outlet and expanded market opportunities for small business entrepreneurs, retail vendors, cottage product manufacturers, and farmers. The project is expected to commence in the next fiscal year, with the first steps involving the design and engineering work for all three sites.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) with funds to assist communities respond to and recover from the pandemic. This is the third EDA grant that GEDA has received this year. GEDA secured a commercial aquaculture feasibility study grant earlier this year as well as another grant to update its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

“These markets encourage village-based commerce, where residents don’t have to travel far for fresh local produce, farm-raised fish, or local dishes,” said Governor Leon Guerrero. “Projects like these lift up our villages and improve the lives of our people. I look forward to the groundbreaking.”

“The Guam Green Markets project is another step towards our goal of growing a local agriculture and cottage industry that will diversify the island economy,” said Melanie Mendiola, GEDA CEO/Administrator. “Further, by investing directly in our villages, we are supporting new tourist destinations that bring visitors to our communities and showcase a more local experience for them.”

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