The Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce (GWCC) launched a series of initiatives in response to COVID-19.
GWCC allocated $5,000 in funding to purchase KN95 masks for frontline workers and cloth masks for members of GWCC and their businesses. The first donation of KN95 masks were presented to Guam Memorial Hospital, Guam Regional Medical City, and FHP Health Center on May 5th. Cloth masks will soon be available to members.
GWCC has coordinated, and continues to host, topic-based virtual town hall meetings on Zoom. Initial topics included How to Apply for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Program on April 2nd with local business owner Pika Fejeran and Angel Camacho-Paulino, business advisor with the Guam Small Business Development Center (SBDC), providing a step-by-step approach. The second town hall on April 15th featured several resource partners who shared additional local and federal programs to help businesses affected by COVID-19. Panelists included key representatives of the U.S. SBA, Guam SBDC, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD), Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA), Guam Department of Labor (DOL), and the Employers Council.
On April 30th GWCC featured local businesses that have pivoted their operations, products, and services during COVID-19, including Marianas Physicians Group & Sagua Mañagu, Kådu, Tiny Greens Guam, Ina Wellness Collective, and Blue Amber Trio Boutique. They discussed how they strategized and repositioned their businesses in order to stay afloat, and how they sought new opportunities or started using other tools and methods. Over the coming months, GWCC will be releasing more topical town halls with the next one scheduled for May 21st at 10:00 a.m. entitled “Life in Transition: Living with Uncertainty in Changing Times.” Speaker Meg Tyquiengco, president and founder of Energetic Presence, invites you to explore your values and their influence on the choices you may need to make. COVID-19 provides an opportunity to evaluate where you are at and realign to what matters most.
GWCC has been working hard with the public and private sector in identifying recommended industry guidelines for reopening Guam businesses, and serving on the Governor’s Recovery Task Force. GWCC co-sponsored a virtual town hall with the Guam Chamber of Commerce to present these guidelines on May 7th. It featured a Q&A with Dr. Ricky Hernandez, Deputy Administrator of GEDA. Another town hall is being planned with GEDA to discuss a new grant program for small businesses.
GWCC will continue to provide resources to support businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. GWCC has launched an industry advisement program for members to have online one-on-one consultations for up to three hours with industry experts. Members can access this service for free. Furthermore, GWCC will continue to feature important community announcements on its various social media platforms and website www.guamwomenschamber.com where you will find a COVID-19 resource page that is updated frequently.