While GovGuam workers are assured of their pay and some private businesses like restaurants are resuming operations and calling employees back to work … not everyone is so lucky.
Small private business owners have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, among them John Taitano’s Java Junction Coffee shop in Agana.
John Taitano, Java Junction owner, said: “This is our trademark. This is Constance. Constance has probably been the inspiration for many, many of our patrons.”
A symbol of faithful constant stability no more, after seven years in business, Taitano and his wife Maria are shutting down the Java Junction, a small coffee shop in Hagatna that was brought to its knees by the coronavirus.
“This is kind of a bittersweet day. I love the governor. I think they’re good people, but they’re not helping us. The money is here, but it’s not available to small businesses like us,” John Taitano said.
His wife, Maria, chimed in: “What about small business loan? Nothing! Well, we did, knowing the requirements for the PPP once you apply you would have to pay moving forward. And that’s part of the requirements with PPP, you know you’re paying forward, you’re not paying back. But this is March. There’s zero income for two months, right? We’re still responsible for rent and like John said, power, water, and everything else that a business has to pay for.”
She added: “We’re just a little Chamorro business company trying to make an honest living on this beautiful paradise island … With this furniture and everything else that we have, it’ll be for sale. Unless somebody wants to … if they want to come and see the place … perhaps they may want to be able to use it. Ready to occupy. It’s a coffee shop ready to occupy.”