Rally held to show support for business community; governor urged to lift lockdown

The rally consisted of both a motorcade and a protest outside the Guam Congress building. (PNC photo by Brandon Armstrong)

People took to the streets today to show support for Guam’s business community as the Guam Chamber of Commerce held its Community Rally this morning.

The rally consisted of both a motorcade and a protest outside the Guam Congress building.

Christine Baleto, Guam Chamber of Commerce chairwoman, said the Chamber was the organizer of this peaceful rally.

“We started at GPO at 8:30 in the morning, had over 120 cars, not including the trucks. The people came out to show our support for Guam’s private sector workers, businesses, and anyone who has struggled and is suffering from the economic crisis that we’re in. We’re so happy to see all the support. We motorcaded down here in front of the Guam Congress building. We still have people coming through. And then we’ve got people out here,” Baleto said.

She added: “We made sure to let everybody know to follow the health and safety protocols, wear a mask and do social distancing. But really just to show our solidarity as a group and our support for one another.”

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The participants hoped to spur GovGuam to action to help save the island’s ailing private sector.

Because of government restrictions in place due to the pandemic, many local businesses have struggled to survive.

The government has provided some assistance but many say this isn’t enough. And with no clear sign as to when a vaccine will be developed, business owners say things can’t carry on like this forever.

Hank Taitano, of 3D Rentals, said: “We disagree with the governor’s lockdown. The longer we’re in lockdown, we can’t make any money. We can’t even pay our rent. If this lasts for another month, my business is going to go down. I’m sorry, but I don’t have enough to pay for power, water, rent, you know? How can we do it? We have no business. We need to open up the economy. We need to live with the coronavirus. It’s not going to go away, you know? We need to learn how to live with it.”