By Jacob Nakamura
Workers who badly need financial assistance will get that money if Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero finally listens to Congressman Michael San Nicolas.
Mr. San Nicolas wrote to Ms. Leon Guerrero last week urging her to mirror a program by the Pennsylvania state government, where their governor grants CARES Act direct aid government funds to eligible private sector frontline workers via the companies they work for.
Ms. Leon Guerrero previously informed the Guam Legislature that the bulk of $118 million in CARES Act direct aid government funds would pay for a list of really stupid things for government agencies. Examples of the budgeted expenditures using that money were top-of-the-line laptops and desktops for agencies that weren't even open during the height of the emergency, an $800 laptop bag, a $200 mouse, and new carpets.
The congressman instead wants this money to be granted to small businesses with frontline workers. These small businesses will be able to use the grants to increase the payroll of their frontline workers. Mr. San Nicolas also asks the governor to make the application of the grants retroactive to the start of the Guam public health emergency. If she does these things, frontline workers in the following fields will stand to earn thousands of dollars in lump sum for the initial retroactive payment:
¤ Healthcare and Social Assistance
¤ Food Manufacturing
¤ Food Retail Facilities
¤ Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation
¤ Security Services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of the Governor’s Business Closure Order
¤ Janitorial Services to Buildings and Dwellings
¤ All businesses open and operating that remained open during the local government ordered shutdown
¤ All open and operating retail food, water, and medicine establishments
¤ All establishments involved in the transit, warehousing, wholesaling, or distribution of food and beverage or medically related goods
¤ All open and operating fuel retail and distribution operations
¤ All open and operating laundry, mold remediation, and pest management retail and service establishments
¤ All plumbing, electrical, hvac, and auto service and maintenance establishments
¤ All open and operating hotel, visitor lodging, and restaurant establishments
¤ All open and operating digital, print, and radio news and general radio broadcast operators
¤ All open and operating child care and adult dependent care service providers
"The resiliency of our community today is owed to the sacrifice of our eligible workers," Congressman San Nicolas said. "The strength of our recovery will be carried on their shoulders and fueled by their morale. It is therefore essential we address the essentials."