GEDA has $7.2M left in small business pandemic grant

QUIET TUMON: A man walks by the former Fiesta Resort Guam hotel and other quiet parts of Tumon on July 31. The hotel has closed for renovations during the tourism industry's lull and expects to open under a new brand in about a year. Haruo Simion/The Guam Daily Post

Small businesses struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic can still apply for a Guam Economic Development Authority pandemic grant, which has so far helped 2,031 small businesses.

Because it's a grant, there is no requirement for repayment among eligible small businesses directly impacted by the crisis.

GEDA Administrator Melanie Mendiola on Friday said the $20 million Small Business Pandemic Grant program has so far awarded $12.8 million, leaving $7.2 million that's not been awarded yet.

There are still 91 other applications being processed. That would decrease the actual amount available to new applicants.

"Small businesses are still able to apply. As you see, we still have money available," Mendiola told The Guam Daily Post.

GEDA expanded its pandemic grant to be able to reach out to more businesses. 

It started off by offering a preference to the smallest businesses with under $500,000 in annual revenue, and eventually helped 1,156 of these small businesses.

"After two weeks, we opened it up to businesses with under $1.5 million in annual revenue and after another two or three weeks, we opened it up to all local businesses who fit the (U.S. Small Business Administration) definition of small business by revenue and/or employee size," she said.

The $20 million GEDA pandemic grant is funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act money that GovGuam received from the federal government.

Businesses that received SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan or Paycheck Protection Program loan are still eligible to apply for GEDA's grant.

On the second round of PPP funding, 2,176 Guam small businesses got $191.622 million in loans as of July 24 data from SBA.

With 2,031 small businesses so far that have been awarded GEDA's Small Business Pandemic Grant, Mendiola said "the response has been consistent with what is going on in our business environment."

The first round of PPP funding allowed 508 Guam small business to access $102.4 million.

Overall, 2,684 Guam small businesses were able to get $294 million from PPP, the application for which was extended through Aug. 8.

Haidee Eugenio Gilbert


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