Hundreds More Local Businesses Approved for LEAP
Hagåtña, Guam – Last week, the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration directed an additional $7 million to support local businesses through the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA). GEDA’s Local Employers’ Assistance Program (LEAP) opened in December 2021 and was established through Executive Order 2021-25 to provide direct financial assistance to small businesses that experienced extreme levels of pandemic-related interruption. With over 1,200 applications received by February 2022, LEAP reached its initial budget and this additional commitment ensures more businesses receive relief.
- 1,260 LEAP applications were received as of 2/25/2022
- Eligible applications represents approximately $59.6 million to local businesses
“Last year, I allocated $25 million in ARPA funds for LEAP, which was matched by the Legislature with $25 million authorized under P.L. 36-65. When the program was nearing the initial combined commitment of $50 million, I directed an additional $5 million. Last week, once again, I directed $7 million more,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “Our administration continues to invest in our future through strategic recovery efforts that provide relief to local businesses and working families. This additional funding brings our administration to over $110 million in direct aid to small businesses through multiple programs administered by GEDA.”
“Our island, under Governor Leon Guerrero’s leadership, was among the first in the nation to respond to the financial impacts of the pandemic through LEAP and other local investments,” said Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio. “As our business community continues to provide goods and services to our people and hold the line for their employees, we maintain our administration’s commitment to work with them to provide direct and efficient relief.”
LEAP provides loans to small businesses that meet all eligibility criteria, chief among them a demonstration of business interruption experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses must have experienced a revenue impact of 50% or greater, or 20% or greater for covered establishments. Loan funds can be used for eligible business operating expenses with a focus on ensuring that businesses have adequate resources to maintain and possibly increase employment. Loans may be forgiven if at least 60% of all proceeds are used for eligible employee wage and benefit costs.
“LEAP was created with input from business stakeholders through multiple meetings with the Office of the Governor and GEDA. We thank the Governor and Lt. Governor for empowering local entrepreneurs and small businesses through their continued leadership and commitment to Guam’s economic recovery,” said GEDA CEO and Administrator Melanie Mendiola. “The success of LEAP is a testament to the collaboration and dedication of the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration, the Guam legislature and our stakeholders in the business community. We will continue to work together to provide support and resources, expanding economic opportunities and improving quality of life.”
For more information, visit investguam.com or contact GEDA at 671-647-4332.