NMI opens tourism-related businesses

Dive shops and related businesses are opening in Saipan, Tinian and Rota as the islands prepare for a July 15 opening of tourism. Social distancing should be practiced before and after diving, according to a June 28 release from the Office of the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands.


Unidentified flying objects from Andersen

Andersen Air Force Base will host a military exercise “in the coming days.” Residents are warned that they will see several military aircraft in the airspace near Andersen and the A.B. International Airport, Guam, according to a June 29 release.


More military training in Guam

The National Defense Authorization Act 2021 contains a provision for the training of fighter pilots from a variety of countries.

The act was presented to the U.S. Senate days ago. Training for military pilots from India, Japan and Australia will take place at Andersen Air Force Base, according to national media reports. Military pilots from Singapore are due to train at Andersen through a permanent presence from 2021, according to an agreement signed in December between the U.S. and Singapore.  


Guam bill affecting BPT signed into law

A Guam bill which provides some small relief for small businesses was enacted on June 26. The new law puts the Business Privilege Tax (a gross receipts tax) at 3% for businesses that make between $250,000 and $500,000 per annum. Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero signed the bill was signed into law as Public Law 35-90 on June 26, according to a release from Sen. Joe S. Agustin’s office. 


More shuffles at Adelup

Bobby Alvarez, deputy CEO of the Guam Visitors Bureau will move to the Guam Economic Development Authority and Leslie Travis, an attorney will join the administration.

Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero confirmed the appointments during a June 27 press conference.

Alvarez resigned from GVB, with his position taken by Gerald S.A. Perez. Former governor Carl T.C. Gutierrez appointed Perez. The former governor’s appointment was announced upon the resignation – and retirement – of former CEO Pilar Laguana, though that appointment is supposed to be for 90 days. His appointment took effect May 30.  


USDA has grant funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for grants for socially disadvantaged groups develop business and strategic plans in rural areas.

USDA is making $3 million available under the Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant program. “Eligible applicants include cooperatives, groups of cooperatives and cooperative development centers. The grants are intended to help disadvantaged groups develop the capacity to implement plans and undertake projects to improve economic and social conditions,” according to a June 27 release from USDA. Additional information is available on page 38111 of the June 25 Federal Register, the release said.


Guam OPA release TAF and Guam Highway Fund audits

The Office of Public Accountability has released audits on the Tourism Attraction Fund, the Guam Highway Fund and the Guam Visitors Bureau. These can be found at opaguam.org.


Federal mortgage relief bill in play

Guam’s Housing and Urban Renewal Authority may receive more than $138 million for residential rental assistance and $89 million in mortgage assistance, according to Michael San Nicolas, Guam’s delegate to Congress. After introduction to the Financial Services Committee, House Resolution 7301, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020 will be voted on, according to a June 25 release from San Nicolas.