As many of your readers in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and elsewhere are surely aware, the U.S. Small Business Administration has always had a Small Business Week — in fact, since the first Small Business Week in 1963.
Each year, typically in May, our Small Business Person of the Year winner has the opportunity to attend various events celebrating Small Business Week in Washington, D.C. along with other winners throughout the 50 states and the U.S. territories.
Last year – due to the pandemic — that did not happen, although we can still acknowledge the milestones of 2020.
It was a special year for both the Small Business Administration in Guam and the University of Guam’s Pacific Island Small Business Development Center Network — which operates throughout the islands in our region — as the 30th anniversary of the Small Business awards program and the 25th anniversary of the Pacific Islands Small Business Development Center Network.
Within the Federated States of Micronesia, the Pohnpei SBDC joined the network which is comprised of office centers in Saipan, Chuuk, Yap, Kosrae and Palau, with plans to add a center in Majuro into the PISBDCN.
As your readers know, our offices have been heavily involved in the past several months in assisting community members with federal disaster business loans in an effort to recover from the devastating effects that COVID-19 imposed on our economies.
And while we expect to continue our assistance, it is certainly time to look forward.
The National Small Business Week Virtual Summit will be held from Sept. 13 to 15, celebrating resiliency and recovery.
I hope that we will once again be able to come together and celebrate our awardees in person in 2022.
And so, the process of requesting nominations will continue this year — in a few short months. That will be followed by judging of nominees to follow towards the end of the year.
I encourage your readers to begin to think already which of their fellow businesses, partners and clients are deserving of recognition in what is — for so many reasons a time of doing business none of us will forget.
Kenneth Q. Lujan
Branch Manager, Guam Branch Office
U.S. Small Business Administration
Editor’s Note: Kenneth Q. Lujan is the long-time Guam manager of the U.S. SBA in Guam. He works with Josette “Gigi” Mueller, lender relations specialist. Frederick Granillo is the director of the SBDC and Nicole Babauta is the CNMI director and business advisor for the SBDC. Jane Ray is the small business adviser and training program coordinator for the SBDC.
Our thanks go to the Charlie Company of the 7th Engineer Battalion of the U.S. Marines.
They have assisted with two Family Food Box distributions on Tinian already and assisted in helping our concession booth during the San Jose Fiesta in May.
The assistance that the Charlie Company of the 7th Engineer Support Battalion of the U.S. Marines has provided has been a godsend to our non-profit organization.
These young Marines have spent their free time setting up tents, moving hundreds of bags of food down two flights of stairs, packing family food boxes and helping the Ohala Foundation distribute this much-needed food assistance to hundreds of families on Tinian that are suffering from job loss or furloughs, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ohala Foundation is blessed to have these young and dedicated Marines serve our community in our time of need and we want to especially thank GySgt. David Stillwell, Sgt. Michael Smith and Lt. Zachary Adler for making sure that their entire support crew on Tinian all participated and supported the Ohala Foundation’s mission of serving the less fortunate in the Tinian community.
Phillip T. Mendiola-Long
Co-founder and chairman, The Ohala Foundation Inc.
San Jose, Tinian
Editor’s Note: See Corporate Giving
You are so supportive of small businesses with the Marianas Business Journal.
Guam and the surrounding areas of the Pacific need the media to share goodwill, news — what’s happening — and motivate us to creatively move forward in our quest for our business survival and growth.
Our struggling diverse commercial interests can only hang on though such networks of supportive services as we sensitively navigate through this pandemic.
It’s publications like yours — understanding the value and sense of community —
that will help eventually pull us through this devastating period of our lives.
Belta S. Perez
President, John Robert Powers LLC