Some SBA applicants may get good news
The U.S. Small Business Administration is re-opening the Restaurant Revitalization Fund for those businesses that did not receive funding, with $83 million available to 169 operators with pending applications, according to a Nov. 24 SBA release.
“The SBA has contacted the recipients of the awards,” the release said, who are being contacted in the order applications were received.
Operators will have until March 2023 to spend funds, according to the National Restaurant Association. Some $28.6 billion dollars for the RRF was allocated in the American Rescue Plan Act. After the money was distributed, more than 177,000 applications were left in limbo at the SBA, according to the restaurant association.
The Journal listed recipients of the grants in 2021 at https://www.mbjguam.com/2021/07/14/sba-restaurant-revitalization-fund-recipients-in-guam-and-the-nmi/. Names of recipients of the grants were only released after a Freedom of Information request from the Independent Restaurant Coalition.
The program prioritized grants to women, veterans and socially disadvantaged owners – a decision that was challenged. Grants were for up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per location and could be used for rent and payroll.
SBA to certify veterans businesses
In other SBA news, certification of veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran owned small businesses will move from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to the SBA on Jan. 1. New applications will go directly to the SBA, but existing veteran-owned small businesses will have a grace period to the end of current certifications, typically for three years.
In regional veteran news, the U.S. Veterans Association in Pohnpei has received support in Pohnpei from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The association has received two laptop computers, a color laser printer and toner cartridges for its office. The computers and printer are for administrative use, and for training high school students to take exams to enter the military.
Moylan makes it as Guam AG
Douglas B. K. Moylan is the attorney-general elect after a recount by the Guam Election Commission certified he had 15,112 to encumbent Leewin T. Camacho’s 15,073 – a difference of 39 votes.
In a Nov. 24 statement, Moylan said, “The priority for the AG’s Office will be prosecuting criminals to the fullest extent of Guam’s laws. With your help as jurors, and our Judges, we will together keep us safe. Plans have been in the works for reinstating the Government Corruption Division as well to work collaboratively with Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz to protect your tax dollars, and ensure all government officials follow the law, just like you do.
“I welcome a frank and open dialogue with the governor, to cooperatively serve you. I also look forward to meeting and working closely with the Chief of Police and Custom’s Director, as well as all other law enforcement chiefs, and other govt. officials. Finally, we will reinstate an “open door policy” and access by the public and media to me,” he said.
Managha Pier renovation back in planning
The Northern Mariana Islands Department of Public Lands provided an update on the Managaha Pier Rehabilitation Project on Nov. 23. Tentatively, completion of the project is due by May 2023. “DPL recently acquired a one-year extension for the project by Costal Resource Management – for [the] period of Sept. 30, 2022, to Sept.30 next year. “We anticipate, after approval of a Change Work Order that is being routed and with complete and qualified documentations, the Department of Public Works -Technical Service Division will issue a Notice to Proceed to the contractor to proceed with Managaha Pier Rehabilitation Project, within the nearest future,” according to a Nov. 23 release from the Office of the Governor.
The project design began in 1991 and DPL contracted Henry K. Pangelinan and Associates to design the pier expansion. The construction was soon halted when it was discovered that in 1984 the pier was previously listed in the National Register of Historic places.
In August 2020, DPL received a federal grant of $220,652 for the pier’s rehabilitation. Although Pacific Corp. Ltd. was the winning bidder, the project was delayed by COVID-19. “Since the easing of social restrictions … DPL has picked up on the project, with the help of [the] IRP (Infrastructure Recovery Program) and HPO (Historical Preservation Office),” the release said.
In related news, DPL also said Nov. 23 it continues to operate Managaha Island “providing maintenance, janitorial services, lifeguards and daily security services until it finalizes and awards a master concessionaire.” In the meantime, DPL has temporarily authorized several concessionaires for food and beverage, gift and retail merchandise and beach equipment rentals.
DPL is accepting proposals for RFP22-RED002 for a Managaha Island Master Concession Operator up to Nov. 30. The instruction and information packet is online at www.dpl.gov.mp or request for a packet by email.
Let there be light
The Northern Mariana Islands Department of Public Works, Energy Division Office will host the “2022 Tinian Energy Educational Awareness and Community Outreach Program Campaign Drive-Thru Distribution Event” on Dec. 2, distributing 16-inch standing fans or 10 LED light bulbs to residential households at the Youth Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
MVA releases October NMI stats
According to the Marianas Visitors Authority, arrivals to the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota grew 268% to 10,860 visitors in October 2022, compared to 2,955 visitors received in October 2021.
The Northern Mariana Islands received 892 visitors from Guam, 490 visitors from the U.S., and a combined 234 additional visitors from all other destinations in October.
The NMI received 34,670 visitors in October 2019.
The Guam Chamber of Commerce is introducing a “Support Local: 2022 Holiday Guide, featuring holiday sales and hours. All information can be sent to [email protected] by Dec. 6, for Dec. 9 and Dec. 16.
For your diary:
Dec. 11 – 17th Annual Soroptimist International of the Marianas’ Christmas Sunday Brunch Fundraiser, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Hotel Nikko Guam, $60 adults; $35 children (4-11 years old). Featuring an extensive buffet selection, silent auction, raffle, entertainment by Louise Borja, The Kristal Kollection buying/fashion Show, activities by Fundforte and vendor booths.
For tickets and info: Kristal Koga (808) 391-8507 [email protected], Erlinda Alegre (671) 488-3635 [email protected], Diane Prejean (671) 727-5467 [email protected], Angie Gibbons (671)688-1811 [email protected]. mbj