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Helping Guam Business Navigate COVID-19 and Plan for Safe Reopening

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CFJ has formed a taskforce to advise clients of the business, legal, and public policy implications of the pandemic. Beginning in mid-March 2020, after the Governor of Guam declared a public health emergency and issued executive orders to slow or halt the movement of people and businesses around the island, CFJ lawyers in Guam and San Francisco have helped clients navigate through a broad range of unique issues including new Federal and local laws and regulations pertaining to labor and employment, federal and local relief programs, health care, testing and contact tracing, and tax.

Representative Matters

  • Small Business Loans – CARES Act
    • CFJ assisted small businesses and hotels apply for loans under the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in the CARES Act and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. CFJ’s San Francisco office closely monitored the drafting of the CARES Act, while the PPP provisions were still in draft form, and provided its Guam clients with up-to-date information about the program’s parameters, requirements, and restrictions. Before the banks were accepting PPP applications, CFJ gathered a list of participating banks on Guam and closely monitored what banks were requiring from borrowers so that our client’s had the best shot a receiving assistance.
    • The PPP was created by the Federal government to quickly mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The PPP requirements, particularly the forgiveness component, can be complicated and/or ambiguous. To this day, the SBA and U.S. Treasury are continuing to issue guidance that itself often includes elements that are vague and contradictory. CFJ attorneys have helped clients navigate the uncertainty of the PPP process which is constantly evolving. Issues CFJ has had to address include, but are not limited to, the timing of the payout of PPP funds, affiliation and aggregation rules, tax credits, interplay with other federal relief programs, the necessity certification, enforcement, and qualifications and application process for full forgiveness.
  • COVID-19 Testing – FFCRA and CARES Act
    • Under the Families First Act and CARES Act, health insurance providers are required to provide coverage and not impose any cost sharing requirements for COVID-19 related tests and clinical visits. CFJ attorneys have advised health care insurers on their obligations under these federal laws.
  • COVID-19 Mass Testing/Contact Tracing Initiative
  • Aviation/Airports/Airlines
    • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on aviation and the airline industry, particularly in Guam. CFJ attorneys have assisted GIAA in navigating through the legal and economic implications of the pandemic on the Airport, its tenants, airline partners, and employees. This includes analyzing the availability of federal funding, government contracts and force majeure provisions, rent deferrals and relief, FAA requirements, loan and loan guarantees to the airline industry, and grant and lending programs for small businesses.
  • Labor and Employment
    • CFJ attorneys have been answering a variety of specific questions from Guam employers responding to COVID-19. Among the issues are:
      • Employers’ obligations and employees’ rights under the FFCRA and CARES Act;
      • COVID-19 in the workplace and disability-related inquiries (ADA/FMLA);
      • Worksite closures;
      • Reduction of hours/wages, furloughs, and layoffs;
      • Unemployment benefits under the CARES Act and its interplay with the PPP;
      • PPP and Tax Credits under the CARES Act;
      • Workplace safety and OSHA;
      • Workers’ compensation