Chamber to push through with Nov. meeting

The Saipan Chamber of Commerce’s next general membership meeting is this upcoming Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the Hyatt Regency Saipan ballroom, starting at 11:30am.

Tickets will be a reduced typhoon-rate of $20 for members and $25 for non-members.

The first half of the meeting will focus on the 2019-2020 board member elections, and the second half of the meeting will focus on updates about typhoon recovery for businesses.

In a notice to Chamber members, Maxine Laszlo, the SCC executive director, announced a new public Facebook page for the Chamber.

“We would like to start publicizing…the ways our Chamber members are responding to Typhoon Yutu relief. This includes donations you’re giving, ways you’re helping your staff who have suffered, critical goods you are selling for the community so they can have access, and all ways you’re trying to support the island. Our goal is to show the positive and critical ways the business community steps up during disaster,” she said in an email message to members.

To be included, Chamber members are encouraged to describe how they are supporting typhoon relief along with a picture and send it to Chamber coordinator Noelani McMahon at coordinator2@saipanchamber.com.

In related news, working toward the fast recovery of CNMI tourism, the Marianas Visitors Authority is requesting Chamber members to take a survey— https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HDJ5QXL—on one’s readiness to accommodate visitors. 

Based on a survey of 16 members of the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands and non-member hotels, of 2,754 rooms surveyed, there are 1,976 rooms in operation (72 percent).  The target date to reopen the airport is Nov. 15.
 
Unofficial updates

The U.S. Small Business Administration has moved into the Saipan Chamber of Commerce office and the staff are currently going through training to start taking in applications. When they do formally open their office for applications, we will let the membership know.

The Chamber is working with the CNMI Department of Finance about a possible an extension for September business gross revenue tax. “Right now they were having their legal counsel review a final draft of an extension. When there is official information to share out of their office, I’ll be sure to forward it over to you all,” said Laszlo.

One of the first steps needed to get more relief for the business community is to collect data on the impact of Yuyu on one’s operations.

“After speaking with Matt Deleon Guerrero at the Office of the Governor, I’m reaching out to FEMA’s Data Analytics department to see if they can assist with data collection as well as the Economic Development Authority,” said Laszlo. “We’re also hoping this data can help DOL ask for more funding to support your displaced workers.”

She said the Chamber is setting up calls with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the FEMA Region IX Private Sector Liaison, and the Institute for Sustainable Development “to see if we can start having conversations about programs that could benefit the private sector.” (SCC)

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