On Guam, more businesses close, adjust as restrictions tighten again

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HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — After 20 years in business, Paulino Enterprise Communication, located in Cost-U-Less in Tamuning, is closing its doors Sept. 6.

"We are closing with a heavy heart after so many years. Richard Paulino would have wanted to pass on this legacy to his children, Ian and Elsa. This business sustained a family, now this liquidation will help raise funds for his kids," according to family member Helene Le Mouellic.

Terry's Local Comfort Food in Tumon paused its operations starting Aug. 12, and there's no telling when it will reopen.

In a social media post, the restaurant said it will "reorganize and determine our future during this difficult pandemic environment."

"We remain eternally grateful to our loyal customers and staff over the last eight years," it said. "We will be providing updates on our Facebook and Instagram accounts for future operations."

They are among the latest business casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic, announcing closures ahead of the governor's announcement of a return to Pandemic Condition of Readiness 1.


 Ross Dress for Less has closed  but is expected to reopen after determining what safety protocols need to be in place. The Tamuning location is pictured on Sunday, Aug. 16. Photo by David Castro/ The Guam Daily Post

Covid-19 has also forced the closures of Kitchen Lingo in Hagåtña and Kådu in Mangilao after Aug. 15, and the continued temporary closure of Little Pika's in Tumon, among others.

Changes in operations

Malls, restaurants and other businesses are temporarily closing or scaling back operations during PCOR1. Prior to that, Sea Grill Restaurant in Tumon announced Thursday that it will hold off resuming its operations this weekend after completing sanitation and testing of team members, because of the recent spike in Covid-19 cases and the news of the return to a stricter condition of readiness.

"We will no longer be resuming operations this weekend," the restaurant said in a statement. "The safety of our team, guests and members are of the highest priority, and health and well-being is simply not something we are willing to risk for anyone."

Recent increases in Covid-19-positive cases also prompted Ma's Kitchen in Tamuning to again close its dine-in service and focus on to-go and delivery services.

"I just couldn't put my people at risk, so I shut it down," Ma's Restaurant owner Casey Truong told The Guam Daily Post on Thursday. "Dine-in will just create more risk, so better to do takeouts and deliveries only."

The closure of dine-in service took effect Aug. 12, less than two weeks after Ma's Kitchen reopened.

Proa Restaurant in Tumon reopened Wednesday, about a week after voluntarily closing when an employee tested positive for Covid-19.

However, Proa opened only for takeout and curbside delivery orders. Dine-in service, again, is temporarily stopped.

"We're always committed to health and safety. In addition to in-house sanitizing, we also outsourced a weekly service from a professional sanitizing company," said restaurant manager Vincent Mendiola.

Gabriel's Restaurant in Tumon also announced Thursday it was temporarily suspending its dine-in service, "out of concern for the recent rise in Covid-19 cases." It is still providing to-go service.

'A following of loyal and regular customers'

Richard Paulino founded Paulino Enterprise Communication, or PEC, a pioneer at a time in the communications industry when Nokia 252 and Motorola RAZR cellphones were in.

That was after he returned to Guam in 1999.

"Richard believed in fair prices and good value. Most importantly, customer service was the store's pillar of success," Le Mouellic said.

She said Richard Paulino took the time to listen to his customers and identify their needs.

"Richard trained the staff that way, too, so the store developed a following of loyal and regular customers, many of them we have known for 20 years now," Le Mouellic said.

The declaration of a Covid-19 public health state of emergency, the lockdown and risks of exposure, including concerns for the business founder who was already dealing with serious health problems, made it hard to remain in business.

"With the pandemic, the business suffered significantly," Le Mouellic said.

Richard Paulino died recently, and that was also an integral part of the decision to close the business.

"With his friendly personality, Richard was also well-known and appreciated for teaching the game of golf to many Guam junior golfers," she said.

Paulino Enterprise Communication is currently holding a clearance sale, offering a 50% discount on everything from cellphone and tablet accessories and batteries, to chargers and cases. Display cabinets and store fixtures are also for sale.

"We want to thank Cost-U-Less, its management and staff, PEC staff throughout the years, as well as express our appreciation to our customers for their continued patronage," Le Moullic said.

She said she recently found a letter dated May 24, 2002, from a satisfied customer.

"Just wanted to say you did an outstanding job in training your representatives," the customer wrote.

Paulino Enterprise Communication joins many other businesses that have permanently closed their doors due mostly to Covid-19, including Java Junction in Hagåtña, Tony Roma's and Froots at Agana Shopping Center and Forever 21 in Tamuning.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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