New Jersey State Director: The Latest on COVID-19 in the Garden State

Date: April 01, 2020

A state-specific update

As your New Jersey State Director, I want you to know that in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. we have been advocating fiercely on your behalf. 

Nationally there are several new loan options, and at the state level, legislation was quickly signed into law that allows the NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to provide emergency grants and loans to businesses primarily in the hospitality and service industries. Those state small business grants will open for applications at 9 AM, Friday, April 3.   

Another new state law temporarily extends current state laws on disability, family leave, and sick leave benefits. The expansion helps address issues including the concerns of workers who need to take time to recover from COVID-19, care for family members suffering from the disease, and assure those who are facing mandatory or recommended quarantine. The federal government is providing each laid-off employee on unemployment an additional $600 per week as an added benefit to their state unemployment benefit. 

The federal and state government are trying to keep your business doors open while simultaneously protecting those unemployed, ill, or impacted by COVID-19

This week there was headway on many smaller issues. Working with the Governor’s office I provided input to expedite the State’s decision to allow craft breweries to deliver beer.  My efforts with the State Police enabled businesses that repair cell phones to be deemed essential and remain open. The Governor also pledged to not follow the lead of NY because all construction jobs will remain essential.

In recent weeks, I have spoken to the small business owners of a limousine company, travel agency, craft brewery, physical therapy establishment, steel manufacturer, printing business, coffee shop, restaurant, promotion agency, landscaper, recruitment specialist, and the list goes on. All owners expressed the desire to keep their employees, some of whom had been with them decades. They felt terrible if they had to lay off staff.

All the callers were looking for guidance from NFIB as to the next steps because there was underlying hope that the actions in Trenton and Washington would bring help. For now, some relief as arrived, but these programs may be confusing and slow as they start. Please know NFIB is available to help.  

Eileen Kean
NJ NFIB State Director



Related Content: Small Business News | New Jersey

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