|TRENTON, N.J. – Bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick and Senate President Steve Sweeney, to reimburse restaurants that had spent money on supplies in preparation for indoor dining’s return passed unanimously out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
“We all know how difficult it has been for the restaurant business,” Bramnick said to the committee during a hearing on a conference call Monday. “There were many restaurants that spent a lot of money getting ready to reopen and unfortunately they were unable to open. Hopefully, this will support our restaurant industry. This is a bipartisan effort to keep them afloat during this difficult period of time.”
The bill (A4413) appropriates $30 million to the state Economic Development Authority from federal block grants allocated to the state from the CARES Act. The EDA can then provide direct financial support, by way of loans or grants, to establishments for the costs associated with interruptions caused by Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order No. 158.
Restaurants were set to reopen for indoor dining on July 2, but Murphy pulled the plug on the plan at the last minute. Some restaurant owners said that they were out thousands of dollars due to the change.