Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano to Gov. Murphy: “Now Is the Time to Reopen Businesses”
Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano are introducing a resolution today calling on Governor Phil Murphy to begin the immediate reopening of businesses in accordance with CDC guidelines to restart the New Jersey economy. The 10th District legislators stressed the importance of opening businesses on the Jersey Shore that rely on the summer months from Memorial Day to Labor Day for the majority of their annual income. Without a plan to reopen before Memorial Day, many business owners at the shore are concerned for their futures and livelihoods.
“Governor Murphy, give New Jerseyans the benefit of the doubt. We are not knuckleheads and we can reopen with safety in mind by following the guidelines set forth by the CDC,” stated Senator Holzapfel. “With schools permanently closed for the year, our efforts need to be focused on reopening our small businesses.”
According to a recent survey conducted by The New Jersey Business Association, seventy percent of business owners believe they are able to operate safety under CDC social distancing guidelines. Additionally, many industry groups and trade associations representing tens of thousands of small businesses have produced detailed plans that would allow their members to reopen in a manner that is safe for both their workers and customers.
“For months now, our residents have risen to the challenge and put the health of their fellow New Jerseyans first,” said Assembly McGuckin. “It’s time to give individuals and business owners the opportunity to make informed decisions about their health and their financial future. If you can safely shop in a Walmart you can safely shop in other retail establishments. Small businesses deserve the right to operate with the same precautions as big box stores.”
“While the threat of the virus is still a concern for our most vulnerable residents, we are hearing from our constituents that they are ready to return to work,” added McGuckin. “If they can do so safely, we should let them.”
Additionally, the legislators stressed to Governor Murphy’s administration that the Jersey Shore economy is in jeopardy if any portion of the short tourism dependent summer season is lost. Seasonal businesses employ 1 in 10 New Jerseyans, and tourism represents a $45 billion industry for New Jersey.
“We are capable of reopening public places and businesses in a way that is safe for the community without adding pressure to our hospitals and emergency workers,” concluded Assemblyman Catalano. “Governor Murphy needs to understand the importance of small businesses on the Jersey Shore and the billions of dollars it contributes to the economy each year. New Jersey residents and businesses are ready to adapt to the guidelines set by the CDC to ensure we stay healthy while we begin to return to normalcy.”