State and County Parks, Golf Courses to Reopen Saturday: Today, Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order reopening New Jersey’s State Parks and allowing county parks and golf courses to open effective Saturday, May 2nd. All social distancing rules will continue to be mandated.
Senate President Sweeney and Colleagues offer Murphy’s Economic Commission Strategic Ideas on Reopening: Yesterday, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senators Paul Sarlo, Teresa Ruiz, Steve Oroho, Declan O’Scanlon and Troy Singleton offered a joint statement to Governor Murphy’s Economic Commission, with their initial thoughts on strategic steps to guide the process of opening the state’s economy.
The Senators offered a list of low-risk businesses and industries that should be considered for opening, such as construction, car sales, beach activities where social distancing could be maintained and elective surgeries and medical needs.
Turnpike Authority Reports Drop in Traffic and Toll Revenue: Donna Manuelli, the CFO of the NJ Turnpike Authority announced that the revenue for the period ending on March 31st, totaled $395 million, which is about 5%, or $22 million below what was budgeted. Traffic on the Turnpike also decreased 8.6% during the first 3 months of the year while the Garden State Parkway has a 29.2% drop in traffic during the same period.
Rutgers gets FDA Approval for COVID Saliva Test: Rutgers University researchers have been granted clearance by the FDA for the first saliva tests to help diagnose COVID-19, a new approach that could help expand testing options and reduce the risk of infection for health care workers. NJ will utilize these tests as part of its strategy to do universal testing of all staff and residents at NJ’s five developmental centers. The state is working to expand its pilot program and is exploring options to test additional state workers and individuals in the state’s care.
NJ Property Tax Deadline: Governor Murphy announced that the state is giving cities and towns the authority to push back the property tax deadline from May 1st to June 1st. In communities that choose to take advantage of the Executive Order, taxpayers will be able to wait until June 1st to submit their payments, without facing penalties and interest that local officials can charge after the grace period, which typically lasts 10 days.
NJDOL Updates: The New Jersey Department of Labor will begin notifying recipients of the 1st round for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance payments. Self-employed workers, independent contractors and other workers not usually eligible for unemployment insurance will be notified today and will receive those payments beginning next week.
Visit www.covid19.nj.gov if you are self-employed, an independent contractor, or gig worker for information on PUA benefits.
Latest NJ COVID-19 Statistics: The number positive coronavirus test results in New Jersey has increased to a total of 116,264. The number of statewide coronavirus-related deaths is currently 6,770.
All NJ residents with questions or concerns about COVID-19 and resources available to them should visit: www.covid19.nj.gov
US Small Business Administration Loans: New Jersey’s small businesses and private non-profit organizations facing hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak are eligible to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. These working capital loans are designed to help small and most non-profits meet their ordinary and financial business obligations during the pandemic.
Applicants may apply online and download applications at https://www.disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
CARES Act: The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed in Congress are intended to assist small business owners with whatever needs they have right now. For more information on the small business owner’s guide to the CARES Act, click here.
Jobs and Assistance: A new online portal to provide information to impacted small business owners. The portal includes information on Executive Orders, regulations impacting small businesses and access to financial assistance from the US Small Business Administration (SBA).
Testing Sites: There are currently 104 COVID-19 testing sites open across the state, including state-sponsored and private facilities. Click here to get updated information and locations of public testing sites.