Murphy Administration Proposes Major Budget Cuts In Face of COVID-19 Crisis: The State Treasurer announced a combined revenue shortfall of $10 billion today and proposed over $5B in spending reductions as a starting point to address the crisis. These cuts could get worse without additional federal aid or a state borrowing plan. Click here to view the full report and we will provide more details next week.
Governor Murphy Eases Limits on Outdoor Gatherings: In time for Memorial Day Weekend, Governor Murphy will be signing an executive order to increase the maximum amount of people for outdoor gatherings to 25, while the indoor gathering limit remains at 10. While this does not apply to outdoor dining, it does allow for holiday weekend gatherings, provided that social distancing measures are being observed.
NJ Realizes Historic Job Loss in April: This week, the New Jersey Department of Labor announced that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a record number of monthly job losses in the month of April. The mandatory shut-down of businesses and stay at home orders to prevent the spread of the virus contributed to employment plummeting by 757,700 jobs in April, while the state’s unemployment rate soared to 15.3%.
NJEDA Expands Small Business Grant Program: This morning, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) approved a $50 million expansion of the state’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. The state also announced the program will reserve $15 million of the funding for businesses located in ZIP codes designated as Opportunity Zones, in an effort to direct more funds to underserved communities.
The changes announced Friday to increase eligibility for phase two include:
- Increasing the cap on the number of full-time employees: Companies with up to 25 employees may apply; the limit was 10 in the first phase
- Elimination of North American Industry Classification Code System code restrictions: This will make nearly all small businesses eligible
- Increased eligibility of non-profits: Elimination of NAICS codes makes 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(7) nonprofit organizations eligible;
- Inclusion of home-based businesses and sole proprietors: They were not available in the first phase
NJ Legislative Leaders to Inquire about State’s Response to Nursing Home Crisis: Earlier this week, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senate Health Committee Chairman Senator Joseph Vitale vowed to look into the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in the state’s long-term care facilities. Vitale, who will host hearing on the issue in his committee, said “the Senate’s fact-finding hearing will not only evaluate how the state performed but will come up with recommendations to health and emergency management officials on handling a possible second wave of COVID-19 infections in the fall, as many public health experts have predicted.”
NJ Memorial Day Weekend Beach Guide: Click here to view the Star-Ledger’s guide to openings, restrictions and rules for all New Jersey’s public beaches.
Latest NJ COVID-19 Statistics: The number positive coronavirus test results in New Jersey has increased to a total of 152,719. The number of statewide coronavirus-related deaths is currently 10,985.
All NJ residents with questions or concerns about COVID-19 and resources available to them should visit: www.covid19.nj.gov
Jobs and Assistance in NJ: An online portal is available 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: Click here to get updated information and locations of public testing sites.