The social distancing regulations put in place by the state are requiring many businesses to limit hours or close. I know this is a cause for concern, especially among the small business community, which I have been a part of for many years.
The governor is mandating the indefinite closure across New Jersey of all indoor portions of retail shopping malls and all indoor and outdoor places of public amusement. In addition, as previously reported restaurants and bars can operate only as take-out establishments until 8 p.m. (including those in malls that have a separate entrance).
Hopefully, the government edicts limiting economic activity will be lifted before too long. Small businesses are losing money and laying off employees which is only worsening the local economy, but we must all take common sense precautions to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
For those who livelihoods have been impacted by the coronavirus please be aware of the following: A person who is out of work because the employer was ordered to close is entitled to collect unemployment and earned sick leave. A person who is out of work because an employer voluntarily closed is eligible for unemployment benefits. And employees who have been diagnosed with Covid-19, or been exposed to the virus at work, or whose school or day care center closed for health reasons are all eligible for earned sick leave – and in some cases – temporary disability payments. Those needing to file for unemployment insurance or other benefits are urged to apply online at MyUnemployment.nj.gov or MyLeaveBenefits.nj.gov.
I encourage you, when possible, to patronize your local pizzeria or other take-out food establishment and other small businesses. These store owners have been serving our communities for years and now at this critical moment it is important to show our support for them.