GOP lawmakers call for plan to reopen small businesses swiftly and safely

GOP lawmakers call for plan to reopen small businesses swiftly and safely

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton are calling on Gov. Phil Murphy to stop the delay in reopening small businesses, noting that safety precautions now underway at big businesses can also be done effectively at small businesses.

“Small businesses can safeguard the health of patrons and workers using the same regulations and procedures as big businesses like Wal-Mart and Home Depot,” said Clifton (R-Monmouth).

Murphy has pushed back against calls for a timetable, but has not explained why small-business owners are incapable of enforcing recommended safety guidelines.

“Reopening businesses, using the same approved strategies that have been proven across the state, will ultimately save lives and our communities by putting folks back to work,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “The governor shut down thousands of businesses he deems non-essential, then failed to provide timely unemployment benefits to those facing the consequences. He should heed the growing bi-partisan calls to quickly and safely reopen business.”

Dozens of elected officials, including Senate President Steve Sweeney, have advocated that businesses able to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines should be allowed to begin operating later this month.

Seventy percent of business owners say they are able to operate safely under social distancing guidelines issued by the CDC, according to a recent New Jersey Business and Industry Association survey.

“When you trust the vast majority of New Jerseyans to do the right thing, they will come through as we saw last weekend with the opening of parks and golf courses,” said Clifton. “We trust our small business owners to be similarly responsible at their own stores and shops.

“The real question remains: Why doesn’t Governor Murphy trust these owners?” asked Dancer. “Let’s get people back to work safely as quickly as possible.”