TRENTON, N.J. – Gov. Phil Murphy announced today that he was easing restrictions on restaurants, entertainment venues and gyms, allowing them to operate past 10 p.m. and increase capacity limits by 10 percent starting Friday. Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso welcomed the news, but was critical of Murphy’s executive orders that have hurt New Jersey’s restaurants and small businesses.
“Murphy’s rollback of his ill-conceived restrictions is welcome news for our restaurants and small businesses, especially before Superbowl Sunday. We are moving in the right direction, but for far too many businesses it is too little too late,” said DiMaso (R-Monmouth). “A third of our small businesses, including staples in our communities and restaurants that have been serving people for decades, are now permanently shuttered. So, while I thank ‘King Murphy’ for his crumbs, he needs to realize that these businesses are people’s bread and butter.”
On Nov. 10, Murphy announced that restaurants, bars, clubs and casinos had to stop serving patrons by 10 p.m. The restrictions were put into place ahead of Thanksgiving Eve and New Year’s Eve – two of the biggest profitable holidays for the industry. Indoor dining resumed in September at 25 percent capacity.
“A 10 percent increase in capacity will make only minor impacts to a business’ bottom line. It’s a help, but it is not enough,” DiMaso continued. “Business owners have proven that they can abide by safety protocols and protect both their staff and patrons. It’s time to remove the restrictions and save what businesses we have left.”