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Representatives from New Jersey’s convention and entertainment industries were among the more than 100 businesspeople who spoke about the impact COVID-19 and state-ordered operating restrictions are having on their businesses during a recent NJBIA virtual town hall.

Featured speakers in this video clip include: Denise Beckson, vice president of  Morey’s Piers in Wildwood and board member of the NJ Amusement Association; Kevin King, president and CEO of Vista Convention Services headquartered in Egg Harbor; Dan Boutureira, Co-GM of the NJ Convention and Exposition Center in Edison; and Brett Denafo, owner of Tilton Square Movie Theaters in Northfield.

During the forum, Boutureira pointed out that 95% of the businesses that hold shows inside the NJ Convention and Expo Center are small mom-and-pop operations. The indoor occupancy restrictions that the state has issued do not take into account that facilities like his can create aisles 20 feet wide, as opposed to the 6-foot wide aisles in a big box store.

“We need help,” Boutureira said. “My suggestion, if anyone from the state is listening, is to please let the local governments, the health departments, the fire departments take over.  Let our town who knows our business that we work with all the time … say, ‘here are the restrictions that you have … now open up.’”

The town hall-style via video conference was hosted by NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka and organized by the New Jersey Business Coalition, which includes business organizations and nonprofits from all over New Jersey. Members of the news media and legislators were also on the call.

Go here to watch, or click on the video link below.