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Michele Siekerka

NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka, Esq.

State officials have been expressing their concern for struggling businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, but their sympathetic words aren’t always reflected in their actions, NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka said in an op-ed in the Asbury Park Press published Sunday. 

Siekerka provided a list of nine new laws, executive orders and pending bills that impose added costs on employers, making it more difficult for struggling businesses to hang on after already enduring months of government-ordered shutdowns and operating restrictions 

The nine recent state actions include a new state excise tax on health benefits plans, a law that shifts the COVID-19 response costs for essential employees who contract the virus to the employer-funded worker’s compensation system, and an executive order mandating safety protocols at a cost, without establishing liability protection for businesses following the rules. 

“While our leadership has expressed sympathy and empathy for our employers, especially our small businesses, during this extremely difficult year, what they say and what they do are two different things,” Siekerka wrote. 

Unless state leaders stop enacting burdensome new mandates on the backs of businesses, their actions will undermine any hope of a financial recovery in 2021, Siekerka wrote. 

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