For the second week in a row, NJBIA took to the airwaves of NJ101.5 to attempt to clear up government policies impacting business during the coronavirus social distancing efforts.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Saturday issued a new executive order expanding the list of businesses that must either operate with remote workers or shut down altogether. While the list is pretty clear in some instances (manufacturers and construction sites are still open, for example), others, such as landscapers, were in a gray area. As it turns out, landscapers are able to work under the new executive order.
Among a wide range of question topics, Siekerka fielded a couple on income replacement programs for small business owners, sole proprietors, and independent contractors. Since they are not employees, they do not qualify for unemployment benefits. Siekerka said that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) is expected to address the issue at a special board meeting on Thursday, where the organization is expected to approve new programs to help businesses recover economically from the coronavirus pandemic. NJBIA will forward the information to its member companies as soon as it becomes available.
She advised businesses to take the opportunity now to gather financial information about their business so they will be better prepared when the programs are unveiled. While the eligibility requirements are not known yet, Siekerka advised businesses document their income flow from the last six months to a year so they can prove what their income has been.
“Start getting all of your documentation together, because once that window opens, if you’re prepared you can get through that window much more quickly than someone who is waiting to get all of that information together,” Siekerka said.