NJBIA's Public Policy Forum: The Road to Recovery REGISTER

Multiple media outlets conveyed the frustrated voices of New Jersey’s business community heard in Thursday’s New Jersey Business Coalition virtual town hall.

As reported in the Press of Atlantic City, representatives from different industries in the state are finding the incremental loosening of restrictions not enough to sustain their business – and at time conflicting.

“We have been hanging on for a year,” said Adam Philipson, CEO of the Count Basie Center of the Arts in Red Bank, where indoor events are capped at 150 people. “What we know from the seemingly strange and random decisions of capacity that are being made is that this is not being guided by science.

“We need 35% minimum, no cap for indoor. And for outdoor, with social distancing and CDC guidelines, there should be no cap.”

Lou Smith, chef, owner and operator of Blend on Main in Manasquan, said he finds some of the restrictions in place illogical.

“Why is it that you can sit at a table, but not be served at a bar?” Smith said. “How is going from 25% capacity during the coldest months of the year to 35% (going to) make any difference to any of us? That was like a sick joke.”

Michael Chait, president of the Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, said by the letter of the rules, only 50 people would be limited to one-third of a mile of beach to watch the Atlantic City Air Show this summer.

“Is that space really limited to just 50 people on the day of the event, but thousands of people every other day?” Chait asked.

“Outdoor gathering capacity must take usable square-footage and event logistics into consideration, versus an arbitrary number,” said Chait, as reported on NJ101.5 news. “We ask that the administration trust the event experts that know how to control density, duration and egress.”