There were dozens of voices heard during a virtual town hall held by the New Jersey Business Coalition this week.

And out of the 100+ business & nonprofit owners in attendance, there was one singular message to New Jersey’s policymakers: Their struggle is real and needs to be addressed.

“Today’s town hall told the story of the pain and heartache being experienced by New Jersey business owners and nonprofit executives,” NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka told New Jersey 101.5 News. “We heard these job creators and community leaders share the need for comprehensive fiscal resources, responsible increased capacity and their call to halt policies and mandates that are making their already-challenged workplaces even harder to sustain.”

As ROI-NJ reported, Bridget O’Brien,director of SuperKids Child Care & Learning Center in Summit, said her industry is facing massive challenges.

“COVID is only the first punch,” she said. “Under the best conditions, we operate with very small margins, we are labor-intensive and we have substantial fixed costs. Some studies estimate as many as 70% of child care centers in the nation could close without intervention.”

Joe Cleary, vice president and chief financial officer of Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, called on state legislators to hit the pause button on laws that will lead to higher operating costs for struggling businesses, as reported by the Press of Atlantic City.

“Don’t do anything right now,” Cleary said about any possible legislation that would lead to increased costs. “Over the last seven months, at a time when businesses are trying to survive, we are seeing an increase in new legislation that is increasing our businesses’ expenses.”

To read NJBIA’s full account of the town hall or to see the entire event, click here.