The New Jersey Business Coalition, a group of more than 100 leading business and nonprofit groups throughout the state, issued the following statement following Gov. Phil Murphy’s signing of Executive Order 158, temporarily pausing the resumption of indoor dining in New Jersey.

“New Jersey business owners have said from the beginning of this crisis that they always put the health, safety and welfare of their workforce and their patrons first. The reopening of indoor dining at New Jersey restaurants is no exception.

“While we respect the fact that other states are seeing a surge in COVID numbers, such a comparison, along with the concern of so-called “knuckleheads” not following the rules, is simply not a basis to pull back on New Jersey restaurant owners who are committed to doing the right thing.

“In response to the Governor’s original notice that indoor dining could commence on July 2 at 25% capacity, New Jersey restaurant owners made plans. We should recognize they invested in interior changes to their facilities, notified staff they can come back to work and spent considerable dollars to purchase food and beverages in order to meet the demands of the customers they were ready to serve.

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“Many restaurant owners have not generated the revenue to pay for these startup expenses over the past 15 weeks, and therefore, dug deep into their own personal pockets to restart their business.

“Respectfully, we ask: Who is going to reimburse these lost costs? Food, now at premium prices, has a very short shelf life. Additionally, how many times will restaurant owners be asked to train up a workforce only to send them back to unemployment?

“On top of all this, the Governor vetoed a bill this week that would have established an emergency loan program for qualified small hospitality businesses, using federal funds. Now, as a ripple effect, we see some of our Atlantic City casinos refusing this weekend to open due to this pause. This represents another blow to our tourism industry and New Jersey’s overall economy, which relies on casino revenues to fund important state programs.

“These businesses were willing to face insurmountable odds of surviving, while operating safely at 25% capacity. They know the losses that continue to rack up and they were, and are, ready to follow the rules and demand that their patrons do the same.

“As of earlier this month, between 20-23% of New Jersey restaurants that are shuttered will not reopen. With this false start, that number will undoubtedly escalate.

“We urge Governor Murphy not to pull back on those businesses that are able and willing to reopen safely because of bad actors. If some are not in compliance, enforce the order and hold them accountable. For the rest, let them open, as originally planned.”

11 responses to “NJ Business Coalition Says EO Unfairly Hurts Restaurant Owners”

  1. Mark Iorio says:

    Who is making these unilateral decisions? Can someone in the Executive branch apply some common sense to opening restaurants? This reckless decision by Gov. Murphy is going to cripple the industry and put a lot of good, hard-working people out of work.

  2. Dan Hertz says:

    Emperor Murphy is above detrimental reliance. He is after all the new Emperor of New Jersey. He is now the law.

  3. rich says:

    We all need to understand this multi-millionaire does not really care about small business, he made his money on Wall Street he never built a business from the ground up. Typical elitist who does not truly understand what it takes to run a small business, especially in hard times like we are going through now. Only thing he worries about is protecting himself from any chance he could be blamed for any COVID deaths. Too lat Gov what happened in the nursing home you own.

  4. There are no checks and balances against Governor Murphy’s quest for power and control. When writing “we decided” it actually means “I decided.” Restaurants and the NJ wedding industry are unlikely to stage any comeback this Fall with yesterday’s wording of postponed “indefinitely.” Many small businesses will go under. Governor Murphy could seem to care less, being most interested in his next public restaurant appearance and selfie opp. This limousine liberal seems to be very out of touch with the NJ small business community.

  5. Jerry Butler says:

    Until healthcare is disconnected from employment and becomes all free market universal-access NJ is in danger of total collapse.

  6. Governor Murphy. Please read this post. You said to the entire State of NJ that restaurants could open at 25% and provided each continued with the safety measures which were provided to them. Now, just days prior to this partial opening, after undoubtedly restaurants have spent money they do not have, you just shut down any such start due to the actions of probably only a very small group of idiots. Actions of a few should not apply to those who are willing and able to open with safe precautions set up. Those who do not comply safely should be held accountable not those who are acting responsible. Warn, fine, close down those who do not comply. That would be fair. Not going to rant hear, just attempting to apply some kind of common sense approach.

    Tom M. Forked River NJ Business owner 30 + years

  7. Bob T says:

    What happened in the nursing homes you own. There is no denying

  8. Greg Stetzel says:

    When will the good people of New Jersey wake up and realize that the democratic party and its operatives, including emperor Murphy, do not care about anything but their own security in their elected or appointed positions? Our only recourse to change the scenario now will be at the ballot box (or mail-in ballot) during the next election cycles. God willing, we will all survive until that comes about. It’s high time that all of the progressives and left leaners are put out to pasture.

  9. Jim says:

    This is a move that is like punishing the whole 4th grade class because of one student’s bad actions. It was given no thought, only a bully’s reaction.

  10. We spent over $ 5000 to order extra plexiglass barriers, shields, masks, sanitizing stations, food, drinks etc. in preparation of opening inside.

  11. Joel says:

    I don’t own a restaurant but feel their pain. I already ate out at one outside last weekend. I have been ordering takeout from many but that isn’t really helping all that much as only some are doing most of their business that way like Chinese or pizza. Many have no area for outside seating. In good times restaurants have about a 90% failure rate, how about now? I have two failing businesses which are deemed “essential” but I can’t make customers buy.

    If I owned one I would open it despite captain a- – clown. What’s the difference if I get caught I would be going under anyway.

    Certainly he hasn’t figured out how the government makes it money as there are only two things they do well. Tax and spend. I going out on a limb here but if no businesses are open and now one makes money how can you tax?