Gov. Phil Murphy is promising the release of specific guidance for businesses to reopen soon. But for businesses eager and willing to retool their facilities, that direction cannot come soon enough.
That’s why NJBIA released a new Reopening New Jersey infographic this week, identifying the state’s pain points and urging swift solutions to bring much-needed certainty and predictability now to New Jersey businesses.
The infographic, found here, follows a business coalition letter sent to Gov. Phil Murphy last week detailing and expressing the immediate need of the administration to take industry best practices and create prescriptive guidance for businesses to reopen. Shortly following the release on Thursday, the governor said guidance for New Jersey businesses was on the way in a few days.
“If these solutions found in the Reopening New Jersey infographic are followed, it will give businesses and nonprofits the predictability and certainty they desperately need now to reopen,” NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said.
“Part of that predictability and certainty demands having metrics with specific targets, as our neighboring states like Pennsylvania and New York have done as part of their reopening plans.”
The Reopening New Jersey infographic calls for the establishment and assessment of:
- Metrics with specific targets that will determine when a business can safely reopen
- Prescriptive guidance from the state to safely operate with ongoing CDC guidelines
- Specific risk levels (industry, size, capacity, geography) versus one-size-fits-all solutions
“This guidance is critical to businesses because every penny they have at this point is precious,” Siekerka said. “When they go to retool or retrofit their place of business for safety’s sake, they need to know they’re doing it properly and not wastefully. Over 70% of businesses surveyed by NJBIA said they can open safely, but they need specifics to ensure sound investment that will pass regulatory compliance requirements that are expected.
“When it comes to risk assessment, there should be different levels based on industry types, the size of a business and the location of a facility, especially as it relates to hot spots,” Siekerka added. “Not everyone should be held to the highest risk level, nor should every business need to wait for the most vulnerable region to hit a threshold target. As such, a one-size-fits-all approach in not appropriate.”
The infographic also details five essential actions needed to allow proper planning leading to a safe and sustainable reopening. They include:
- Access to PPE, sanitizing materials and other supplies and operating capital
- The operation of child care facilities to facilitate a return to the workforce for many parents
- Flexibility in requirements for rules, regulations and mandates to help business and governments transition to reopening
- No new burdens or mandates on business
- A good faith safe harbor from liability for employers who reopen in accordance with proper guidance and do their best to protect employees and patrons
On Friday, Gov. Murphy did allow the reopening of child care facilities on July 15, with safety parameters and guidance in place.
“We need to recognize that our public health considerations and economic considerations are not mutually exclusive,” Siekerka said. “They must be appropriately balanced in order to ensure a safe and sustainable reopening.”