With several states lifting capacity limits this past week, the New Jersey Business Coalition has issued a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy urging what the Garden State currently needs and does not have – a comprehensive reopening plan.
The letter, signed by more than 90 major business and nonprofit associations, requests definitive data thresholds to drive reopening decisions, with updated restrictions that are narrowly tailored to particular circumstances; new approaches to indoor and outdoor gathering limits; and a prudent reopening of childcare centers, which are currently in a severely disadvantaged position.
“The business community needs specific reopening benchmarks to provide transparency and predictability,” the coalition wrote. “After nearly a year of the pandemic, businesses are reeling: the number of small businesses open as of February 10 was down 34.2% relative to January 2020.
“With hospitalizations below 2,000 and other COVID metrics in our continued favor, we need a comprehensive strategic reopening plan that lays out the indicators and thresholds that will determine further reopening. Businesses need that predictability to make informed decisions that are right for their operations, employees, and customers.”
The groups also encouraged the governor to implement a plan that includes businesses as community points of distributions as COVID-19 vaccine supplies increases.
“As we move beyond the initial phases of vaccine distribution, utilizing employers could improve vaccination efficiency, free up capacity at open PODs, and improve vaccine hesitancy given that employees already have an established relationship with their employers,” the coalition wrote.
“Employers can be a good source of education for their workforce as the vaccine rollout continues and employees may be more apt to engage in the process if they choose to be vaccinated when their employer is involved in the process. As such, it is time to provide employers with a plan to be further engaged in the vaccine rollout, as we have seen in other states.”
To read the full letter, click here.