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NJBIA President and CEO Michele N. Siekerka, Esq. issued the following statement in response to COVID-19 Emergency Order to close physical locations of all non-essential retail businesses, announced by Gov. Phil Murphy today.

“NJBIA understands the need to put public health first in confronting a global pandemic with uncertain reach.

“We thank the Governor and his staff for taking the time to understand the impacts this shutdown will have on the business community and the economy in what is an unprecedented time. We know that these are not easy decisions that come lightly.

“We also know the far-reaching effects today’s actions will have on New Jersey businesses, our workforce and our economy. We are asking our business community to take a deep breath before reacting, as we all take the time to review the language and practical application of the Governor’s Executive Order.

“There is much guidance for which businesses are or are not included as “essential,” but we still anticipate much confusion, requiring further detail and guidance.

“While we recognize the pain many of our businesses are experiencing, we are pleased to see our manufacturers and other essential sectors remain in operation to continue their work during this challenging time, particularly those who make health-based products relevant to the coronavirus response. It is clear Governor Murphy understands the importance of preserving the supply chain during these challenging times, which we advocated for.

“NJBIA is continuing to respond to questions from our members and we are supplying resources for all in the business community. We look forward to continuing to work with the administration on any further clarifications or necessary modifications of the order.”