The New Jersey Business & Industry Association strongly supports a legislative package before an Assembly Committee today that is designed to help restaurants and small businesses suffering from the economic fallout of COVID-19.
NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Christopher Emigholz said the bills would address some of the overly restrictive limits that have been placed on restaurants and small businesses during the pandemic, such as indoor capacity limits and the use of outdoor tents and heaters.
One of the bills would also require the state Division of Alcohol and Beverage Control to waive the $75 permit fee that businesses pay for temporary permits to serve patrons outdoors near their licensed premises during COVID-19. Refunds would be given to businesses that have already paid the fee.
“These bills will provide a roadmap for restaurants to innovate and continue to be as successful and safe as possible given the current realities of the pandemic,” Emigholz said. “This package does a lot to provide more certainty and predictability to restaurants struggling with some of the overly restrictive limits that have been placed upon small businesses.”
The bills, sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, will be considered later this afternoon by the Assembly Commerce & Economic Development Committee. These include: A-5133, A-5135, A-5136, A-5137, A-5139, and two Assembly joint resolutions that call for commissions that to study the impact that COVID-19 has had on restaurants and small businesses.
“Like all issues, it is helpful to gather data in order to better understand the harm that COVID-19 has brought small businesses so that decisions can be made on how to better help them recover as quickly as possible,” Emigholz said. “NJBIA thanks Majority Leader Greenwald for this package of bills so that we ca work together to help small businesses recover as quickly as possible from the pandemic.”