For months, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the state’s business community have been urging Gov. Phil Murphy to reopen the state, where justified by the medical metrics, and let the flow of commerce help rebuild our economy.
Now that we are on the verge of a full reopening, we should remember there are still significant issues to address before this race is won.
If the business community walks in partnership with state government and we move together in a timely fashion, we can effectively address these remaining issues, and New Jersey can look forward to a robust and vigorous recovery.
The first thing that the state and business community must work together on is to instill confidence in workers and customers that it is safe to once again visit stores, offices, restaurants and other places of commerce.
It is incumbent on businesses to do their part by reminding employees what the medical data clearly show — that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. Businesses must vigorously encourage employees to get vaccinated and, whenever possible, allow their employees the time they need to get themselves and their families vaccinated.
The faster we approach community protection (aka herd immunity), the sooner our economy shifts into high gear. The business community can and must play a significant role in getting our economy back to where it needs to be.
We now know that New Jersey’s revenue picture is considerably brighter than originally anticipated. One reason for that is higher-than-anticipated tax revenue. Another is an infusion of financial support from the federal government.
State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio revealed Thursday that the feds deposited more than $6 billion — New Jersey’s share of the American Rescue Plan funds — into our coffers last week.
While revealing this news, the treasurer said one disconcerting thing: The federal government sent preliminary guidance about how the money should be spent and gave New Jersey officials 60 days to review and respond to these guidelines.
That will not work!