TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Brian Bergen is calling on Gov. Phil Murphy to begin the first phase of reopening the economy by allow non-essential businesses to get back to work with curbside pickup.
“There is no reason to delay the opening of retail business to do curbside pickup,” said Bergen (R-Morris). “They should be allowed to do that today. We are in a state of paralysis through analysis.”
Many states have already begun implementing the idea. Retail businesses have been allowed to reopen for curbside pickup in Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin, according to a state-by-state analysis conducted by CNBC.
More than 930,000 state residents have claimed unemployment since mid-March, when the state's effort to stop coronavirus shuttered most businesses. There were 455,000 workers in retail in 2019, according to the state Department of Labor.
“The governor announced a commission to discuss reopening a week ago and they have offered nothing to date,” said Bergen. “We need to allow retail stores to get back in business immediately and safely.”
Bergen also suggested setting dates to allow businesses to open with limited capacity.
“Decisions should be made now so we can give these businesses a date to work toward,” continued Bergen. “No business should be completely closed by Memorial Day. Everything should be opened at a limited scale to allow for safety.”
He noted that seventy percent of business owners surveyed by the NJ Business and Industry Association last week say they are able to operate safely under social distancing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control.
Department store chain Macy's began opening stores earlier this week with new safety protocols as it tries to recover from the damage to sales caused by lockdowns.