RARITAN TWP, NJ - The Raritan Township Committee has taken additional steps to help the municipality’s businesses survive COVID restrictions imposed by Gov. Phil Murphy.

The committee approved the introduction of an ordinance that will allow retail businesses to display wares outside of their shops and allow fitness classes to be held in designated township parks or outside of their studios or clubs until April 2021.

The ordinance is set to be approved at the committee’s Dec. 1 second reading.

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Last month, the committee extended its outdoor dining rules, allowing restaurants and bars to continue to offer outdoor seating throughout the winter to help them cope with the state of emergency imposed by Murphy. It allows them to have outdoor heaters, gas fireplaces and chimneas to provide heat, although it bans open fire pits.

Restaurants have been hard hit by the COVID-19 shutdown that lasted into the summer. Even now, they’re only allowed to open with indoor seating at 25 percent capacity.

All business owners must apply for a zoning permit under the terms of both ordinances.  Shop owners must also supply a sketch of how they’ll be displaying their goods including how tables, racks or tents will be secured, a written explanation, proof of insurance and landlord approval where applicable.