I respect the position of the five Somerset County Mayors who are advocating for business owners.  Some might perceive they are suggesting to open businesses immediately. There is a need to restart our economy. Supporting local businesses is what they should do, but everything about this virus is difficult and re-opening is no different.

While we are moving in a positive direction, if you open up too quickly you run the risk of rekindling the high numbers we had a month ago. That will hurt businesses in the long run if we have to shut down again. If newly opened businesses are the source of a second breakout, how will we get people to trust the next opening?

While I respect the Mayors’ opinion, some have had a different experience than they have had. Together all five municipalities have 793 cases, Franklin alone has 1157 or 1/3 more. I too must advocate for my community. Since we can’t open one town before another, we are in this together. Just as we were when Franklin donated PPE to Bound Brook when they needed it.

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We need to have more testing, which is on the way. And the numbers need to be low enough to allow contact tracing to put out little flareups before they become forest fires.

We need our small businesses, yes. Open those businesses, yes. Support those businesses when they open, yes. But please, please, please do it smartly and safely. I know it is painful. I know people are hurting.  But today’s sacrifice can divert tomorrow’s even bigger problems.

Phil Kramer

Mayor
Township of Franklin NJ