MORRISTOWN, NJ - “Unlock New Jersey” was launched today by an expanding group of business owners, civic leaders, elected officials and concerned citizens who presented Governor Phil Murphy with a proposal to responsibly and decisively unlock his COVID19 shut-down of Garden State businesses.  The plan was the result of a town hall meeting of more than 30 small business owners from Morris County along with Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, Assemblyman Brian Bergen, Morris County Freeholder Stephen Shaw, 11th District Congressional Candidate Rosemary Becchi, Rose City Jewelers Owner Joseph Falco, Jr., Carmen DePasquale, owner of DePasquale the Spa, and Robyn Acceturo, owner of West Orange Jewelers. 

Their call to action:  End the Lockdown on Small Businesses Now....Send Governor Murphy Your Keys & Sign the Unlock New Jersey Petition.

Madison's Joseph Falco, Jr, a gemologist and owner of Rose City Jewelers had this to say, "“If we wait any longer, there will be nothing left for our communities to reopen,”

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The “Unlock New Jersey” proposal provides a timeline and guidance, including provisions for monitoring any substantial impact on COVID19 outbreaks, as businesses engage in a safe, staggered reopening and move toward a fully operational state economy.

The simple fact is that Main Street Mom & Pop shops are failing and many will not survive this crisis. But corporate, big-box stores unfairly operate under exemptions provided in the Executive Orders imposed by the Governor that deemed almost all other businesses “non-essential.” Thousands of New Jersey’s boutiques, jewelry stores, professional services companies, salons and other small business are better suited than big-box stores to offer social distancing and protections to patrons while operating, so there is no reason to keep them shuttered.

“Unlock New Jersey” is inviting everyone to support its proposal for opening businesses by signing a petition by clicking here

“Unlock New Jersey” is also asking supporters to help demonstrate their support for small businesses by sending keys to the Governor, either virtual keys or real keys.  Old or spare keys can be mailed to Governor Murphy at:  Office of the Governor, 225 W. State St.,Trenton NJ 08625. Virtual keys can be sent through email by going to www.unlocknewjersey.com and clicking on the key symbol.

The “curbside pickup” plan being kicked-off today by Governor Murphy is out of touch and useless to the more than 861,000 small businesses that form the backbone of the Garden State economy.  Most of New Jersey’s businesses are small businesses and they employ 1.8 million workers — roughly half the people who were working in the Garden State prior to the COVID19 shut-down.