Middletown, N.J. Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-Monmouth) is calling on Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature to put a hold on minimum wage increases scheduled to take place in the coming months as small businesses teeter on the brink of financial ruin due to COVID-19 and subsequent, continual restrictions:

“With the New Jersey economy in a tailspin, and the continued lockdown destroying businesses and jobs, it is imperative that the governor take immediate steps to help alleviate the pressures on struggling businesses,” said Scharfenberger. “One of the things he can proactively implement would be a moratorium on the looming minimum wage increase due to take effect in January. This would not only provide needed relief to businesses from having to absorb a huge jump in operating costs, but also help protect the jobs needed by workers across the state.”

When lockdowns were initiated as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Trenton had “assured” residents and small businesses alike that the financial impact would be brief and sufficient aid would follow. However, Trenton’s end of the bargain has yet to be upheld and instead it has only added costs on all:

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“The economy has had to endure the double whammy of increased tolls and a nearly ten-cent jump in the gas tax within weeks of each other,” Scharfenberger continued. “Many businesses simply cannot withstand another increase in their operations just to maintain the status quo.”

By Trenton continuing its “business as usual” model, both New Jersey taxpayers and job creators are left to struggle and the threat of economic failure will only grow in magnitude:

“We have a small window in which we can help those on the brink of a fiscal catastrophe, but an immediate course of action needs to take place,” concluded Scharfenberger. “Continued delay combined with additional cost burdens will result in a very real disaster not only for our small business community, but for all of our residents who want and need stable employment.”