WAYNE, NJ – Governor Murphy’s executive orders that have shut down non-essential businesses are beginning to relax, and business owners throughout Wayne are chomping at the bit to get back to work. 

Barbers and beauty salons, yoga and fitness centers, retail outlets and small mom and pop shops benefit Wayne by providing jobs, paying taxes and by the actual products and services they sell. For the past two months, these businesses have had little to no revenue and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to hit its peak.

There are fears that many of these commercial operations will never open again. 

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Governor Murphy has promised $50 million to support small businesses throughout the state, but with over 750,000 small businesses in New Jersey, that would mean less than $65 per business. Even if he focused on only those businesses that employ others, the payout would only triple to about $190 each.

The help small businesses in Wayne need has to come from Wayne residents.

“If this pandemic teaches us anything, is that we need to use our local people for services,” said Mayor Chris Vergano. “Otherwise there will be none left when this is all over.”

This is why the Mayor has backed and supports FLAG of Greater Wayne.  This group's mission is to support front-line workers by raising money to purchase meals for them from local restaurants.

“FLAG realizes that our local restaurants have suffered tremendous financial losses due to COVID-19,” said Vergano.  “To that end, we are happy to support 19 local businesses and restaurants by partnering with them to help alleviate some of their financial insecurity.”

Beginning Monday, May 18, Murphy has allowed businesses to open for curbside pickup and delivery only. 

“This is a step in the right direction,” said Christian Sees of Integrus Financial, an independent insurance group located in Wayne. “But Wayne is going to need the Governor to relax business restrictions much more while also providing guidance to keep everyone safe. We need this sooner rather than later.”

The Mayor agrees. “I understand there had to be limits, but I think we’ve reached a point where we’ve got to get people back to work, and we have to be safe at the same time,” he said. “To me, what’s the difference in walking the aisles of Home Depot with a mask and maintaining social distance or walking in Kohl’s?  What’s the difference between shopping in a liquor store or a small jewelry store like Massola Jewelry on Valley Road?”

Sees is the driving force behind a startup Wayne Chamber of Commerce. “Wayne is a very large town and has wonderful businesses and amazing organizations," he said. "Our group’s main goal right now is to promote interest in Wayne businesses and to be prepared for when the restrictions on businesses have been lifted.”

On Monday, May 18 at 4:00pm, The new Wayne Chamber of Commerce is holding its first networking meeting -online.  It’s free and open to all businesses in Wayne - See below for a link to register.

“This gives us the opportunity to connect with each other as we struggle through these unprecedented times," said Sees. "Once we thaw out from the COVID freeze, we will be planning additional events, all with the goal of helping Wayne businesses quickly build up their customer base and get back on their feet.”

Wayne is facing a new normal.  What that normal will be is unknown, but Wayne Businesses are going to need Wayne Residents to survive, and Wayne Residents are going to need Wayne Businesses to keep taxes from rising.

Shop Local has never been a stronger message. Wayne needs your shopping dollars much more than Amazon does.

To register for the new Wayne Chamber of Commerce networking event follow this link.

Click here for the new Wayne Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page

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