In Our Community

New Restrictions Announced- to some Businesses/Sports

4th Legislative District

UPDATE 10/28/2020: On October 28, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 192 to standardize operational requirements and ensure that all workers are adequately protected. Details on these operational requirements can be found in “What workplace health & safety standards must all employers follow?”. The new requirements will go into effect at 6 a.m. on November 5, 2020. Businesses will be expected to follow these standardized guidelines, as well as the guidelines outlined below.

Businesses opening brick and mortar locations are advised, in addition to all State rules below, to follow CDC business guidance and OSHA workplace guidance, which includes: industry-specific guidelines for a variety of industries; a 35-page guide on preparing workplaces [PDF]; and record keeping requirements.

The CDC offers a decision-making tool to assist employers in making (re)opening decisions, especially to protect vulnerable workers. Employers with questions about their responsibilities regarding return to work can review the NJ Department of Labor’s site for Employers and Businesses.

Businesses That May Be Open

If your business is not a retail business, you have been allowed—and may continue—to operate, but you must accommodate your workforce, wherever practicable, for telework or work-from-home arrangements. The U.S. Department of Labor has guidance on the Fair Labor Standards Act pertaining to your obligations to employees regarding telework. If you have employees that need to be on site, you must keep them to the minimum number needed for critical operations; examples of these include cashiers, store clerks, construction workers, repair workers, warehouse workers, lab researchers, custodial staff, and certain administrative staff. Any building open to workers must follow minimum cleaning protocols as described in Executive Order 122.

Retail businesses may be open to customers while following Department of Health Guidance for Retail Businesses [PDF], and AO 2020-22, including limiting occupancy to 50% of store capacity, installing a physical barrier such as a shield guard where possible and wherever you cannot maintain 6 feet of social distancing. Self-service food, such as salad bars and buffets, is not permitted at retail businesses, including grocery stores. While indoor portions of malls may be open, valet parking, communal play areas, and communal seating remain closed. Food courts must follow guidelines for indoor dining, and in-mall entertainment businesses, such as movie theaters, must follow guidelines for entertainment businesses. Vending machines and stroller rentals may be open.

Food or beverage establishments may be open. Establishments must follow Department of Health Protocols for Outdoor Dining [PDF]Health and Safety Standards for Indoor Dining [PDF], and Executive Order 194. Areas with a fixed roof, if two sides are open, comprising over 50% of their total wall space, may operate under rules for outdoor dining under Executive Order 163. Starting at 5 a.m. on Thursday, November 12, 2020, all food or beverage establishments may not operate their indoor premises between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery services can continue after 10 p.m. Seating at the bar in indoor areas of bars and restaurants will be prohibited during all operating hours. Restaurants will be allowed to have groups at tables indoors that are closer than six feet together, if they are separated by barriers that comply with Department of Health guidance. Restaurants will be allowed to set up heated, plastic domes outdoors, limited to one group each.

Microbreweries and brewpubs may be open for home delivery. Depending on the type of license they hold, food service may also be allowed; business owners should consult Executive Orders 150 and 157 and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s ruling [PDF] to determine if they qualify.

Personal care businesses may be open. These include: beauty salons; barber shops; cosmetology shops; day spas (but not saunas, steam rooms, or shared bathing facilities) and medical spas which solely perform elective and cosmetic medical procedures; electrology facilities; hair braiding shops; massage parlors; nail salons; tanning salons; and tattoo parlors. Licensed businesses must abide by the Division of Consumer Affairs’ comprehensive safety standards for Cosmetology, Massage, and Bodywork licensees [PDF], including providing services by appointment only, prescreening and temperature checks of clients and staff, and staff-client pairs remaining at least 6 feet apart unless separated by physical barriers. Tattoo and tanning facilities must follow Department of Health standards for tanning and body art establishments [PDF]. Everyone in a personal care business must wear a face covering; under Executive Order 157, clients may receive services that require the removal of a face covering, provided that clients wear a face covering at all times before and after the service

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Child care centers may be open to all clients. The Department of Children and Families’ Child Care Safety Requirements [PDF] specify rules which centers must abide, and each child care center must submit an attestation to the Department of Children and Families no later than 24 hours prior to the anticipated opening date, or in the case of previously operating emergency child care centers, within fourteen days of the effective date of Executive Order No. 149, attesting that it will follow all applicable health and safety standards.

Shared space tutoring service facilities may open to students and clients, subject to the restrictions for entertainment and recreational businesses outlined in Paragraph 7 of Executive Order No. 157 including but not limited to capacity at 25% for indoor areas.

All recreational and entertainment businesses may be open, including outdoor and indoor amusement parks and water parks, following requirements detailed in Executive Order No. 157Executive Order No. 181, and the Department of Health’s Health and Safety Standards for Outdoor and Indoor High-Touch Amusement and Recreation Activities, including but not limited to: capacity at 50% for outdoor areas and 25% for indoor premises; face coverings worn at all times except in the water; rides configured to ensure 6 feet of distance between groups and those waiting. Water parks must also adhere to the requirements of EO153 and the Health and Safety Standards for Pools and Aquatic Recreation Facilities. Note that any recreational facility providing child care support must comply with all requirements of child care centers, including being licensed by the Department of Children and Families.

Entertainment centers where performances are viewed or given may be open, including movie theaters, performing arts centers, and other concert venues, following requirements in Executive Order 183, including 25% capacity or 150 people (whichever is less), groups must stay at least 6 feet apart, and masks must be worn at all times, unless they are removing them to eat or drink concessions

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Indoor recreational facilities, museums, and aquariums may be open, following all requirements of Executive Orders 157 and 158, including 25% capacity and required face coverings. Examples of indoor recreational facilities include indoor bowling alleys, batting cages, shooting ranges, and arcades, and facilities for activities like dance, karate, arts and crafts, music lessons, theatre programs, gymnastics, indoor tennis, and yoga. Pools may be open and must follow requirements in Executive Orders 153 and 157 and the Department of Health Standards for Pools and Aquatic Recreation Facilities [PDF], including implementing a COVID-19 Pool Operation Prevention Plan.

Gyms and fitness centers may operate indoor and outdoor spaces, so long as they follow the required safety policies detailed in Executive Orders 157 and 181 and the Department of Health’s guidance for health clubs/gyms/fitness centers [PDF], including, but not limited to: 25% capacity; masks worn by gym-goers, employees, staff, and trainers at all times; fitness classes, pilates, and yoga classes with capacity limited to one customer per every 200 square feet of classroom space; logs maintained of when all gym members and staff are in the facility; equipment spaced to allow a minimum of 6-feet of distance between all gym-goers; and equipment only made available that can be properly sanitized in-between uses.

Casinos may be open, following all requirements from Executive Orders 157158 and 194, the Division of Gaming Enforcement, and reopening protocols from the Casino Association of New Jersey, including but not limited to; 25% capacity; smoking prohibited indoors; reopening plans submitted to the Division of Gaming Enforcement. Starting at 5 a.m. on Thursday, November 12, 2020, casinos will not be able to serve food or drinks between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., with the exception of room service delivered to guest rooms and takeout.

Hotels, motor hotels, motels, and other established guesthouses may be open and should adopt and implement written policies as defined in Department of Health Protocols for Hotel Sanitization [PDF].

Recreational campgrounds, both public and private, may be open. Certain other outdoor recreational areas and businesses may operate as well, within a capacity limit of 25 individuals. These include batting cages and golf ranges, shooting and archery ranges, horseback riding, private tennis clubs, and community gardens. Refer to Executive Order 147 for all requirements.

Municipal and private-club swimming pools may be openDepartment of Health Pool Standards [PDF] must be followed, which include but are not limited to: reduced capacity, social distancing in and out of the water, staff fever screening, and maintaining a patron sign-in sheet. Prior to June 22, pool facilities have been allowed to be open for the purpose of lifeguard training and lifeguard swimming lessons. Summer camps will be able to use their pools when they reopen on July 6.

Organized sports activities may operate. Activities will be limited to sports activities conducted outside, and there can be no contact drills or activities. Department of Health Guidance for Sports Activities and regulations in EO 194 must be followed. Starting at 5 a.m. on Thursday, November 12, 2020, all interstate games and tournaments up to and including the high school level will be prohibited.

Career and training schools may be open, following protocols found in Executive Order 155.

Libraries may be open to patrons, following requirements in Paragraph 7 of Executive Order 157, including limiting capacity to 25%.

In-person clinical, lab, and hands-on programming at institutions of higher education may operate, subject to institution’s submitted restart plan.

Horse-racing can take place. Fans will not be allowed into racetrack grandstands.

Gatherings of vehicles, such as drive-in movies or religious services, are allowed, so long as all participants remain in their vehicle, all vehicles remain closed (unless the vehicles are at least 6 feet apart), organizers wear face coverings and all appropriate protective equipment, and contactless payment is offered.

Chartered-boat services, including fishing and watercraft rentals, may operate.

Transportation Carriers must comply with restrictions in Executive Order 125, which include, but aren’t limited to, allowing back door entry where possible, infection control practices, and requiring face coverings. Face coverings are required in all NJ TRANSIT and private-carrier indoor stations.

Construction projects, including nonessential construction, may operate; construction projects must follow all protocols in Paragraph 2 of Executive Order 142, including social distancing, limited sharing of tools or machinery, limited meeting size and staggered start times, all required infection control practices and sanitation, and required face coverings.

Businesses That Must Be Closed

Adult Day Care Centers remain closed.

Other Information

Gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, are allowed at limited capacities and also subject to all other current business closures and restrictions. Indoor gatherings are permitted at 25% of a room’s capacity or 25 persons, whichever is lower; an exception exists for weddings, funerals, and memorial services, and religious and political activities protected under the First Amendment, which are limited to 25% of a room’s capacity or 150 persons, whichever is lower. Attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay 6 feet apart. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 500 persons, with an exception allowing no limits for First Amendment-protected outdoor activity, including political protests or outdoor religious services. (The CDC defines gatherings to include conferences, large meetings, parties, festivals, events, weddings, and other types of assemblies.)

Manufacturing, industrial, logistics, ports, shipping, food production, food delivery, and other commercial operations may continue to operate; manufacturing, warehouses, and other commercial buildings must follow protocols as described in Paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 of Executive Order 122, including immediate separation of workers with COVID-19 symptoms, notification of any workers exposed to COVID-19, limited group size and staggered start times, all required infection control practices and sanitation, and required face coverings.

Marine terminals in the Port of New York and New Jersey are open and fully operational. For additional information and updates, please check the Port of NY & NJ website as well as register for Port e-alerts, log into the Port Truck Pass portal, or subscribe to the Breaking Waves newsletter.

Medical facilities may continue to operate. Medical facilities include any facility where a sick or injured person is given care or treatment, such as: doctor’s offices, hospitals, dentist offices, long-term care facilities, and other medical offices. Facilities conducting elective services are required to comply with Guidance for Hospitals to Resume Elective Services [PDF] and Guidance for Ambulatory Surgery Centers to Resume Elective Services [PDF]. Further NJDOH Legal and Regulatory Compliance documentation is available from the department as well.

Governor Murphy also signed Executive Order 108, which invalidates any county or municipal restrictions that conflict with Executive Order 107. The only exceptions are: 1) short-term rentals and online marketplaces offering lodging; 2) municipal or county parks; 3) beaches and boardwalks.

If any business is violating the required guidelines, you can report it to the State at covid19.nj.gov/violation, or to your Local Health Department, which you can identify with the Find Your Local Health Department tool.

Personal Protective Equipment Access Program – Application for Grant Funding Available

The New Jersey Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Access Program is a public-private partnership that helps businesses and non-profits protect the health and safety of their employees and customers. Through the program, all NJ-based businesses and non-profits are eligible for 10% discounts on PPE purchases made through approved online retailers, including Boxed, Staples, and Office Depot.

Visit the program website to get started: https://covid19.nj.gov/ppeaccess.

Organizations with 100 or fewer employees can apply for grant funding for an additional 25% off products purchased through the approved online vendors. These additional 25% discounts are capped at $20.4M for the entire program and $400 to $500 per organization (depending on your company’s location).

Applications for the additional 25% off will open on the program website on Tuesday, November 10th at 9 a.m. ET and are subject to available funds. A walk through of the application can be viewed here.

All organizations can also utilize a free online PPE planning tool to estimate how much PPE they will need in the coming months.

If you are interested in becoming an approved online retailer, or are a NJ-based PPE manufacturer or wholesaler, see the program website for more information on how you can participate: https://covid19.nj.gov/ppeaccess.

Updated: November 9, 2020

Source: NJEDA

Link to the NJ COVID 19 Business Portal:

https://faq.business.nj.gov/en/collections/2198378-information-for-nj-businesses-on-the-coronavirus-outbreak

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Protect New Jersey’s Workforce During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Workplace health and safety standards to cover all NJ workers

The executive order will require both private and public sector employers to follow health and safety protocols that will serve to protect their in-person workforces.  The Order mandates that as of 6:00 a.m. on November 5th, all employers, at minimum, require individuals at the worksite to maintain at least six feet of distance from others to the maximum extent possible and require employees and visitors to wear masks when entering the worksite, subject to certain limited exceptions.

Other protocols require employers to:

  • Provide approved sanitization materials to employees and visitors at no cost to those individuals;
  • Ensure that employees practice hand hygiene and provide sufficient break time for that purpose;
  • Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines;
  • Conduct daily health checks, such as temperature screenings, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists, and/or health questionnaires, prior to each shift, consistent with CDC guidance;
  • Exclude sick employees from the workplace and follow requirements of applicable leave laws; and
  • Promptly notify employees of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite.

Collaborative enforcement mechanism to address complaints

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) will support the Department of Health’s efforts to address worker complaints from their employers. NJDOL’s roles will include establishing an intake form on the NJDOL website to receive complaints and developing an investigation and inspection protocol to review complaints.

Updated Quarantine Advisory Issued for Individuals Traveling to New Jersey

41 States and Territories Include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming

New Jersey Highly Discourages, to the Extent Practical, Non-Essential Interstate Travel Given Increased Spread of the Virus Nationwide

Property Tax Reimbursement Deadline Pushed back to 12/31/2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for the Property Tax Reimbursement has been pushed back to 12/31/2020.

 

At this time, we are still helping fill out forms over the phone, as we our offices are closed to the public. Please give us a call at: Washington Township (856) 232-6700 or Laurel Springs (856) 401-3073.

$100 Million in Federal Funds to Help Restaurants, Small Businesses & Families

Today, Governor Murphy announced $100 million dollars from the federal CARES Act, will be go to help small businesses and residents of New Jersey.  $70 million will go to restaurants and other small businesses, which have been financially hurt due to the pandemic.  $10 million will go to help small businesses purchase PPE and $15 million will assist renters through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.   Also, $5 million will aid food banks.  For more information about the announcement, please find the press release below:
 
10/13/2020
Funding Will Support Grants for Restaurants and Micro-Businesses, Reduced-Price PPE for Small Companies, Rent Relief for Tenants, and Food Insecurity

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy, Lieutenant Governor Oliver, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, and Congressman Tom Malinowski today announced $100 million in additional Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support New Jersey residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bulk of the money, $70 million, will be distributed to restaurants, microbusinesses, and other small businesses through Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program; an additional $10 million will be used to help small businesses purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through the NJEDA Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program; $15 million will go to support renters through the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program; and $5 million will support food banks and other hunger relief efforts. 


“Small businesses and the people they employ are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy, yet they have borne a disproportionate share of the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic,”
 said Governor Murphy. “If we are to emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient than we were before, it is incumbent on us to support them in any way possible. This additional funding helps us accomplish that goal.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating economic impact on many vulnerable New Jersey families and keeping a roof over their heads is our top priority,” said 
Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “The additional support we are providing will extend relief to tenants so they can focus their limited resources on staying safe and secure.”   

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and critical to the vitality and quality of life in our downtowns,” 
said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “This $100 million aid package funded out of the federal CARES Act will help ensure the survival of thousands of small businesses, particularly the many restaurants that have had a hard time staying afloat even with outdoor dining and are now facing an uncertain winter. Our economic recovery depends on the ability of our small businesses to survive until an effective treatment and cure for the coronavirus can be found. Today marks an important step forward, but I know the Governor and Assembly Speaker join me in saying we need Washington to step up now with another stimulus package to keep us from sliding further into recession.”

“Small businesses are an economic driver for our state and they need every bit of support we can provide,” 
said Assembly Speaker Coughlin. “As we continue our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, this infusion of funding is critical. It protects jobs and our working families. Together, we will get through this.”

“I want to commend our state leaders for working together to get the federal coronavirus relief dollars we passed last spring into the hands of those who need it most,” 
said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.  “This $100 million fund announced today by the Governor and our legislative leaders comes from the money we in Congress included in the CARES Act to help combat the economic fallout of this pandemic.  The federal money will help struggling New Jersey small businesses stay open, help them get the personal protective gear they need to keep employees and customers safe, and provide additional rental and food assistance to residents who need it most.”

“Small businesses and workers across New Jersey have sacrificed so much to help keep our communities safe as we continue to fight this pandemic,” 
said Congressman Tom Malinowski. “The funding announced today from the CARES Act will help businesses survive and families stay in their homes. I will continue fighting in Congress to provide the relief our state and local governments need to provide these services.”

“Supporting small businesses is vital to ensuring New Jersey’s economy withstands the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and is well-positioned for a strong recovery. The Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program and the PPE Access Program are powerful tools that will help thousands of business owners and employees face the challenges the pandemic has created,” 
said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Governor Murphy’s strong leadership throughout this outbreak and commitment to supporting these critical programs will provide immediate relief to the business owners and workers who need it most while continuing our progress toward a stronger, fairer recovery.”

“The coronavirus outbreak has exacerbated existing hunger issues and has created new struggles for families who have lost jobs and wages,” 
said NJ Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher. “New Jersey’s food banks, pantries, and soup kitchens will use this additional funding to help expand their capacity for these continually increase demands.”

Launched in early April, the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program provides grants to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. To date, over 19,000 small businesses have benefitted from the program.


Phase 3 of the Grant Program expands eligibility to any business with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) and increases the amount of funding businesses can receive. To ensure funds flow to businesses that need them most, Phase 3 includes set-asides for grants to restaurants and micro-businesses. $35 million will be dedicated to support businesses classified as “Food Services and Drinking Places” under NAICS code 722 and $15 million will be directed to support “micro-businesses” that have five or fewer employees. The remaining $20 million will be available to support any eligible business.


In line with Governor Murphy’s commitment to a stronger, fairer recovery, one third of each of these pools of will be directed to support entities that are located in census tracts that were eligible to be selected as a New Jersey Opportunity Zone.


The Administration is also providing $10 million of additional CARES Act funding to support the Authority’s Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program. Launching in late October, this program will utilize an innovative public-private partnership model to enable businesses with 100 employees or fewer to receive grants in the form of automatic discounts on PPE purchased through NJEDA-approved “Designated Vendors”.


The Administration will also provide $15 million more in rent relief for New Jersey tenants through the DCA’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This program reduces the burden renters face by paying landlords directly for up to six months. The funding announced today will cover rent incurred from August 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020. Payments per household will depend on a variety of factors such as location, rental market, family size, and average per household income.  


The remaining $5 million will be used to provide relief for New Jersey residentsfacing food insecurity. These funds will build off of the $20 million announced in July that the Department of Agriculture (NJDA) used to support Emergency Feeding Organizations, which have been supporting food banks, food pantries, hunger relief centers, and soup kitchens that provide food to those in need.


The $100 million announced today will supplement the $115 million in CARES Act funds already allocated for economic development and re-employment programs and the $100 million allocated for housing assistance programs. On Friday, the Department of Human Services announced its new Housing Assistance Program, which will use $12 million from the CARES Act to provide rental or mortgage assistance payments on behalf of eligible households that have suffered a financial hardship due to COVID-19. More information on that program is available 
here.