As businesses eye their economic recovery plans coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new webinar series posted online by the New Jersey Business Action Center is meant to give employers some ideas on how to navigate the recovery.
The six-part series ran from April 20 to May 13, and included the webinars Resources for Nonprofits, Government Procurement: Making Government Your Customer, Technical Assistance Opportunities, Financial Resources, COVID Safety in the Workplace & NJDOL Resources and Lesser-Known Resources Provided by the Government.
In the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development webinar, businesses get a look at how to implement COVID-19 safety practices, for example. Or they could learn how to access state financial assistance meant to help keep businesses afloat during the pandemic.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is overseeing $85 million in relief funds and has awarded $250 million worth of grants, loans and other aid to a combined 55,000 businesses in the past year. It will oversee a $235 million pool of grant funding, which Murphy sought from the Legislature and now awaits his approval.
Other tax breaks for businesses to soften the economic blow of the pandemic are also moving the state Legislature.
“We were thrilled with the response to our virtual ‘Resources for Recovery’ series,” reads a statement from Melanie Willoughby, executive director of the NJBAC. She estimated a turnout of more than 400 New Jersey businesses.
Virtually all COVID-19 restrictions on businesses have been lifted over the past month: reduced capacity and social distancing requirements are no longer in effect for vaccinated patrons or in private offices. But those who hadn’t gotten the vaccine are generally required to still wear a face-covering indoors. And employers are asked to be accommodating for workers that still need to work from home.
Hiring shortages, nonetheless, threaten to derail or at least drag out the recovery for many businesses, especially in the restaurant, retail and hospitality sectors which make up a sizable chunk of the Jersey Shore summer tourism economy.