Though non-essential retail is permitted to open for curbside pickup in most places around New Jersey per an executive order issued last week by Gov. Phil Murphy, folks in Newark have another gatekeeper to pass.
Mayor Ras Baraka issued a comprehensive list of requirements for non-essential retail businesses in his city to meet in order to open on Wednesday.
Applications for non-essential retail businesses to reopen are now available and can be submitted immediately, either online or via a printed form.
Newark has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, sustaining 7,059 positive cases and 569 deaths as of Tuesday.
During a press conference on Newark’s reopening on May 22, Baraka stated businesses will need to apply for a reopening permit in order for the city to issue a color-coded safety-level certificate required to open again. Reopening requirements were determined by the Newark Reopening and Recovery Strikeforce as part of Baraka’s phased reopening and recovery strategy.
“The needs of municipalities vary in New Jersey due to the infrastructure, economic and racial makeup of residents,” Baraka said in a prepared statement. “My top priority as the mayor of Newark is to protect the lives of our people. This is why our Reopening and Recovery Strikeforce is creating our own data-driven requirements and best practices for reopening businesses.”
Curbside and in-store pickup guidelines require mandatory physical distancing, protective equipment, hygiene and cleaning, communications and employee screening, plus recommended best practices that follow recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are included with the application.
Applications can be submitted multiple ways: Online through Newark’s website or COVID-19 portal; by downloading the application from the website and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org; downloading and dropping off a completed application to Department of Economic Housing and Development in City Hall at 920 Broad St., Room 218; or getting a hard copy from Invest Newark or one of the BID/SID offices.
All non-essential retail businesses are required to complete an application prior to reopening. City of Newark health, taxation and economic development officials will review applications for compliance and within 72 hours notify the applicant on its status.
Upon approval, a city representative will arrange an inspection of the business within 24 hours.
When a business passes the inspection, it will be granted a red, yellow, or green certificate to post at its entrance and be granted approval to reopen once the date is determined according to the reopening phases announced by New Jersey and the City of Newark. Applicants whose businesses are disapproved or if the business fails the inspection may modify business protocols and resubmit the application.