Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso have blasted Governor Phil Murphy’s slow reopening of the New Jersey restaurant industry, calling the governor’s rules a “slow death” for the small businesses.
Murphy announced this afternoon that he would allow restaurants to open for outdoor dining on June 15, despite the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospital Association’s plea that they be able to open outdoors on June 5 and despite the fact that Pennsylvania and parts of New York are opening restaurants on June 5.
“This is another sad example of the Murphy Administration needlessly micromanaging and seriously damaging a key component of our economy,” said O’Scanlon. “It is devastating for these business owners. I hear from them every day. Grown men in tears. It is totally unnecessary. There is no scientific basis for New Jersey to be this far behind other states reopening safely.”
“Restaurant owners respectfully asked for a June 5 opening date in line with most of the region,” DiMaso added. “Now they are going to lose another two, precious summer weekends of business and they didn’t receive any real acknowledgement of their pleas last week. This past weekend was a perfect example of optimal outdoor dining weather. So many could have opened outdoor seating this weekend and brought in desperately needed revenue. Instead they sit waiting for scraps of guidance and acknowledgement that comes too late.”
“The Governor said he would follow a regional reopening approach. Well, our surrounding states are reopening. Pa. is opening restaurants in some capacity on June 5. Desperate business owners in places like Lambertville will get to watch from their shuttered restaurants as residents drive across the bridge to take their business out of state. This slow drip of micromanaged guidance is a slow, strangled death to our restaurants and to other economically essential small business communities. These aren’t simply statistics – though it seems they are to the Murphy Administration. These are lifetimes of work and investment and livelihoods and thousands of workers, the loss of which will crush families for years to come,” O’Scanlon concluded.