Coronavirus Update for New Jersey Businesses 4.16.2020

Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2020

Today's Coronavirus News for New Jersey Business:
A new test for COVID-19 from Rutgers makes its debut. Murphy administration explores borrowing to get through next budget year. N.J. receives second least amount of federal health grants per diagnosed case.

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An intelligence briefing for N.J. Chamber of Commerce members on how coronavirus is impacting your business, the economy and health in New Jersey.

A New Test - A test developed at Rutgers University that can detect in saliva the presence of the virus behind COVID-19 received approval for emergency use by the FDA over the weekend and made its public debut Wednesday in Middlesex County.

The new test — far less invasive than the deep nasal or throat swab — is being hailed as a potential game changer for its scalability, quick turnaround, and the fact that it can be administered without close contact by a medical worker.

Watch this NJTV report to see how the first 300 tests were administered at a motor vehicle inspection station – with drivers pulling up, getting their kits through car windows and then handing saliva-filled tubes back to workers.

Will N.J. Borrow Against Future Sales Tax - Gov. Phil Murphy is pitching a borrowing plan to help make up for billions of dollars of lost revenue in the current and next budget amid the virus-induced lockdown. The New Jersey Covid-19 Emergency Bond Act, outlined in draft legislation seen by Bloomberg, would authorize the Murphy administration to issue general-obligation bonds and “emergency liquidity notes,” and apply for loans from the federal government. The borrowing would be repaid with revenue from the state sales tax, with a guarantee that the tax - currently 6.625% - would increase if needed. (Bloomberg)

State Sales Tax Revenue May Fall - State tax collections ticked up last month even as COVID-19 infections started to spread more rapidly across New Jersey, but state Treasury officials are warning the pandemic’s full impact on the revenue stream is likely still to come. (NJ Spotlight)

More Problems, Less Money - New York and New Jersey, with more COVID-19 cases than any other state, have received the least amount of federal health grants per diagnosed person, according to a Bloomberg Law analysis. New Jersey is receiving $898 per case, ranking it second-to-last on a per-case basis, the data show. (Bloomberg Law)

New Grants for Small Employers - The U.S. Chamber Foundation is teaming up with a coalition of companies to establish the Save Small Business Fund, and provide $5,000 grants to help small employers get through the days and weeks ahead For more info, click here.

Join our Webinar Today, April 16, at 11 a.m. - Robert Asaro-Angelo, the state labor commissioner, will discuss a hot topic: the state's unemployment insurance and other assistance programs for employers and employees. For information on joining, click here.

Record Number of State Residents Are Receiving Unemployment - Though New Jersey saw a noticeable decline in the number of new unemployment claims filed for the week ending Saturday, April 11, a record 429,388 residents are now receiving unemployment benefits, a number that is certain to rise considerably as more claims are processed, the state Labor Department reported today. Last week, 141,420 new unemployment applications were received, or about 73,000 fewer than the week before. Still, more than 718,000 workers have sought jobless benefits since mid-March, the Labor Department reported.

Atlantic City Loses Jobs - Tropicana Atlantic City has laid off 2,704 employees as the state-mandated closure of New Jersey casinos stretches into its second month. (nj.com)

The Air May Be Cleaner, But... - The clean-energy sector has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with 2,345 jobs lost in New Jersey. (NJ Spotlight)

Sad News - More than two dozen people, including two nurses, have died of the coronavirus at a nursing home in Sussex County. (nj.com)

Home Care Needs Care - Home care agencies are struggling with the need for more protective gear, workforce shortages, unexpected costs and uncertain revenues. (NJ Spotlight)

Home Watch - Wondering if New Jerseyans are following stay-home orders? Google reports that visits to retail, transit stations and workplaces are down by 45 percent or more. (NJ Spotlight)

Spending Spree - You got your stimulus check. Now what? N.J. Society of CPAs has some ideas. (ROI-NJ)


N.J. Coronavirus Cases - New Jersey Residents
(Source: N.J. Health Department)

Total Deaths: 3,156, up from 2,805 the previous day.

Confirmed Cases: 71,030, up from 68,824 the previous day.

Currently Hospitalized: 8,224, down from 8,270 the previous day.

On Ventilators: 1,645, down from 1,705 the previous day.

Percentage of State's Ventilators in Use: 56 percent.


Resources

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce webinar with Al Titone, SBA district director of New Jersey provides vital information on SBA coronavirus relief loan programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program (April 14).

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Survival Guide has a complete listing of all of the coronavirus resources for small businesses.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce put out guides to help understand the federal relief offerings for business:
The Federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL)
The Employee Retention Tax Credit
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Other federal relief programs to help small businesses include SBA Debt Relief and SBA Express Bridge Loans.

The N.J. Economic Development Authority has introduced grants, loans and other relief offerings for New Jersey businesses. Information and applications can be found here.

The state's jobs and hiring portal matches employers and candidates.
For employers to participate, click here.

New Jersey's website for information on all of the state's business resources during the pandemic.

New Jersey's website for up-to-date information about COVID-19.

To report a scammer or suspected price gouging, alert the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs at (973) 504-6240 or at http://njconsumeraffairs.gov.

The state set up a 24-hour hotline where health care professionals are answering questions about coronavirus. The toll-free number is 1-800-222-1222. From outside the state, call 1-800-962-1253.

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce is staying on top of Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments. For news media requests, please email Scott Goldstein.