Coronavirus Update for New Jersey Businesses 5.22.2020

Posted: Friday, May 22, 2020

Today's News for New Jersey Business:
Memorial Day Weekend forecast calls for social distancing. State Unemployment rate hits 15.3%, the highest on record. Voluntary furloughs for public workers are an alternative to layoffs.

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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 Memorial Day Weekend Guide to the Jersey Shore - What restrictions are in place at the Jersey Shore? It's different in every town. Here’s a guide so you know before you go. (

The Forecast Calls for Social Distancing - Shore town mayors predict Memorial Day crowds will maintain social distancing. Local officials pledge to keep people safe as towns seek to rebound from two months of restrictions. (NJ Spotlight)

State Unemployment Rate Hits Record High - New Jersey unemployment rate soared to 15.3% in April as the pandemic slammed the labor market. It is the state’s highest unemployment rate since record keeping began in 1976, the state labor commissioner said, and exceeded the national rate, which hit 14.7% in April. (

Voluntary Furloughs of Public Employees Are an Option - The Murphy administration announced policy changes that would allow New Jersey government workers to take voluntary furloughs to avert layoffs as state tax collections plummet. The governor, whose administration has lowered its revenue projections over this year and next by $10 billion, has warned of “historic” layoffs of public workers at all levels of government if the state does not borrow big sums or receive more aid from the federal government. (

Legislation in Trenton - See our roundup of coronavirus-related legislation advancing in Trenton, and where the N.J. Chamber of Commerce’s lobbying department stands on them.

New State Grants for Small Businesses - The New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s new $50 million small business grant program will provide grants of up to $10,000 to qualified businesses, and set aside $15 million of the grants for firms located in Opportunity Zones. More details are expected later today. (ROI-NJ)

Are Farms New Jersey's Next Hot Spot? - Two South Jersey seasonal farm workers died after contracting COVID-19, the state Health Department confirmed Thursday night. In the coming weeks, the migrant population will increase dramatically when workers start arriving to pick blueberries, predominantly in Atlantic County. (NJ Spotlight)

The State Issues Guidelines for Farm Workers – Guidelines for working, housing and transportation for thousands of New Jersey’s seasonal farm workers were issued by the state Thursday to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

VA Medics Expanding Their Mission - Medics from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will remain at state veterans homes through June, and 40 additional clinical staff from the VA will be deployed to private nursing homes, as the novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of thousands of elderly New Jerseyans, Gov. Murphy announced Thursday. (

Tell the State What You Think - The state is requesting your input to better understand how to help businesses get back to work safely and productively. By filling out this online survey about your operations, you will help guide the state’s reopening strategy and upcoming business assistance opportunities.

Get Counted – New Jersey residents can respond to the 2020 Census to ensure the state gets its fair share of federal funding. The Census provides valuable data for businesses, including population trends, growth projections and demographic information. Spread the word! Respond to the Census.

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

Total Deaths Reported: 10,843, up from 10,747 yesterday.

Total Positive COVID-19 Tests Reported: 151,472, up from 150,399 yesterday.

For data on hospitalizations and discharges, click here.


For the U.S. Chamber's return-to-work playbook for employers, click here.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's report on reopening and preparing workplaces for COVID-19.

For information on applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, click here.

The U.S. Chamber's guide to applying for loan forgiveness under the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

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 N.J. Economic Development Authority is offering assistance programs for New Jersey businesses. Information and applications can be found here.

The IRS posted information on 'stimulus checks' 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.

Have Questions about the Status of an Unemployment Claim? - You can send a message to the state Labor Department through its website – Then follow these instructions:

· On the top of the page, scroll to the right for “Need Help” and unveil the drop-down menu
· Choose Send an Email
· Choose Email: Submit a message through the new online form.
· Follow the prompts

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

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.

We welcome your sharing of the information in this newsletter with your members via email, your website or on social media. If you do, please credit the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce with a link to