Home>Highlight>District 16 Republicans launch volley over small business aid bill

Former Rep. Michael Pappas.

District 16 Republicans launch volley over small business aid bill

By Nikita Biryukov, April 12 2021 4:33 pm

Republican candidates in the 16th legislative district attacked Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-South Brunswick) over his appearance at a signing ceremony for a bill dedicating $15 million in relief funds to aiding small businesses and non-profits.

“Instead of taking a victory lap over distributing a paltry amount of emergency funding a year after the fact, Assemblymen Zwicker and Freiman should have stood up for our small businesses and against the unscientific lockdown measures that have crushed our state,” Assembly candidate Vinny Panico said.

Panico and Joe Lukac are running for the district’s Assembly seats, while former Rep. Mike Pappas is challenging Zwicker for State Senate. The incumbent, State Sen. Kip Bateman (R-Branchburg), is not seeking re-election.

Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-Hillsborough) and former Montgomery Mayor Sadaf Jaffer are running with Zwicker.

The bill signed into law Monday is part of five-bill package providing $100 million in relief targeted at small businesses.

“Providing our support during this difficult time will not only allow these organizations to remain in operation, but will help preserve and create jobs while spurring the economic recovery we aim to achieve,” Zwicker, Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold) and Assemblyman Sterley Stanley (D-East Brunswick), the bill’s sponsors, said in a joint statement. “Investing in our businesses and non-profits will have a direct, beneficial impact on families throughout our state for years to come.”

For the Republicans, it’s too little too late.

“It’s been a year since the $2.4 Billion dollars of CARES Act funding has been available for distribution. I’m glad that more money is coming out, but it is unacceptable that it took so long,” Pappas said.

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