If Gov. Phil Murphy doesn’t reopen Cape May County businesses soon, the effect on the economy could be devastating, the Democratic county chairman says.
“The calendar is not our friend. Cape May County’s economy is largely seasonal, countless people depend exclusively on the summer season to make a living,” said Brendan Sciarra, the top Democrat in Cape May. “Memorial Day has come and gone and the window to survive the winter months is getting smaller and smaller.”
Sciarra praised Murphy for flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19, and he credits the governor for two-week trends resulting in lower hospitalizations and ventilator use.
“I understand the daunting challenge of balancing the public health with economic survival,” he said. “Restaurant owners, retailers, and their employees are dedicated hard working citizens standing ready to be responsible stewards of the public health equipped to socially distance and will do a great job following guidelines to protect the health and safety of their customers.”
Now Sciarra wants Murphy to allow small businesses to allow small businesses to reopen and be treated the same as large corporate retailers.
“As a responsible small business owner, I understood the measures that were taken such as the statewide stay-at-home order and closure of all non-essential retail businesses but over two months later frustration throughout Cape May County is at an all-time high,” Sciarra said. “For instance, Walmart’s non-essential items aren’t roped off, they’ve continued selling beach chairs, toys, and sunblock during this entire crisis.”
Sciarra wants to know why mega retailers “get to flout the rules while law abiding mom and pop store owners are left to go out of business?”
“If Walmart can continue to sell non-essential items main street should be allowed to operate as well under a ‘new normal’ of masks, gloves, and social distancing guidelines,” Sciarra stated. “Corporate America is posting double digit profits. The least we can do is give main street a chance at to survive.”
Sciarra is the second South Jersey Democratic leader today to push Murphy to reopen the region’s tourism.
This morning, Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman, called on Murphy to develop a plan to reopen Atlantic City’s casinos in time for the July 4th weekend.