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Anthony M. Bucco.

Morris Chamber report: Economy can open now

Bucco urges Murphy to act quickly

By Nikita Biryukov, May 19 2020 4:59 pm

A previous version of this article erroneously identified the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce as the organization that drafter the report. The Morris County Chamber of Commerce is the correct organization.

A report drafted by the Morris County Chamber of Commerce suggests the state’s economy can begin to reopen under a set of tiered restrictions.

Under the plan, businesses would be given a score between one and four meant to represent the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Businesses with minimal risk — the report gave furniture stores, florists and gasoline stations that ranking — would operate with stricter cleaning and disinfecting schedules and be required to post signage warning patrons about the risk of the virus, among other measures.

Car dealerships and other companies deemed to pose a moderate risk of the virus spreading would operate using staggered schedules, limit capacity to 75% and would be required to assess the need for personal protective equipment.

Businesses that pose a significant risk — this includes virtually every retail store shoppers are allowed to enter — would further reduce capacity to 50%, operate under compulsory PPE guidelines and screen employees for COVID-19 at the door.

Healthcare facilities were the only ones included in the high-risk category. Under the plan, those firms would operate under strict PPE guidelines and cleaning schedules and would require regular COVID-19 screenings.

State Sen. Tony Bucco (R-Boonton), who worked with the MCCC to draft the plan, has forwarded the report to Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and minority leaders in both chambers of the legislature.

He also sent the governor a personal plea.

“I hope you will consider its conclusions and build it into your recovery plan,” Bucco said. “We must act quickly, as too many businesses are already at or near their breaking point. The longer we delay reopening, the greater the ripple effect will be on permanent job losses, declining state income and sales tax revenues, which as you know severely impact critical funding for schools, social services and property tax relief. I urge you to move quickly”

MCCC reopening plan
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