The Greater Atlantic City Chamber and the New Jersey Business and Industry Association are two of more than 40 leading business associations that signed a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy and the Legislature with recommendations for a COVID-19 Legislative and Administrative Relief Package for New Jersey businesses and nonprofits.

The letter, which can be found here, explains first and foremost “that the health, welfare and safety of the people of New Jersey should be and is everyone’s priority in this unprecedented public health crisis.” The authors also thanked lawmakers for their prior legislative actions on behalf of businesses and their employees, but more relief is “needed and it is needed quickly.”

“Like us, you must be hearing from many of your constituents that the recent (state) enactments do not go far enough to help the hundreds of thousands of small businesses being impacted today,” the letter reads.

“While they are making every effort to stay in business and keep their employees on the payroll, this is an incredibly difficult task for many who have little or no revenue coming in and no cash reserves to fall back on. They need relief not only to protect their businesses, but to preserve the jobs for their employees and the State’s economy as a whole.”

Fourteen recommendations in the joint letter offer relief to New Jersey job creators without impacting state revenues. They include ideas like ensuring an employer’s unemployment insurance taxes will not increase due to uncontrollable layoffs during a public health crisis, and extending state and local permits on projects that may be delayed at this time.

There is also the recommendation of the creation of an Economic Recovery Coordinator in the Governor’s Office to streamline all fiscal relief initiatives, and the appropriate relaxation of certain rules and regulations with regard to reporting requirements and licensing.

Another 10 proposals were made for economic relief dependent on federal aid to cover new state spending or foregone state revenues. They include a short-term suspension of sales, payroll and gas tax remittance for small businesses forced to close or significantly scale back their business model.

Other recommendations include providing tax credits for businesses paying employees who cannot work, support for businesses needing to pay increased sick and federal leave costs, but are struggling to meet payroll obligations, and grants to small businesses and nonprofits that have donated and/or were required to contribute personal protective equipment supplies during this crisis.

In an Op-Ed in the Asbury Park Press today, NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka writing on behalf of the coalition said: “New Jersey small businesses and nonprofits are the heartbeat of our economy. Doing all that we can to keep them stronger now will mean a quicker recovery and a stronger economy later. We look forward to working with our policymakers to take action now.”

To read the entire Op-Ed, click here.