On March 18, Greater Atlantic City Chamber president, Michael Chait and 12 other speakers from the education, retail, service, tourism and child care industries took part in the town hall, hosted by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, to call upon the state to come up with a more concise plan to reopen the state’s economy.
“With lockdowns and restrictions on gatherings in effect for months, we are experiencing the most severe downturn the live event industry has ever seen,” Chait said. “In 2020, the Atlantic City Convention Center hosted only 21 events, down from 87 the year prior. The loss in total delegate spending from 2019 to 2020 is estimated at $175 million. It is a loss of more than 264,000 room nights. … And right now, hundreds of live event and hospitality employees continue to sit at home collecting limited unemployment benefits. These events are predominantly scheduled midweek during the shoulder seasons and carry our region economically.” Read more from the Press of Atlantic City.
The NJBIA also published a recap of the virtual town hall, Business Owners Want More Clarity and Logic in State Reopening Plans.
Here are some additional press hits from the event, thus far.
- NJ101.5: Murphy Administration criticized by NJ businesses for ‘random’ COVID rules
- WOBM FM: Murphy Administration criticized by NJ businesses for ‘random’ COVID rules
- NJTV: Business Report: Capacity limits, objecting to restrictions, new unemployment claims
- Cape May County Herald: NJ Business Community Calls for Strong Reopening
- New Jersey Business Today: Media Reports on Frustrated Voices from NJBC’s Town Hall
NJBIA President and CEO, Michele Siekerka provided testimony to New Jersey Senate Republicans on Friday, March 19. Her testimony was based on the work of the New Jersey Business Coalitions efforts over the past year and talking points from the Virtual Town Hall. You can hear her testimony by fastforwarding to the one hour mark of this video.