Will Provide Testing for All Employees of Local Businesses; Will Provide PPE Re-Opening Packages once Business is Tested; Will Facilitate Easy Access to Outdoor Seating for Restaurants
Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced today that the city will be taking aggressive steps to help local small businesses prepare to re-open their doors once Governor Murphy lifts restrictions. The plan includes testing for all employees of local businesses, providing each local business a re-opening package that will include PPE and sanitizer once the business is tested, and a process for restaurants to easily expand outdoor seating to offset loss of indoor seating.
â€œAfter two months of these businesses being closed, we want to do our part to make sure that local businesses have the ability to re-engage their customers and build trust. We think customers knowing that all the employees have recently tested negative and are equipped with PPEs will allow this to happen. For restaurants specifically, we want to offset any reduction that the Governor may implement with indoor restriction by allowing restaurants to have more seating outdoor,â€ Mayor Fulop said.
Over the last few weeks, leadership within the Departments of Public Safety, Health and Human Services, and Housing & Economic Development have been doing large focus group Zoom meetings with local business owners to solicit feedback and better understand the resources they will need.
In addition to testing and PPE, the city has set an easy to use application for any business looking to expand outdoor seating for their business.
â€œThis pandemic has challenged everyone in many ways, and business owners have also had the additional burden of trying to survive the pandemic in their business capacity as well,â€ said Annisia Cialone, Director of HEDC. â€œThe future of local business will not immediately return to the way it was, so weâ€™re working to help them recover and get to that point.â€
The city will provide owners and employees both COVID-19 and Antibody Testing, in addition to a safety kit which will include face coverings, gloves, and sanitizers based on the number of employees at each business.
â€œWe have been building a reserve of PPE for our employees, but after listening to local businesses say they are having challenges obtaining PPE we feel that using our supply to help local businesses is a good use of our current supply so that these businesses can open quickly,â€ said Public Safety Director James Shea.
Link for Business Re-Opening Testing
Link for Expansion if Outdoor Seating