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Breaking News for the Business Community

BREAKING NEWS FOR THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY

October 28, 2020
Passaic County, New Jersey
 


What workplace health and safety standards must all employers follow? 
Written by Business.NJ.gov Team
 
On October 28, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 192 to standardize operational requirements and ensure that all workers are adequately protected. The new requirements will go into effect at 6 a.m. on November 5, 2020. Businesses will be expected to follow these standardized guidelines as well as industry specific guidelines.
 
After November 5, 2020, employees will be able to report any businesses that are not following the protocols outlined in Executive Order 192 - additional information regarding these reporting processes will be released by the Department of Labor, and will be available here.
 
As of 6 a.m. on November 5, 2020, every business, non-profit, or governmental and educational entity that requires or permits its workforce to be physically present at a worksite must abide by the following requirements, at minimum, to protect employees, customers, and others who come into contact with its operations:
 
  • Require workers and customers to maintain at least six feet of distance from one another, to the maximum extent possible;
  • Require everyone to wear face masks, except when an employee is at their workstation at least six feet from others, or is alone in a walled space such as an office - Note: employers may be authorized to prevent individuals who refuse to wear a mask from entering the worksite, where such actions are consistent with state and federal law;
  • Provide face masks for their employees;
  • Provide approved sanitization materials for employees and visitors at no cost to those individuals;
  • Ensure that employees practice hand hygiene and provide employees with sufficient break time for that purpose;
  • Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines;
  • Prior to each shift, conduct daily health checks, such as temperature screenings, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists, and/or health questionnaires, consistent with CDC guidance;
  • Do not allow sick employees to enter workplace and follow requirements of applicable leave laws; and
  • Promptly notify employees of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite.
 
In addition, under federal OSHA law, employers must protect workers from workplace hazards that can cause illness or injury, provide required personal protective equipment (PPE), and ensure its use. It's also against NJ Wage and Hour law for an employer to deduct the cost of protective equipment from your pay.
 
Detailed requirements and exemptions can be found in Executive Order 192. Many sectors face additional requirements, summarized in the articles below.
 
Updated: October 28, 2020



NJEDA Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program – Phase 3!

Phase 3 Program Overview and Eligibility
NJEDA will award a total of $70 million in federal CARES Act funding to small businesses. Any business or nonprofit located in New Jersey, including home-based businesses, with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) is eligible to receive grant funding during Phase 3. Businesses that received funding in previous phases of the program are eligible to receive Phase 3 funding.
 
Grant awards will be calculated based on the number of FTEs businesses employ.
 
  • Micro-businesses with five or fewer FTEs and sole proprietorships will receive $5,000
  • Businesses with six to 25 FTEs will receive $10,000
  • Businesses with 26 to 50 FTEs will receive $15,000
 
For businesses that are classified as “Food Services and Drinking Places” (NAICS code 722) ONLY:
 
  • Businesses in this classification with five or fewer employees will receive $10,00
  • Businesses with six to 25 FTEs will receive $15,000
  • Businesses with 26 to 50 FTEs will receive $20,000
 
Your organization may use Phase 3 grant funding to…
 
Reimburse revenue lost as a result of a business interruption caused by COVID-19. Businesses may not use the funding for capital expenses.
 
Funding Allocation
NJEDA is targeting Phase 3 grants to restaurants, micro-businesses, and businesses in census tracts that were eligible to be designated as Opportunity Zones. $35 million of funding will be dedicated to support businesses classified as “Food Services and Drinking Places” under NAICS code 722 and $15 million will be directed to support “micro-businesses” that have five or fewer FTEs. The remaining $20 million will be available to support any eligible business.
 
In line with Governor Murphy’s commitment to a stronger, fairer recovery, 33 percent of each of these pools of funding ($11.55 million of the “Food Services and Drinking Places” funding, $4.95 million of the Micro-businesses funding, and $6.6 million of the other small businesses funding) will be directed to businesses located in one of the 715 census tracts that were eligible to be selected as a New Jersey Opportunity Zone[This census tract map is provided as a courtesy and for informational purposes only. The link directs you to a site not hosted by the State. Although the data used by that website may have been provided by NJEDA as a courtesy to the public, the State and NJEDA are not responsible for and make no representation with regard to any information or content on that website. The State and NJEDA may use the same software and information to review grant applications but reserves the right to use any other appropriate software and/or information to determine the location of an application in relation to Opportunity Zone eligible census tracts.]
 
Mandatory Pre-Registration and Application Periods
Interested business owners will need to pre-register to receive an application. Pre-registration will begin on Monday, October 19th and will close on Tuesday, October 27th. The application will be available via a phased approach following the end of the pre-registration period, as detailed below. Applicants must complete the full application to be considered for grant funding.
 
Phase 3 of the Grant Program will likely be oversubscribed. To streamline the application process, the Authority is requiring all applicants to pre-register online. Applications will become available on a rolling basis following the pre-registration period. Pre-registered applicants will need to return to complete an application based on the following schedule:
 
  • Restaurants – 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 29, 2020
  • Micro businesses – 9:00 a.m. on Friday, October 30, 2020
  • All other businesses, excluding restaurants and micro businesses – 9:00 am on Monday, November 2, 2020
 
Applications for each category will be open for a period of one week will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
 


NJEDA Launches Free Consulting Program for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
 
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has announced the Business Consulting for COVID-19 Recovery Program, a free consulting program to help small businesses address the challenges they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for a strong long-term recovery. The program is open to all businesses with five or fewer employees that maintain a physical storefront or office in one of New Jersey’s Opportunity Zones. Currently in the pilot phase, the NJEDA anticipates expanding the program soon to accommodate more businesses.
 
Business owners interested in participating in the program should complete the intake form at http://forms.business.nj.gov/covid-recovery-consulting/. After submitting the form, an NJEDA representative will be in touch to provide more information on the next steps in the sign-up process. Business owners that need language assistance should send their name, spoken language, and telephone number to languagehelp@njeda.com.
 
The Business Consulting for COVID-19 Recovery program will provide businesses with free access to expert advisory services and staff support to assist them in overcoming their current challenges and preparing for long-term success. Through partnerships with the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (SHCCNJ), the NJEDA will provide up to 25 hours of free, one-on-one coaching and support implementing solutions to help make businesses more profitable while complying with public health protections the State has instituted to slow the spread of COVID-19. Participating businesses will receive advice and assistance in securing grants and loans, adapting their business models to current needs, crafting long-term business strategies, evaluating their financial health, and improving accounting and bookkeeping systems, as well as many other topics that can help them build a stronger, more sustainable business.
 
Depending on a business’s specific needs, the AACCNJ and SHCCNJ will connect them with one of five specialized subcontractors: Main Street Advisory LLC, Dina Gonzalez, Ospino Consulting, GG CPA Services, or Greenberg and Associates.
 
During the pilot phase, eligibility for the program is limited to businesses with five or fewer employees that maintain a physical storefront or office space in one of New Jersey’s 169 Opportunity Zones. Businesses interested in this opportunity should complete the NJEDA’s intake form. Applicants will be connected with consultants on a first-come, first-served basis, so any interested business should complete the form as soon as possible. The NJEDA anticipates expanding eligibility for the program soon.
 
The NJEDA administers a variety of programs providing support for larger businesses impacted by COVID-19. More information about these programs and other State support is available at https://covid19.nj.gov.
 
To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses call NJEDA Customer Care at 609-858-6767 or visit https://www.njeda.com and follow @NewJerseyEDA on FacebookTwitter, Instagram,and LinkedIn.



BAC
We have an updated updated link for the NJ Business Action Center and the launch of the state's new business portal at business.nj.gov.

The following links provide updates to policies and guidelines, safety recommendations, and business resources.

Quick Resources
 
Federal Resources
 
Additional Resources
 
Source: Melanie Willoughby
Executive Director, NJBAC



Introduction to the NJ Business Action Center (NJBAC) and New Business Friendly Website Launches, Including Live Chat for Help with Business Questions
The New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC is a business advocacy agency within the New Jersey Department of State dedicated to solving problems and maximizing business growth opportunities. And, during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been regularly helping companies with locating PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), understanding the state benefit programs for employees, finding possible financial options for employers and answering many COVID-19 related protocol questions. They have set up a special COVID-19 website that you can access at https://cv.business.nj.gov, which features a live chat staffed by our experts.
 
The NJBAC is also a business-first resource that can help you get answers from government agencies, direct you to appropriate officials or contacts, and facilitate meetings and follow-ups with regulatory agencies, all at no cost and strictly confidential. about any challenges you and your business are facing as you move forward towards recovery during these difficult economic times.  
 
New Website Launch
 
The new website that will act as a one-stop shop for the information you need to do business in New Jersey. Complete with a live chat feature, which is staffed by the business experts at the NJ Business Action Center, the new site has information for business start-ups, business expansions and a rich library of content and FAQs to aid across all types of operations. The site also features a section on COVID-19 business information to keep you up-to-date on the state policies and protocols. The site also features a section on COVID-19 business information to keep you up-to-date on the state policies and protocols.
 
Visit Here: https://business.nj.gov