A third of small businesses in New Jersey have closed down in 2020, according to a report from The Star-Ledger newspaper.
“It’s really bad… And without federal dollars coming into New Jersey, the Main Street stores and other establishments are not gonna make it through the winter.” said Eileen Kean, the state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.
Harvard-based data project TrackTheRecovery.org estimated that 31 percent of businesses have closed down so far as of Nov. 9. This number is just above the national average estimated by the website. The New Jersey Business & Industry Association reported similar numbers, estimating 28 percent of businesses had closed down by October.
The newspaper notes that despite the holiday shopping season, business leaders are still concerned that the trend could get worse as stimulus talks stall on Capitol Hill.
New Jersey, like most of the U.S., is currently experiencing a surge of new cases. Over 329,000 cases and nearly 17,000 deaths have been reported. On Nov. 21, New Jersey recorded 4,669 cases, the most it has ever reported in a single day.
Last week New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was harassed by hecklers who shouted at him while he and his family ate at an outdoor restaurant. Speaking to "CBS This Morning," Murphy said he understood “the overwhelming amount of stress."
"The stress levels are exceptionally high. You’ve lost a job, you’ve lost a business, you’ve lost a loved one. I can’t blame folks for being stressful," said Murphy.
Many experts have warned that action must be made soon as benefits related to the CARES Act are expected to expire at the end of the year. This includes expanded unemployment benefits as well as the moratorium on evictions.