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One-Third of NJ’s Small Businesses Permanently Closed Because of COVID Lockdown

'The Main Street stores and other establishments are not gonna make it through the winter...'

Nearly one third of all small businesses in New Jersey have permanently closed this year due to coronavirus restrictions.

Harvard-based data project TrackTheRecovery.org estimates that 31% of businesses in the state have closed down as of Nov. 9.

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association reported similar figures, estimating that 28% of the state’s businesses had closed their doors for good by October.

“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,” Eileen Kean, the state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, told the Star-Ledger.

New York is facing a similar crisis, according to the New York Post.

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“It’s devastating how many restaurants have shuttered and jobs have been lost, Andrew Rigie, executive director of NYC Hospitality Alliances, which represents bars, restaurants, and clubs in New York City, said. “And with the infection rate rising and the looming threat of indoor dining closing again, many more will close unless the government provides adequate support to these small businesses.”

Both states have some of the strictest coronavirus restrictions in the country.

Nearly 50% of all businesses in each state were forcibly closed when the shutdown began in March, and most have not been allowed to reopen their doors.

Restaurants are currently not allowed to have indoor dining in New Jersey, and every other business must limit their guest capacity.

After New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced heightened restrictions last week, he was swarmed by protesters after they discovered he was dining at an outdoor restaurant.

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Murphy claimed that he “understood” their frustration.

“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,” he said.

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