In last week’s paper we published a short news release announcing that I had been appointed to serve on Governor Phil Murphy’s “Restart and Recovery Committee Advisory Council.” At the committee’s first meeting last Thursday it was expressed that our goal is to help our state’s residents and businesses return to normal life following the COVID-19 lockdown.
Certainly, as I am a business owner and New Jersey resident, this is a goal I care about deeply and one that I know pretty much everyone reading this paper and beyond feels passionately about.
I was selected in part because of the perception that I am reasonably well connected to a good number of small, medium and large businesses and nonprofits in our area, both within and without the Jewish community, and because I really want to contribute in a meaningful way to the reopening of our local economy. Thanks to my friend and fellow committee member, Duvi Honig, co-founder and CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce, for thinking of me for this opportunity.
At the initial virtual meeting I didn’t say much but I listened carefully as legislators and business owners from across New Jersey shared some of their concerns about the reopening process and the issues involved. Every industry has its own specific challenges with the reopening process and many businesses are incredibly stressed not only with fears that buyers and customers may not return, but they are also just as concerned about incredible amounts of unsold merchandise and goods all sitting in warehouses and store shelves that are quickly reaching expiration or sell-by dates, including many products like clothing and other near-essentials that the average person would not know had expiration dates. I learned a lot in that hour-long call.
After the meeting ended I was asked to spread the word to my contacts and our community and to gather information from local business owners and nonprofits facing unique challenges. If you have ideas or suggestions for innovative solutions or would like to raise issues that have not yet been addressed or if you are in an industry facing your own unique challenges to reopening successfully and the state of New Jersey (or local government) might be able to alleviate or help you navigate your situation, please email me at: [email protected] or [email protected]
For our New York and Connecticut readers, I’d be happy to take your suggestions and ideas as well and pass them on to the appropriate committee in your states.
By Moshe Kinderlehrer, Jewish Link Co-Publisher