Coronavirus outbreak concerns wreak havoc on the economy

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The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the health and wealth of many Americans.

The economy is taking a hit as consumers thinking about social distancing start to reconsider traveling, dining out and going out in public. But CPA Joe Petrucelli says that there isn’t any reason to panic.

"It might be a little bit rough ride like it's been in the past,” he says. “But every time we have a catastrophic event, the American people are resilient. You just ride it out."

But in the short term, many Americans facing a loss of revenue - some without access to sick leave – are concerned about making scheduled payments. Credit card companies like American Express say that the company is ready to assist customers having financial difficulties from the effects of the outbreak.

Photos: The Impact of Coronavirus Around the World


Discover says in part, "Discover customers may receive assistance that can include support related to payment timing, fees and late payments."

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Gov. Phil Murphy addressed New Jersey’s small businesses during a news conference Friday afternoon.

"We're going to continually do everything we can to stay on top of this,” Murphy said. “And there's no question as well that the federal government is going to need to play a role here."

SCHOOL CLOSINGS: A list of area schools, universities, facilities and events closed amid COVID-19 outbreak

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The recent stock market upheaval has many worried about their retirement savings and a possible cash crunch.

"Look at what you're spending. Maybe you need to tighten the belt a little bit to make up for it if you're older,” Petrucelli says. “This is more for the people that are in their 60s and 70s that are going to start needing to draw down. If you're not drawing down on your 401(K) in the relative near term, you really don't want to be selling."

Petrucelli also says when it comes to the volatile stock market, “Just think of every crash that's happened, the market has always wound up in a higher place."

Petrucelli advises New Jerseyans to buy necessities and work with family members to share financial resources until the economy rebounds.

President Donald Trump announced Friday that he waived interest on federally held student loans.

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