‘Glimmer of hope:’ Nonessential businesses, construction back to work

Nonessential businesses and construction are back in business today in many cases in New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy ordered all nonessential businesses to close when the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

News 12 Staff

May 18, 2020, 2:42 PM

Updated 1,523 days ago

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Nonessential businesses and construction are back in business today in many cases in New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy ordered all nonessential businesses to close when the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
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Nonessential businesses can only offer curbside pickup, and customers are still not to be allowed in the stores just yet.
But according to Issac Kramer, executive director of Metuchen's Downtown Alliance, that’s OK.
"Within about 10 seconds from the announcement, I had a call from the president of our Chamber of Commerce, who had a business owner call her, and they were so excited because even though we were very early on in this process and we want to be safe and follow all those good guidance that we've gotten, this is that glimmer of hope that we can begin this road to recovery so it's a big deal."
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It's a sound plan for businesses such as Design Studio of Somerville.
"With smaller items, it could be great for candles and small accessories lamps pillows that kind of thing, but if anyone is willing, I will put a sofa right on the curb that they can pick up with their own vehicle if they would like," says Tom Sfiso.

But unfortunately, that won't work for Beneath It All.

"I'm probably one of the more timid owners that you'll talk to simply because of the nature of my business, it's very personal," says Allison O'Neill. "We're going to try to work with the clients in a way where we can guide them through the fitting process without having to have hands-on contact. We will be wearing gloves and trying to keep everybody as safe as possible and get out of that 6-foot space as quickly as possible."

In Metuchen, clothing store Cachet Boutique faces similar difficulties with only curbside service.

"A lot of my customers still like to touch, try on, feel the fabric," says Lisa Wachter.
Construction will restart as well, but also with its share of restrictions. Workers will have to wear face coverings, work hours will be staggered, and nonessential visitors will not be allowed.
Gov. Murphy says while New Jersey isn't out of the woods yet, the numbers are moving in the right direction. Late last month, the governor allowed state and county parks, and golf courses to reopen as well.


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