Report: Murphy Says, “If We Have to Shut the Whole Place Down, We Will”

VIA YAHOO FINANCE – NJ – Governor Phil Murphy has been toying with the idea of a second business shut down for the past few days and today, in an interview with Yahoo! Finance, the Governor made his stance on the matter very clear.  If he has to shut the state down again, he absolutely will.

“We’re not there yet, but all options are on the table,” he said in the interview. “If we have to shut the whole place down we will. We were one of the first, if not the first state to do that in March. I just hope we can avoid it again this time.”

Businesses in New Jersey are struggling and another round of closures could mean their certain demise.  Restaurants are now operating at 20% and as the cold winter approaches, the prospect of outdoor dining which carried them through the summer and fall is grim considering the harsh, wet and cold New Jersey winters.

“Sadly, current estimates suggest 30 percent of restaurants that make up the culture and personality of our state will close,” said Marilou Halvorsen, president of the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Assoiciaation, “Hit even harder, are our state’s largest wedding venues. Their complete closure has led to a ripple effect in the industry, where professionals like photographers, videographers, florists, and musicians, to name a few, are all out of work,” she added.

In late June, the governor indefinitely reversed the opening of indoor dining a few days before it was to happen. This surprising shift has resulted in heightened emotional and financial hardships for all, especially now that the midway point of summer has passed – this industry’s most robust time for partial economic recovery.  Restaurants who overstocked for the July 4th weekend were left with tens of thousands of dollars of inventory they could not sell.  Last week, the governor vetoed a bill that would have assisted those businesses.