Coalition of legislators, business leaders launch effort to “unlock” N.J. economy

MORRISTOWN, N.J. – A group of 30 small business owners and a gaggle of North Jersey Republican politicians wants to “unlock” New Jersey, something which they define as developing and implementing an actual plan to reopen the Garden State’s largely-shuttered economy.

The Morris County-based businesses want to take their push statewide. They’re joined by Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-26), Assemblyman Brian Bergen (R-25), Morris County Freeholder Stephen Shaw, and NJ-11 presumptive GOP nominee Rosemary Becchi. The coalition officially launched its digital effort on Monday. 

“If we wait any longer, there will be nothing left for our communities to reopen,” said Rose City Jewelers Owner Joseph Falco whose business is based in Madison.

Their site – www.unlocknewjersey.com – includes a petition; it also asks participants to send keys (digital or real) to Governor Murphy. It also says the time is now for “massive action” ahead of the summer season.

“Small Businesses in New Jersey are failing and will never survive the COVID19 crisis due to the restrictions under Governor Phil Murphy’s lockdown orders,” the Unlock site explains. “We are urging the Governor to unlock the economy through a responsible, expedited and decisive plan we have proposed. With summer quickly approaching and many people experiencing economic devastation, the time is now for massive action.”

Governor Murphy eased restrictions on some summer-related industries last week including charter fishing, but he’s thus far refused to reveal a large-scale plan like the governors of neighborhing states already have.

New Jersey has lost almost 1.1 million jobs since mid-March due to COVID-19 lockdown measures.