Middletown, NJ – The bottom line is, right now, in New Jersey small business owners are being treated equally with prostitutes. Both trades are currently illegal and punishable by law. Operating a small business and being a prostitute both carry jail times and fines if you get caught soliciting customers. If you get caught soliciting sex in New Jersey, you can face up to six months in jail. If you get caught operating a small retail store, a gym, a barbershop, hobby store, vape shop or restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic you can also face six months in jail.
If you’re caught engaging in prostitution in New Jersey, you could also get a $1,000 fine. If you’re caught violating Phil Murphy’s executive order banning most small business in New Jersey, you can also get a $1,000 fine. You can also lose your liquor license and associated business license, you will also be shut down and you’ll continue being charged rent for your business lease, business insurance and you’re probably still paying for your unemployed workers through your new, higher unemployment insurance bill. Cops will probably drive past your business every day making sure you don’t reopen. The long term negative financial effect from operating your business could eventually put you out of business. Not operating your business could also put you out of business.
The prostitute goes home and can be back on the street in another neighborhood or another town the next day. Bail reform ensures the prostitute’s business shutdown isn’t more than 48 hours, because the prostitute won’t score high on the risk-assessment that will have him or her out of jail before you know it. The prostitute will never be out of business.
That’s just right now. Things could get worse for the small business owner. A bill has been proposed in the New Jersey Assembly by Ocean County assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano that would increase fines from $1,000 to $10,000 for small businesses who defy “Murphy’s Law”, but the fine for prostitution will remain at $1,000. In one New Jersey town, Jackson Township, Mayor Michael Reina and his council recently even adopted a resolution calling for increased fines in support of the McGuckin-Catalano COVID-19 increased punishment bill.
The reality in New Jersey right now, the most secure profession to be in is that of the politician. McGuckin holds almost 30 public jobs, all of which are deemed essential under the laws he and Phil Murphy create in Trenton.