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South Jersey Democrat, Republican Call on Murphy to End Draconian Restrictions on Small Businesses

CAPE MAY, NJ – Cape May Democrats and Republicans are uniting together to call for reopening of business in New Jersey. Cape May County Democratic Committee Chairman Brendan Sciarra and North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello, a Republican today called for Governor Murphy to end the madness and reopen New Jersey businesses now.

“This is not about politics folks. This is about the economic collapse of the tourism industry, which is one of the largest industries in the State of New Jersey and the only industry for many parts of the State,” Rosenello said. “I have been outspoken for weeks about this issue and to have the Democratic County Chairman now publicly saying the same thing is a welcome development.”

Heading into Memorial Day weekend, Rosenello, through guidance from the Murphy administration’s guidelines declared he would set locations in his town for open public drinking.  This came after Murphy allowed retail liquor sellers the ability to serve open alcohol containers.  In response to that, Rosnello, created safe social distancing zones in his town to allow patrons to enjoy their alcohol, without bringing open containers into their vehicles.  Murphy shut that practice down quickly after it started.

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Now, Rosenello is calling on Murphy to ease restrictions as COVID-19 the COVID-19 is killing more New Jersey businesses as the pandemic wanes in the Garden State.

“The Governor got widespread support and buy-in from millions of people because we were told the shut down was to stop our health care system from being overrun. That threat not only never materialized, hospitals are now actually laying people off because they have so little business,” he said.  “The ‘curve’ that we were all supposed to be working to ‘flatten’ is now about as flat as the economic heartbeat of this State. It is time to reopen.”

Brendan Sciarra, the highest ranking Democrat in Cape May County echoed Rosenello’s sentiment.

“The Governor did a good job but with two-week trends for hospitalizations, use of ventilators, and intensive care units for patients down and the number of new reported cases in decline it’s time to begin safely reopening our county. The calendar is not our friend. Cape May County’s economy is largely seasonal, countless people depend exclusively on the summer season to make a living. Memorial Day has come and gone and the window to survive the winter months is getting smaller and smaller,” Sciarra said. “As a responsible small business owner, I understood the measures that were taken such as the statewide stay-at-home order and closure of all non-essential retail businesses but over two months later frustration throughout Cape May County is at an all-time high. For instance, Walmart’s non-essential items aren’t roped off, they’ve continued selling beach chairs, toys, and sunblock during this entire crisis. Why does Walmart, Target, and other corporate giants get to flout the rules while law abiding mom and pop store owners are left to go out of business? If Walmart can continue to sell non-essential items main street should be allowed to operate as well under a “new normal” of masks, gloves, and social distancing guidelines.”

Sciarra said Murphy’s alcohol blitz has done nothing but create a law enforcement nightmare for towns at the Jersey Shore.  Murphy’s mixed-drink cocktail law has sent customers into the streets, using sidewalks as barstools, Sciarra said.

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“I call on the Governor to allow outdoor seating and reopen small retail businesses. Without outdoor seating the sale of mixed drinks and cocktails which was recently reinstated has become an enforcement nightmare for municipal police departments because patrons have nowhere to go. Sidewalks have become barstools. As customers wait for their dinner order, they grab a drink and congregate on the sidewalk leaving the police with the unenviable task to enforce the unenforceable. By allowing outdoor seating and reopening small retail businesses with strict social distancing guidelines we can create a safer environment for patrons and level the playing field,” Sciarra said. “I understand the daunting challenge of balancing the public health with economic survival. Restaurant owners, retailers, and their employees are dedicated hard working citizens standing ready to be responsible stewards of the public health equipped to socially distance and will do a great job following guidelines to protect the health and safety of their customers. Corporate America is posting double digit profits. The least we can do is give main street a chance at to survive.”

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