FREQUENTLY ASKED COVID-19 RELATED QUESTIONS FROM BUSINESSES:
- What businesses are ordered closed/restricted?
The governor’s declaration Executive Order 107 mandates the closure of non-essential retail businesses that are to be closed. Further guidance was then issued by NJ Office of Emergency Management. Both can be found at:
- What if an employee is sick? How long should they stay home, etc.
Self-Quarantine due to symptoms
People who are sick should self-quarantine for 14 days from first serious symptoms and only return to work after being fever free with no medication for 72 hours.
Self-quarantine due to known COVID-19 exposure, without personal illness
According to CDC: Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html . This would apply if an employee received a letter that they are a contact exposed to someone who has coronavirus.
- What are the obligations of an employer for providing sick leave / family leave?
Here is information from the IRS for employers and tax credits relating to coronavirus related sick leave:
Helpful Information on the Family First Act from the U.S. Dept. of Labor:
Federal Coronavirus Relief Law Requires paid employee sick leave / extended family leave: https://twp.montgomery.nj.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Paid-Employee-Leave-HR-BulletinDM_3-20.pdf
- What resources are available for small business owners?
The State of New Jersey has set up a COVID-19 FAQs page with information on assistance for businesses at: https://cv.business.nj.gov
NJEDA will launch an application for its Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 9:00 am. The grant program is part of a package of initiatives announced last week to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Please note: this application is first-come, first-served.
You can access that link beginning at 9:00 on April 3 at: https://cv.business.nj.gov
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program provides small business loans of up to $2 Million. See: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/sba-small-business-disaster-loans/
Also check the NJ DEPT OF LABOR & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT website at: https://www.nj.gov/labor/employer-services/business/covid.shtml
For Restaurants (and other businesses, as well) – The National Restaurant Association has created a useful 4-page summary of on the CARES Act. The issues detailed include the loan amounts, eligibility requirements and loan forgiveness parameters, among others – see this summary of key takeaways .
The Somerset County Business Partnership has created a “business toolkit” to get answers to frequently asked questions and more. This toolkit also includes access to information you may need on a local, state, and federal level as it pertains to your business, as well as a way to opt-into direct communication from the Somerset County Department of Health
- Are any new restrictions on businesses being announced from Montgomery Twp.?
The Governor’s Executive Order 108 of March 21 prohibits other government entities from superceding or contradicting any order from the Governor which is statewide. See info on Governor’s Exec. Order 107 mandating closure of non-essential businesses.
Anyone observing a violation of the State mandates may report this at: https://covid.nj.gov/violations
- What essential service protections are being provided to businesses?
Water may not be shut off to a residence or business for non-payment during this time. See:
PSE&G Statement on If You Are Past Due on Your Bill:
COMCAST Cable Statement on Disconnection during COVID-19:
- Are there any plans for tax relief?
See #3 Obligation of Employer to provide Sick Leave, etc. for IRS info on tax credits available for those employers required to provide extended benefits to employees.
The State of New Jersey has extended its deadline for income tax returns and corporate business tax returns from April 15 to July 15.
The Federal IRS has extended its tax return deadline from April 15th to July 15th
Property Taxes will be due on May 1, with a ten day grace period to May 10th. See announcement of State Homestead Benefit Freeze at: https://twp.montgomery.nj.us/homestead-benefit-frozen/
- What About Jobs?
The State of New Jersey has set up a special COVID-19 Jobs Portal page at: https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov/index.html
- How can we advocate for ourselves and what is the Township doing on our behalf?
Your Township elected officials are working with the Somerset County Freeholders on a daily basis during this crisis period. They are also in touch with State Assemblypersons and Senators, with the Governor’s office, as well as our U.S. Congressional Representatives and Senators, advocating on behalf of residents and businesses. The League of Municipalities is also lobbying to gain support for New Jersey municipalities.
We have also prepared a list of your representatives, many of whom have prepared COVID-19-related materials on their websites. Feel free to reach out with important concerns, as individuals and as groups:
Somerset County Freeholders:
NJ State Senator & Assemblypersons (16th District): https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/DistrictLegislators.asp?District=16
Senate: Christopher Bateman email@example.com 908-526-3600
Assembly: Roy Frieman firstname.lastname@example.org 732-823-1684
Assembly: Andrew Zwicker email@example.com 908-829-4191
U.S. Congressperson Tom Malinowski:
Phone: (908) 547-3307
New Jersey’s U.S. Senators:
Senators Booker and Menendez:
Senator Bob Menendez
Senator Cory Booker
Phone: (973) 639-8700