BUSINESS REPORT

Malls reopen with new safety protocols and welcome eager shoppers

BY Rhonda Schaffler, Correspondent |

Indoor shopping malls opened in New Jersey Monday with new safety protocols, including mask wearing, social distancing and a lot of cleaning. At the Garden State Plaza Mall, shoppers said they were eager to be back and felt safe. One commercial real estate expert told NJTV News he was optimistic that the state’s malls will bounce back from the shutdown.

Nearly half of New Jersey’s businesses say it will take 10 months or longer to generate the same revenue as before COVID-19, according to a new survey from the New Jersey Business and Industry Association. More than 60% of those businesses which responded to the survey said they had to take out loans or apply for assistance. Nearly 30% have had to reduce their workers’ hours.

The city of Perth Amboy is giving its small businesses an incentive to hire back employees. Mayor Wilda Diaz says small businesses can apply for up to $3,500 in grants to cover payroll costs. A total of $180,000 in grant money is available, with some of the money provided by the city’s Business Improvement District.