BUSINESS REPORT

NJ residents can now apply for a rental assistance program

BY Rhonda Schaffler, Correspondent |

The state’s new rental assistance program is designed to help low- and moderate-income households by offering up to six months of assistance. Residents who qualify would be responsible for 30% of their rent, while the state program would cover the remaining 70%. Applicants will be selected through an online lottery.

The business community is keeping a close watch on the state’s recent increase in COVID-19 cases. At a recent roundtable between business leaders and local officials, it was suggested that if need be, the state explore regional shutdowns rather than rollback reopenings for the entire state.

It looks like the economy got a boost after New Jersey launched its Phase Two reopening last month. A new study by Rutgers University measured economic activity in the first week after Phase Two, when outdoor dining was allowed and indoor shopping at non-essential retail stores was also permitted. The study showed a 79% increase in apparel shopping and a 54% increase in fast-casual dining.