Murphy to small business owners: We get it

Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday offered some assurances to small business owners, many of whom are getting crushed by the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak in New Jersey and across the globe.

Speaking at the state’s daily briefing, Murphy said he understands how small businesses are impacted by the decisions of bigger players.

“I’ll give you an example,” he said. “Rutgers decides to go to virtual learning for the balance of the semester. How’s that bodega in New Brunswick doing? That’s one example, and there are examples like that all over the state.”

Murphy couldn’t give any examples of how the state will help them, saying it’s too early in the process.

He did offer two things: He’s eager to figure out a solution — and he knows the federal government will have to play a part in that.

“It’s going to be in part the steps that we take that are not yet determined,” he said. “But it’s going to be in big part the federal government. We’re going to need the feds to be along with us, whether it’s compensation for lost revenue or support of individuals at the business level or the individual level.”

Murphy said the state’s commitment to small business should not be questioned.

“I would say this: Small businesses are the backbone of this state,” he said. “They employ 60% of the people in this state. So, as much as we talk a lot about the big players, the small business community is our lifeline.

“So, bear with us, we get it. It’s among many other moving parts we are trying as best we can to get out ahead of.”

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