While Phase 2 of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic in New Jersey has come to halt due to a climbing rate of transmission, some businesses are struggling to stay afloat in the new normal.
Nonessential retail and other similar establishments have reopened but with customer capacity limits and other guidelines in place.
In Bayonne, to help local businesses cope, officials have a plan to bring business outside. The City Council has moved to let all businesses in the city expand sales onto the sidewalk on certain days.
At its meeting on July 15, the Bayonne City Council passed a resolution allowing merchants citywide to sell merchandise on the sidewalks in front of their stores every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
The sales will be allowed to run from July through Saturday, September 5 or until the COVID-19 emergency is terminated.
“I would like to thank the City Council for supporting the Administration’s proposal for expanding sidewalk sales,” Mayor James Davis said. “These sales will boost business for local merchants and provide additional choices for Bayonne shoppers.”
Expanding the policy
The new policy allows all stores in Bayonne to have sidewalk sales in all commercial zones. The City Council first passed a resolution in June allowing the sidewalk sales in certain areas under certain conditions.
“The COVID-19 crisis has severely restricted Bayonne’s merchants from conducting business in their normal fashion,” according to the resolution passed in June.
Considering that, city officials wanted to find additional means to improve local economic activity and the new resolution was passed for that reason.
“I would like to encourage Bayonne consumers to support local businesses by patronizing the sidewalk sales, and by ordering take-out food and eating outdoors at local restaurants.”
The ultimate purpose of the new policy is to boost the local retail trade, which has been curtailed by New Jersey’s COVID-19 emergency restrictions.
Given the impact on local retail with limited indoor business activities, the sidewalk sales may be the best way to rectify the situation.
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