Rep. Donald Payne Jr. has extended help to small business owners in need.
Payne gave a short presentation at the Oct. 21 Bayonne City Council meeting outlining the federal aid available to residents through his office.
Payne represents the 10th Congressional District which encompasses much of Newark and some western areas of Bayonne and Jersey City.
Payne said that COVID-19 “is still here, and that it appears it is on the rise again as we move into the winter.” Bayonne has recorded a rise in cases in recent weeks.
To mitigate the spread and work toward reopening again, contact tracing and COVID-19 testing needs to occur on a massive scale, he said.
Relief is available
Payne was concerned about small businesses struggling in the area. He said that many PPP loans aimed at helping small businesses did not go to local businesses, especially restaurants, and feared this is the case in Bayonne.
Payne encouraged small business owners to come to his office for assistance in applying for federal relief funding,which is not a handout but emergency assistance from the federal government during a crisis.
His office has remained open throughout the pandemic. Residents can also visit payne.house.gov or call 973-645-3213.
The House of Representatives passed a new version of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) act on Oct. 1. It still needs to be passed by the Senate and signed by Trump before anyone sees any more relief checks.
The new HEROES act is the fifth revision of the same bill to provide essential federal relief funding. Payne said the of the $2.2 trillion emergency appropriations bill, $48 million would be secured for Bayonne if approved.
Protecting the postal service and the election
Payne condemned President Donald Trump for his repeated assault on voting and democracy stemming from operational changes to the United States Postal Service (USPS) ordered by Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Trump has not only ordered detrimental changes to the operations of the postal system, he has also accused the vote-by-mail election of being fraudulent.
“I never thought I’d see the day when the postal service becomes political,” Payne said.
He vowed to continue to make sure residents of all communities continue to get the postal service they deserve. While many communities have had issues over the past few months, Payne said he has been working to resolve them.
Recently, Payne and other area representatives from the area opposed the Trump Administration’s attacks on the USPS and vote-by-mail election.
Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr., Tom Malinowski and Albio Sires condemned the USPS after they were blocked from inspecting the the Dominic V. Daniels Processing and Distribution Center in Kearny. A postal employee from Kearny was arrested on Oct. 7 after he was found to have dumped thousands of pieces of mail, including ballots, into Dumpsters in West Orange and North Arlington.
Payne said that anyone experiencing issues with the postal service should reach out to his office for assistance.
Payne ended his presentation by urging residents to vote on Nov. 3, by mail or by provisional ballot at the polls, in what he called one of the most important elections in history.
Payne is running for re-election and faces a challenge from Republican Jennifer Zinone, a Bayonne native.
City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski thanked Payne for his presentation, noting that he “has always been a friend of Bayonne.”
“Every vote counts; make your voice heard,” Ashe-Nadrowski said.
She also reiterated that residents in Bayonne can drop their ballots in the ballot drop box in front of city hall.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at email@example.com.