July 31, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

 7/31/2020 11:25 AM

While Congress haggles over the next relief legislation, big programs are about to expire. About 20% of New Jersey prisoners could be freed to avoid virus. Allowing alcoholic drinks on parts of the Atlantic City beach and boardwalk could become permanent.

While the Relief Legislation Debate Rages On in D.C., Big Programs are About to Expire – Enhanced unemployment benefits. Eviction protection. Forgivable loans to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. These federal relief programs will soon expire unless Congress acts. Lawmakers remain split over what to do in the next federal relief package. (CNN) 
Here Are Some Suggestions for Congress – What’s needed from Congress now to save small business: 1) Increase financial assistance for small businesses; 2) Expand access to government loan programs; 3) Simplify tax provisions. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) 
How Enhanced Federal Unemployment Will Change – With the $600 federal unemployment assistance program expiring, an interactive map produced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lets you compare new proposals under consideration in Congress — and how they would affect unemployed workers in each state. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) 
Legislation Under Consideration Could Free 20% of N.J. Prisoners to Avoid the Virus – New Jersey lawmakers are considering a bill that could free more than 3,000 prisoners — about 20% of the state’s prison population — months before their release dates in response to the threat posed by the coronavirus in tightly packed prisons. (The New York Times) 
NJ Transit Buses Going Back to Cash – NJ Transit will resume collection of cash fares and front door boarding on buses that have protective barriers installed around the driver beginning Aug. 3. Cash fares and front door boarding will remain suspended on buses that don't yet have the barrier. (NJBIZ) 
Alcoholic Drinks on the Atlantic City Beach and Boardwalk – A bill to permanently allow outdoor drinking in designated areas in Atlantic City is headed to the governor, presenting the possibility that areas along the beach and boardwalk could see beer and mixed drinks being downed by residents and tourists over the age of 21. (nj.com) 
Census Workers Are Knocking on Doors – While most people in New Jersey are filling out their census survey, state leaders say many minoritized people — the people who need it the most — aren’t. After a delay because of the pandemic, census workers started knocking on doors to remind Jersey City residents to fill out the form because federal funding and governmental representation is on the line. (NJTV News) 
Get Counted – New Jersey residents can respond to the 2020 Census to ensure the state gets its fair share of federal funding. The Census provides valuable data for businesses, including population trends, growth projections and demographic information. Spread the word! Respond to the Census.
Buy From New Jersey Businesses – To promote the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce's ‘Buy NJ’ campaign, put this 'postcard' on your website and share it on social media with the hashtags #BuyNJ and #BuyLocalNJ.
N.J. Coronavirus Cases - New Jersey Residents
Total Confirmed Deaths Reported: 13,934, up from 13,923 yesterday.
Total Positive COVID-19 Tests Reported: 180,970, up from 180,766 yesterday.
For data on hospitalizations and discharges, click here.
* Resources from NJ Chamber of Commerce