Even as states around the country are seeing COVID-19 come back with a vengeance, New Jersey and Vineland continue to see positive trends. With that said, we must remain vigilant. Please do not let your guard down. I understand many of you are frustrated and getting tired of the protocols the Governor has kept in place. However, it is critical that we work to keep the transmission rate below one to prevent a resurgence in our community. So please continue to abide by the state’s directive to wear face coverings in public, maintain social distance, wash your hands often, and avoid large gatherings.
I know this has caused a financial hardship for our small businesses. Many of them are finding creative new ways to operate, others unfortunately are having a more difficult time. As a result, it is so important during this time that we take the “shop local” concept to heart and vigorously support these restaurants, retail, and service businesses throughout Vineland that are bearing the brunt of this pandemic through no fault of their own.
The Governor and our legislators in Washington are working to get funding from the Congress to help those that have been affected and were unable to get help through PPP and other programs, but there is no sense on how long this could take.
In the interim, the City of Vineland has established a $5,000 forgivable grant assistance program which is open to Vineland retail, restaurants, entertainment, and nonprofessional service businesses with one to five full or part-time employees, which can be the business owner, that were in business as of December 31, 2019 and located in a U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development-qualified area. Several businesses have already been approved, but we still have a number of grants available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information you can visit vinelandcity.org/covid-assistance/
Until a vaccine becomes available, we all must do our part to help keep Vineland healthy and our businesses thriving. As I have said, now, more than ever, we need to take care of each other, because together, we succeed.
Thank you for your support and stay safe.