Twp. Forum 6-09: Help for Businesses to Reopen Safely; Covid-19 Case Report

Posted on June 9, 2020

 MONTGOMERY TWP. BUSINESS FORUM JUNE 9

Montgomery Township will host a Business Forum on Tuesday, June 9 from 7:30 to 8:30 pm on Zoom. The focus of the discussion will be municipal support for local businesses, health and safety protocols for reopening businesses, and the transition to future phases of re-opening.

Mayor Sadaf Jaffer stated, “This forum will be an opportunity for the Montgomery business community to learn the guidelines and best practices for being open during the COVID era, and to ask questions of our professional staff.  It’s a sign of our commitment to helping local businesses rebound from this most difficult time. Our businesses are vital contributors to the sense of community we have in Montgomery and we are eager for them to succeed.”

Panelists will include: Mayor Sadaf Jaffer, Township Committeeperson Devra Keenan, Township Administrator Donato Nieman, Police Director James Gill, Health Officer Stephanie Carey, Board of Health President Dr. Jeremy Grayson, Planning Director Lori Savron, and Zoning Officer Joseph Palmer. Any interested Montgomery businessperson is encouraged to engage in this forum by pre-registering to receive the Zoom meeting password.

Pre-register for the June 9th meeting, up until the meeting, by providing your name, your business name, and your phone number to Lsavron@twp.montgomery.nj.us.

Questions or public comment may also be sent to boardcomment@twp.montgomery.nj.us

The forum will be broadcast live on Comcast Cable Channel 29 and livestreamed on the Township website at https://twp.montgomery.nj.us/elected-officials/meeting-videos/ on June 9th. It will be available for on-demand viewing after the fact by going to above meetings video webpage under the Specialty Tab.


Ways Montgomery is Supporting Local Businesses during Covid-19

Montgomery is committed to help support local businesses by providing information, support, and a free and expedited approval process for outdoor dining and retail sales beginning June 15 (see below article). Some specific ways that we have been assisting include:

  • Formed a Business Task Force, in cooperation with the Montgomery Business Association, to address local businesses’ needs.
  • Created window/door signs related to masks and social distancing guidelines which can be downloaded, printed and posted by any business.
  • Offered free, expedited reviews of business re-opening plans, including changes to operations that relate to municipal codes.
  • Maintained a list of open businesses on the Montgomery Township and Montgomery Together websites
  • Published information and links to the Township website on COVID-19 information for businesses. See:  https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid19a/biz-statements/
  • Scheduled a business forum with diverse panelists available to answer questions from local businesses (6/09 @ 7:30 PM, see top story above)

 

Process for Municipal Approval for Outdoor Dining and Outdoor Sales

Governor Murphy’s announcement that “Stage 2” of the Reopening Plan will begin on June 15 with the allowance of outdoor restaurant dining means that there is may be a need for Montgomery eateries to modify their operations, as well as for retailers wishing to provide outdoor sales and displays.

Montgomery is available to assist the business community with re-opening and will review all plans on an expedited basis with a focus on operating safely and complying with key code provisions. Businesses considering re-opening with outdoor dining and/or outdoor sales and displays should contact Joe Palmer, Township Zoning Officer at 908-359-8211 or JPalmer@twp.montgomery.nj.us.

After a brief consultation, a plan for the temporary modification should be submitted to Mr. Palmer who will coordinate review by the Township Engineer, Health Officer, Fire Official, Code Enforcement and Police Department to ensure health and safety are not impacted. The zoning officer will coordinate any Township comments to the business, or conduct an onsite visit if necessary, and once an agreement is reached, the applicant can proceed under this administrative approval, contingent on the guidelines established by the State and landlord approval. No zoning permit fees are associated with these reviews.


Non-Essential Retail Business Reopening Guidance from Health Dept.

Most types of non-essential businesses are being permitted by the State to open their doors to inside-store customer traffic as of June 15, in Stage 2 of New Jersey’s Reopening Plan (see Item # 8 of Exec. Order # 150). There are no additional local permits required, however the Montgomery Twp. Health Dept. and the Montgomery Business Task Force have guidance to offer businesses. They have developed a highly visible door/window/wall sign reminding customers to wear face coverings (DOWNLOAD LINK). The Health Dept. will also have fact sheets regarding hygiene and social distancing measures by business type, based on CDC and NJ Dept. of Health guidance, available from their COVID-19 page under ‘Info for Businesses’. In general, non-essential businesses should follow the same guidance that essential businesses have been following, including customer masking signs, 6 ft. floor markings and shielding at check-out counters, and capacity controls.


Montgomery Business Task Force calls for

“MONTGOMERY TOGETHER” videos from Montgomery businesses

Montgomery Township is working to help residents and businesses make the best of the current situation in which state guidelines and resident concerns may be impacting  patronage of local businesses. We’d like to invite your business to participate in a “virtual town square” at a website called Montgomery Together, both to help your business and to inform residents of steps you are taking to ensure the safety of customers.

We invite you to submit a 1-minute (maximum) video in which you describe your products, services, and operating procedures during the COVID-19 crisis. We’ll upload videos of any Montgomery-based business that meet the requirements described below. In addition to practical information, you can also have some fun with it, describing tips, recipes, and activities that will creatively showcase your business on the Montgomery Together website. And more importantly, remind residents of who you are so when you do re-open, they patronage your business. These videos can also be shared on many social media platforms using the hashtag #MontgomeryTogether.

Check out these pages at MontgomeryTogether.us:

https://montgomerytogether.us/business/ and https://montgomerytogether.us/stay-connected/

Below are some guidelines:

  • Individual businesses’ self-made promotional videos about businesses that are operating in compliance with state rules and social distancing policies.
  • Shop owners sharing stories about getting their employees back to work and customers safely in and out of their shops can be a powerful call to action.
  • Feel free to include tips, recipes, promotions, and activities that will creatively showcase your business
  • Footage recorded on any decent smart phone. High def (HD) or standard def (SD) videos in MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 format with extensions .mov., .mp4, .mpg or any other format uploadable to YouTube are acceptable. https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/4603579?hl=en
  • Please be sure that any pre-COVID-19 footage does not include things that could be misleading or confusing for customers today, regarding social distancing.
  • “MONTGOMERY TOGETHER” videos should contain the business brand, its owner and/or staff.
  • We realize some merchants will have well-produced media and some will use a more native, grassroots style. Either choice is fine. The number of videos received will determine the turnaround.
  • Please email your video to Lori Savron, Planning Director, Montgomery Township: MontgomeryTogether@twp.montgomery.nj.us

 

Small Business Emergency Assistance Grants – Apply Tuesday 9 AM

Please see below announcement of the NJ Economic Development Agency’s Phase Two Small Business Emergency Assistance Grants.

The portal for small businesses to apply for these grants will open Tuesday, June 9th at 9 AM.  The page to apply will be:

https://cv.business.nj.gov

Applications will be taken on a first come, first served basis.

More info at NJEDA’s website: https://www.njeda.com/pdfs/NJEDA_COVID-19_Economic-Response-Package-Second-Ro

DOWNLOAD THE NJEDA SMALL BUSINESS GRANT PROGRAM FLIER


TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE REPORT

As of 9 am today, 6/08:

NJ cases: 164,497
NJ deaths: 12,214
Somerset County cases: 4,6270
Somerset County deaths: 427
Montgomery cases:  108
Montgomery deaths: 7
Montgomery presumed recovered: 75 a
Rocky Hill cases: 6
Rocky Hill deaths: 0
Rocky Hill presumed recovered: 6 a

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

6           <20
12           20-29
17           30-39
16           40-49
23           50-59
17           60-69
4           70-79
19           80+

Total 114 cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill

a “Presumed recovered” means 30 days have elapsed since individual’s diagnosis and the person is not hospitalized.

The above numbers represent a snapshot in time, and will change daily or even hourly as new data come in. We are including both laboratory-confirmed cases, and probable cases, meaning cases believed to have COVID-19 based on symptoms and exposure to confirmed cases (identified via contact tracing), but who cannot yet qualify for testing at this time. If you are experiencing cough and fever, you should isolate yourself from well family members, and stay home until 3 days after your symptoms resolve without medications. If your symptoms worsen, contact your health care provider for a telemedicine consultation. We continue to stress the importance of washing hands, maintaining social distancing, and staying home.

For further statistics, go to the Health Dept.’s COVID-19 portal: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid19/,  State of NJ DOH’s COVID-19 Case Chart , and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

*****DISCLAIMER***** Reported numbers on this page may not match the figures provided on the Somerset County page.  This is due to differences in reporting times.

Testing Site info found at: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid-testing/.