Business Report: Buy American executive order, NJ real estate market, ShopRite pharmacy closings

More than 1,000 NJ manufacturers currently supply the U.S. Defense Department

President Joe Biden’s new executive order directing the U.S. government to “Buy American” is going over well in New Jersey. The order directs federal agencies and departments to buy their goods and services from U.S. companies. Sally White, senior director for business development at the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension program says it’s a win-win, as it will boost manufacturing and add jobs.

White says New Jersey manufacturers are up to the task of increasing their capacity and workforce in order to secure additional government contracts. New Jersey already has more than 1,000 manufacturers which currently supply the U.S. Defense Department.

The 2020 real estate market in New Jersey was unlike anything seen before, according to the New Jersey REALTORS organization. At first, the pandemic slowed the housing market, but then it took off. In 2020, closed sales were up 5.5%. The median sales price for homes rose 14% last year, and New Jersey REALTORS expects the market to continue to show strength in 2021.

ShopRite is closing many of its in-store pharmacies in the Northeast, including 23 in New Jersey. The company hasn’t said where the closures will be. Customers will be moved to nearby CVS pharmacies. ShopRite says the planned shutdowns won’t affect its upcoming COVID-19 vaccination program. Earlier this month it announced plans to distribute the shots at 39 stores throughout the state.