Business Report: COVID-19 slams Newark economy, signs of recovery in South Jersey

New report highlights the devastating economic impact on Newark of the pandemic

A new report highlights the devastating economic impact of COVID-19 on New Jersey’s largest city. The United Way of Greater Newark finds businesses face a long road back to recovery. The group says nearly three-quarters of those businesses which applied for grants are unsure if they can keep paying their rents. Nearly 60% have had to lay off employees or contractors. The report concludes minority business owners in particular may need more assistance to recover.

In South Jersey, there’s a more optimistic view. At a Rutgers-Camden business outlook event Tuesday, Gus Faucher, an economist with PNC, said South Jersey is showing early signs of an economic recovery. But he said businesses still need more financial support.

Unemployed workers in New Jersey are closer to getting more relief. The state Legislature has given final approval to a bill that would allow more residents to claim extended unemployment benefits. The bill eases some requirements for those unemployed workers, to allow them to claim the 20-week extension after they’ve exhausted their benefits. This bill is now sitting on Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk.