Business Report: More state aid for businesses, why women are leaving the workforce, unfilled jobs at record high

A package of bills that would provide an additional $235 million in funding is sitting on Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk, after receiving final legislative approval

Businesses and restaurants could find out soon if more grant money from the state is available to them. A package of bills that would provide an additional $235 million in funding is sitting on Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk, after receiving final legislative approval. About half of that amount would go to microbusinesses, with only a few employees. Meantime, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority is seeing plenty of interest in the current small business grant program. EDA Chairman Tim Sullivan tweeted on Friday that there have been 5,000 approvals totaling $60 million.

Policy makers, advocates and academics gathered virtually last week to tackle the issue of why hundreds of thousands of women have left the workforce during the pandemic, creating what some are calling not a recession, but a “she-cession.” New Jersey State Treasurer Elizabeth Mayer Muoio hosted panel discussions from experts who said the pandemic has made the wage gap even worse, especially for women of color. Advocates said higher pay could help bring women back but what the pandemic really hammered home is the need for a renewed focus on child care, according to Emily Martin who’s with the National Women’s Law center.

And companies need women to come back. According to a recent survey from NFIB, nearly half of the small businesses polled say they have more jobs than they do candidates. The NFIB says May marked the fourth straight month of record-high readings for unfilled job openings.

A new medical marijuana dispensary is now open in Central Jersey. Zen Leaf has opened its third dispensary in the Mercer County community of Lawrence.

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