Business Report: Restaurant grants, jobless claims, commuter tax, health care for airport workers

Restaurant owners have an opportunity for new federal grants, but they need to act soon. The Small Business Administration has $28.6 billion available in a Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Interested businesses that meet the qualifications should pre-register on the SBA site on Friday. The SBA will then start taking applications on Monday.

The number of people having to file new unemployment claims continues to drop across the U.S. Weekly jobless claims are at their lowest level since the pandemic slammed the economy shut last year. But in New Jersey, there was a slight increase in new claims in the last week, with more than 12,000 workers filing first-time claims.

Two New Jersey lawmakers are teaming up in a bipartisan effort to address New Jersey’s commuter tax. U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5th) and state Sen. Steven Oroho (R-Sussex) say those who have been working remotely at their New Jersey homes shouldn’t have to pay taxes to New York this year. Gottheimer and Oroho have sent a letter to the IRS requesting new federal guidance on the commuter tax issue ahead of the May tax filing deadline.

Gov. Phil Murphy Thursday signed into law a bill that would provide health care coverage to airport workers. Murphy estimates 10,000 workers at Newark Liberty International Airport could benefit from the Healthy Terminals Act.

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