In Millburn, residents pitch in to help businesses with cleanup

Residents of all ages were going from business to business to offer help

Tropical Storm Ida has struck another blow to businesses that were just starting to pick up the pieces after the struggles of the pandemic, a hiring crisis over the summer and concerns about the new rise in COVID-19 cases.

On Friday, when Gov. Phil Murphy visited Millburn in Essex County, he announced a new relief program for businesses. But local relief efforts were already underway in the town, which was devastated by flooding. Less than 24 hours after the storm hit, dozens of residents of all ages were going from business to business, shovels in hand, to see if owners needed help with the cleanup.

“Part of me is definitely frustrated but right now I’m overwhelmed with support from people that want to see us get back open as soon as possible so I will just focus on that,” said Pete Falzo, owner of Vinnie’s Pan Pizza.

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