Some financial relief and aid would go a long way in helping small businesses and non-profit organizations stay afloat and then be able to build on that to continue helping residents and those who go without at the Jersey Shore and beyond across the state.

So, could more financial aid come soon to these businesses?

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It depends on when both parties at the Statehouse in Trenton can agree on when to pass such legislation and what's involved in the package.

On Monday, there was an Assembly session held where State Republicans and Assemblyman Hal Wirths (R - Sussex) released a statement saying he tried to immediately pass a bill (A5085) that would send $300-million in aid to small businesses and non-profits in New Jersey.

Wirths, who is also the Assembly Republican Budget Officer called it the “order of the day,” in his efforts t o set it up for debate and a floor vote on Monday.

That didn't happen.

As Wirths raised the idea of providing aid to these businesses now, Assembly Democrats reportedly responded by voting to table the motion, including Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo Wirths said who the first primary sponsor on the bill.

“It’s about time we say stand up and say enough is enough and stand up for our constituents and stand up for the small businesses in the state of New Jersey,” Wirths said in a statement. “If we really mean what we say and support small businesses, this bill should be passed today.”

Assembly Republicans say the bill "would provide funding to the state Economic Development Authority from the state’s federal CARES Act allocations received nearly a year ago" when the pandemic began and lockdowns and restrictions followed suit.

Governor Murphy has yet to spend as much as $450 million from that funding, Assembly Republicans said, "and his proposed budget increases spending by $4.5 billion, which does not count on the $600 million the state will receive for agreeing to restructure the business model of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, and up to $6 billion from the federal government."

“As my colleagues in here know, over a third of businesses are closed right now with probably more closing unfortunately,” Wirths said.

The Senate introduced a bipartisan bill that includes more restrictions on the aid and limiting help to businesses who have fewer than 50 employees working for them.

According to the Republican Assembly statement, the full Assembly hasn't introduced an identical version and they pulled four bills off Monday's agenda "that would have provided relief for restaurants and another implementing regional reopening plans to help areas of the state less affected by Covid-19."

Now, we play the waiting game to see if and when this bill gets passed to help out small businesses and non-profit organizations in New Jersey.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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