TRENTON — A sweeping small business relief package will be formally introduced in the Assembly on Friday that will offer additional help to Garden State firms that have struggled as a result of the ongoing COVID pandemic.

Six measures will offer a combined $235 million in assistance to micro-businesses, bars and restaurants, child care facilities, new businesses, start-ups and other small business operations.

According to one of the sponsors, Assemblyman Roy Freiman, D-Somerset, the initial goal here is to make it through the state’s recovery mode, which means “what do you do in the short term, how do you help businesses survive, how do you help them get through this.”

“We also want to make sure we’re thinking beyond that, to, how do we actually thrive and prosper down the road, so we have to do both at the same time," he said.

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Freiman said small business assistance will need to continue for many months, and perhaps even years, because New Jersey has struggled in the past with natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy “and certain areas were decimated for a period of time."

"But you haven’t had a country or a region or a state decimated for an entire year, and shut down," he said.

He said the true impact of the pandemic is not really clear yet, and this will most certainly impact how Jersey businesses develop moving forward.

Other sponsors of legislation in the package include Vince Mazzeo, D-Atlantic, Lisa Swain, D-Bergen, Andrew Zwicker, D-Somerset, John Armato, D-Atlantic and Chris Tully, D-Bergen.

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