As I write this, we are entering week three of COVID-19 and I can’t foresee what the world will look like as you are reading this, probably in week six or seven. However, one thing I do know for sure: Our world has changed. The question will be: “What did we do to make it change for the better?”
I offer my deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones through this pandemic, and I am incredibly thankful to every healthcare worker and first responder on the front lines of this healthcare crisis.
While NJBIA couldn’t be on the healthcare front line, we did our best to be on the front line of the economic crisis; doing our part to ensure we were helping to make a change for the better.
NJBIA has been fielding thousands of calls, e-mails and online messages from struggling New Jersey businesses – all businesses, not just members – because there is no membership wall at a time like this. We know the awesome responsibility involved in ensuring that the information and resources we deliver can be trusted. We exercise that responsibility very seriously. Thank you for making us your trusted adviser during such a critical time.
And this responsibility extends to our ability to lead on policy. In order to ensure that our New Jersey businesses and economy could be well poised to bounce back quickly, we partnered with more than 50 associations across the state to discuss near-term and long-term policies. This coalition met virtually twice per week, established workgroups and worked with our policymakers to advance sound economic policies meant to bring relief to our businesses and our economy.
We did this at the state level with an initial policy document outlining some 24 actions that could assist, as well as at the federal level, penning letters to our delegation in Washington, D.C.
We work closely with the Governor’s office in real time, sharing the issues and concerns we receive from all of you, and I want to commend the Governor’s team, which has been very responsive. This strong interaction allowed us to quickly respond to critical issues happening in real time.
We do our best to bring you timely and relevant communications through our daily alerts, breaking news as appropriate, the daily New Jersey Business Today, and our weekly Capitol Memo. While we try not to overwhelm you, we know that in a time of crisis communication is key.
To round out these communications, we lifted a social media campaign – #NJBIAtogether – to engage New Jersey businesses, invite them to talk about how they are “open for business,” share their best practices and tell their good news stories. During many crises, good news abounds and this time is no exception.
I am often heard saying, “Great businesses make great communities.” In this unprecedented time, these words again ring true. From those who did their best to hold onto their workforce when challenged, to the many who revamped their work practices and facilities to answer the call for needed resources, to those who pivoted to volunteering, and especially to those on the front lines, our essential service businesses and workers who sacrificed their own welfare for the sake of others – thank you.
While I am sure that, as of this writing, there is still so much to do, I can only hope that the little things NJBIA is doing along the way will make it better for us all when we reach the other side.
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