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Statement by the Ironbound Business Improvement District – COVID-19 March 16, 2020

Newark’s Ironbound, like every community across the country and around the globe, has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. While many things remain uncertain and unknown, the Ironbound Business Improvement District (IBID) wants to communicate in no uncertain terms that our commitment to a clean, safe and welcoming environment remains our priority.

In addition to conveying our deepest concern for the health and well-being of our community – residents, business owners and workers and visitors to our renowned stores and restaurants – we also wanted to share important information about services and how you can help support our local business community during these difficult times.

Today, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy joined with the Governors of New York and Connecticut to announce a regional plan to combat the further spread of COVID-19. Specifics of their joint statement include:

  • All bars and restaurants are closed for eat-in services effective 8:00 PM tonight. After 8:00 PM, these establishments may open for takeout and delivery services ONLY, until further notice. These restrictions exist during daytime hours.
  • All pre-K through grade 12 schools (public, private, and parochial) and all colleges and universities will close effective Wednesday, March 18th until it’s deemed by health officials to be safe for in-person classes to resume.
  • The Governors stated that the overall educational and individual needs of students can be met during this closure, including appropriate home instruction and continued access to free and reduced meals.
  • Starting tonight, all non-essential and non-emergency travel in New Jersey is strongly discouraged between the hours of 8:00 PM AND 5:00 AM. This will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. We want everyone to be home – and not out.
  • Essential businesses which are necessary for the public’s health, safety, and welfare – like supermarkets and grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices, and gas stations – may remain open past 8:00 PM.
  • Effective 8:00 PM tonight, all movie theaters, gyms, casinos, and racetracks will close entirely until it is deemed safe for their reopening. Online gaming will continue.
  • Effective tonight, all other non-essential retail, recreational, and entertainment businesses MUST CLOSE after 8:00 PM. During daytime hours, these businesses may remain open if they limit their occupancy to no more than 50 persons and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • All gatherings of over 50 individuals are CANCELED effective 8:00 PM tonight.

Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose announced that enforcement of parking violations that do not pose public safety hazards, such as the blocking of fire hydrants or parking in crosswalks, will be suspended until Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Street cleaning will also be suspended for the same period.

Director Ambrose urges anyone with information about any suspicious or criminal activities to call the Newark Police Division’s 24-hour Crime Stopper tip line at 1-877-NWK-TIPS (1-877-695-8477).The IBID’s Clean Team will continue to provide supplemental streetscape clean up and maintenance services in support of the City of Newark’s Department of Sanitation.

While we will monitor the constantly evolving situation, the Ironbound District is open for business based on the new guidelines, and retailers and restaurateurs are doing their part to contribute to a safe environment for their patrons.

That includes keeping essential stores stocked and prices fair, plus strict adherence to cleanliness including mandatory hand washing by staff, additional disinfecting and sanitizing of traffic areas, doorknobs and surfaces, and hand sanitizer wipes for customers.

Safety and prevention protocols provided by the Centers for Disease Control, as well as state and regional health experts, will be in focus. At this time of challenge, the IBID will remain vigilant as information and guidance changes and updates. We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of all Ironbound District stakeholders, and hope that you will support district businesses and restaurants that are open to serve you. That includes shopping locally and taking advantage of take-out and food delivery services.

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