Coronavirus News: Applications to reopen non-essential businesses in Newark now available

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on Wednesday issued comprehensive requirements that must be met by non-essential retail businesses seeking to reopen after closure due to COVID-19.

He also announced that applications to reopen are now available and can be submitted immediately, either online or via a printed form.

Businesses will need to apply for a reopening permit in order for the city to issue a color-coded safety-level certificate required to open again.

The reopening requirements were developed by the Newark Reopening and Recovery Strikeforce as part of the mayor's phased reopening and recovery strategy to ensure public safety as the city reopens.

"The needs of municipalities vary in New Jersey due to the infrastructure, economic and racial makeup of residents," Baraka said. "My top priority as the mayor of Newark is to protect the lives of our people. This is why our Reopening and Recovery Strikeforce is creating our own data-driven requirements and best practices for reopening businesses."

Curbside and in-store pickup guidelines include mandatory physical distancing, protective equipment, hygiene and cleaning, communications, and employee screening plus recommended best practices that follow recommendations of the CDC are included with the application.

Applications are available and can be submitted in multiple ways:
--Visit Newarkcovid19.com/home or Newarknj.gov/business-licenses and submit online
--Download the application from the website, complete and submit by e-mail at reopeningplans@newarknj.gov
--Download the application, complete and drop off or send to the Department of Economic Housing and Development in City Hall at 920 Broad Street, Room 218
--Pick up a hard copy of the application from Invest Newark or one of the BID/SID offices

Every non-essential retail business must complete an application prior to reopening. City of Newark health, taxation and economic development officials will review applications for compliance and within 72 hours notify the applicant that it has been approved or disapproved. When an application is approved, a city representative will arrange an inspection of the business within 24 hours.

When a business passes the inspection, it will be granted a RED, YELLOW, or GREEN certificate to post prominently at the business entrance and be granted approval to reopen once the date is determined according to the State of New Jersey and City of Newark. If the application is disapproved or if the business fails the inspection, the applicant may modify the plan or businesses protocols and resubmit the application.

All timelines for business reopening will follow the phases announced by the State of New Jersey and the City of Newark.

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