New Jersey coronavirus update: Community rallies to support struggling small businesses

Coronavirus Update New Jersey
MORRISTOWN, New Jersey (WABC) -- A New Jersey man launched a campaign to help small businesses struggling amid the pandemic and the response has been overwhelming.

Morristown has made itself a vibrant and inviting destination full of mom-and-pop shops and restaurants - but pandemic restrictions have financially choked many businesses.

Now members of the community are stepping up to help.

"We said these businesses are going to struggle for at least six months so we all came together and settled on this model and said let's go out and help these businesses," resident Tom Ferrara said.

Some local customers have created a website alongside those businesses where anyone can donate to help shops stay afloat.

The money can help them pay rent and keep employees employed.

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"In my business we are down about 45% now, you know to be able to get some money and pay the rent, we figure that probably need until March or April before people start coming back out again," said Dave Walters, the owner of Smart World Coffee.

"In our restaurant right now, we are operating at 25%, and believe me it's tough to survive doing 25%, said Fredy Umanzor, the owner of Chef Fredy's Table.

"In the past couple weeks since Christmas has gone, I can relate to the person across the street, we didn't have one customer come in yesterday," said Jamie Genetti, owner of One Paw Away which opened in October.

"Some of the donations came from people I know, but so many have come in from people who just want to support the town and that just makes me feel so appreciative," said Stacey Schlosser, the owner of Glassworks Studio which just celebrated being open 18 years.

Many business owners that spoke to Eyewitness News said the fund means so much to them.

Click here if you would like to help.

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