Categories
sustainability

We have no bananas today at NJEDA

There’s a fruit store on our street
It’s run by a Greek.
And he keeps good things to eat
But you should hear him speak!
When you ask him anything, he never answers no.
He just yeses you to death, and as he takes your dough
He tells you
Yes, we have no bananas
We have-a no bananas today.
We’ve string beans, and onions
Cabbages, and scallions,
And all sorts of fruit and say
We have an old fashioned tomato
A Long Island potato
But yes, we have no bananas.
We have no bananas today.

I spent about an hour this morning on the web site of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority looking for applicable post-pandemic recovery resources (https://assistance.business.nj.gov/) that might apply to our rural Cumberland County businesses and, in particular, learning about the programs of the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act (https://www.njeda.com/economicrecoveryact/#Programs). TheNJEDA offers an “Eligibility Wizard” tool that is meant to help with this task. This led to the generation of a list of possible resources that warranted additional investigation but none of them turned out to be useful.

The businesses I work with, including my own businesses, are impatiently waiting out this period until after we have vaccinations and are able to safely resume operations. It makes sense to begin to address the labor and financial shortages that we anticipate when that happens.

This is what I found:

Many of the “resource” pages listed by the state have been removed after the programs were closed. None of the programs suggested by the NJEDA “Eligibility Wizard” were open or available. My conclusions are:

1) that the economic assistance programs meant to get us through the pandemic shutdown period are now exhausted,

2) the programs under the new state economic package aren’t likely to help rural areas like ours

3) that nothing is yet available for post-pandemic rebuilding and recovery that applies to us. In other words, it appears that we are in a dead space without plans in place to rebuild after the economy safely reopens.

I will confirm my conclusions with the Cumberland County economic development officer to see if I might be missing anything.