Friday, August 21, 2020
The Atlantic County Board of Freeholders unanimously passed a resolution on August 18 supporting County Executive Dennis Levinson’s request for Governor Murphy to lift the current restrictions on indoor dining and entertainment that are having a devastating economic impact on Atlantic County businesses.
“For the freeholders, this was not a political decision between Democrat Governor Phil Murphy and Republican County Executive Dennis Levinson; it was a choice between what is right and what is wrong, between economic survival and bankruptcy,” explained Levinson.
The six Republican freeholders and three Democrat freeholders concurred with Levinson and supported Resolution 384 urging the governor “to seriously consider and plan with our leaders for a safe and reasonable reopening of our businesses in the immediate future.”
The county executive questioned if it is reasonable for casino patrons to sit and gamble indoors with safety measures, yet not be allowed to sit in an adjoining restaurant for a meal or drink?
Levinson cited a recent economic analysis that identified a second quarter annualized loss of 40% in Atlantic County, the highest of any county in the state and higher than the national annualized loss.
“Our businesses are on life support at this point. Outdoor dining and curbside service are not enough,” he added. “And if other states, including Connecticut and Massachusetts, and other retailers such as the big box stores can conduct indoor business without any significant health and safety consequences, why can’t we? It just doesn’t make sense.”