Ocean County Press Release
TOMS RIVER – As small and local businesses begin to reopen, and outside dining resumes, Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, liaison to tourism and business development, is encouraging residents to support their local businesses.
"It is great to finally have our small businesses and our restaurants welcoming the public once again in their establishments," Vicari said. "It's time to get our economy back on track and we can do it safely and within the guidelines that will protect patrons and workers."
Although there will still be safety measures in place such as social distancing and wearing masks, businesses will be able to begin operations starting June 15, followed by personal care services opening on June 22.
With more than 3,000 food establishments throughout Ocean County, many restaurants and eateries will be taking advantage of the opportunity to provide outside dining to residents and visitors.
In addition, Ocean County is helping to make that happen as it works with municipalities where restaurants are located on county roads.
"We are working to help our small businesses that have been dramatically impacted financially by closures from the coronavirus," Vicari said. "We want to do all we can to accommodate them while keeping safety a priority. Their economic health is the county's economic health.
"Tourism is a $4.8 billion business in Ocean County, and while some of these stores are seasonal there are others open year-round, and I am sure that during the time they have been closed to patrons they have taken every step possible to be prepared for reopening under strict sanitary and social distancing guidelines," he said.
Residents are encouraged to call businesses ahead of time, or check out business social media accounts and websites for information regarding how they are reopening.
"Now more than ever our small businesses need every one of us," Vicari said. "We cannot forget all they do for us throughout the year whether donating to charities, providing gifts for auctions, supporting our schools and sporting events and being a big part of our volunteer emergency response teams. Now is the time to shop small and buy local."