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Attorney General Grewal Issues Additional Guidance to Prosecutors on Handling Low-Level Marijuana Possession-Related Cases

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Attorney General Grewal

MORRIS COUNTY — Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal issued additional guidance to prosecutors concerning the prosecution of low-level marijuana cases, supplementing his August 29, 2018, and November 4, 2020 guidance.

Attorney General Grewal directed all New Jersey municipal, county, and state prosecutors to adjourn, until at least January 25, 2021, any juvenile or adult case solely involving the following marijuana possession-related offenses:

    • possession of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10(a)(3);
    • possession of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10(a)(4);
    • being under the influence of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10(c);
    • failure to make lawful disposition of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10(d);
    • use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia under N.J.S. 2C:36-2 involving only marijuana or hashish;
    • possession of a controlled dangerous substance while operating a motor vehicle in violation of N.J.S. 39:4-49.1 involving only marijuana or hashish; and
    • any disorderly person offense or petty disorderly persons offense subject to conditional discharge pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:36A-1 involving only marijuana or hashish.
    • For cases involving the above-enumerated charges as well as other offenses, the Attorney General directed prosecutors to use their discretion to either postpone the case in its entirety or seek dismissal, without prejudice, of the marijuana possession-related charge(s) and proceed with the prosecution of the remaining charges. Notably, today’s guidance does not affect the prosecution of cases charging the distribution of marijuana or possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

“Fairness demands that we suspend prosecution of marijuana possession-related cases while we await direction from the Legislature on the parameters for the decriminalization of marijuana and legalization of regulated adult-use cannabis,” said Attorney General Grewal. “It simply does not make sense or serve justice to proceed with prosecutions on charges that may be foreclosed soon through legislative action.”

Previously, on November 4, the Attorney General issued guidance to law enforcement emphasizing that they have broad discretion in handling low-level marijuana offenses, and encouraging them to exercise that discretion in light of anticipated legislative action that may decriminalize marijuana.

Attorney General Grewal reiterated that more comprehensive guidance, including direction on handling previously adjudicated matters, will follow when the Legislature provides details of the framework for marijuana decriminalization and the legalization of adult-use cannabis.

Guidance for Marijuana Possession Cases Pending in Municipal and Superior Courts: click here.

Guidance Regarding Municipal Prosecutors’ Discretion in Prosecuting Marijuana and Other Criminal Offenses, August 29, 2018: click here.

Interim Guidance on the Constitutional Amendment Legalizing Cannabis, November 4, 2020: click here.

Morris County GOP Announces Victories Throughout County

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Assemblywoman Aura Dunn

PARSIPPANY — With the election results in Morris County now certified, the Morris County Republican Committee (MCRC) is announcing victories throughout the county amid an unprecedented election.

Morris County Republican Chairwoman Laura Ali lauded the victories, “We are so proud of all of our candidates, they faced an unprecedented election year with purpose and resolve and emerged victoriously. We are thrilled they will continue to represent the residents of Morris County.”

State, County, and local Republican candidates prevailed across Morris County, with strong margins of victory for Senator Anthony Bucco, Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, and Freeholder Tayfun Selen. Local candidates also outperformed their Democrat opponents in spite of strong headwinds, including impressive wins in, Boonton, Chatham Township, Chester Borough, Jefferson, Mendham Borough, Montville, Morris Plains, Mountain Lakes, Pequannock, and Randolph.

“We had top-notch candidates and incumbents and the residents of Morris County overwhelmingly supported the excellent governance and quality of service these public servants continue to provide. We must thank the entire Republican County Committee who really stepped up to help bring our winners across the finish line,” said Peter J. King, Vice-Chair of the Morris County Republican Committee.

MCRC strategically utilized social media, text messaging, digital communication, and direct mail for voter contact and fundraising for candidates. With over 75,000 volunteer phone calls, 15,000 doors knock 200,000 paid text messages, coordinated a county-wide comprehensive challenger program, and designed and implemented an analytics tracking database that enabled MCRC to track returns and determine races in advance based on modeling throughout the campaign.

“Given this was a mainly vote-by-mail election, unlike New Jersey has ever seen, it was essential we met the challenge seriously and organized a strong grassroots campaign to inform voters of the process and ensure they returned their ballots. Our GOTV strategy started on Labor Day,” Chairwoman Ali said.

As of November 20, when the election results were certified, the estimated turnout in Morris County was nearing 80% with Republican and Democratic turnout appearing to be neck and neck. For more information on the Morris County Republican Committee’s future events and initiatives click here.

Look who is ready for adoption!!! It’s Tofu!!!!

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MORRIS COUNTY — Two-year-old Tofu came to us with a broken back. His family had let him suffer for weeks or longer before we were finally able to convince them to relinquish him to the rescue. Tofu has been seen by a specialist, gotten his wheels, and is ready for adoption!!!

Tofu is a Shih Tzu and will need to be in his wheelchair for the rest of his life. We are looking for a special family with similar special needs dog experience to adopt him. Tofu LOVES other dogs and also really enjoys going for walks! He’s still a playful pup despite his life-changing injury.

Tofu needs to go to aqua therapy and will need to be seen by a neurologist regularly for check-ups. He is so sweet, affectionate, and funny we know he is worth the extra care!

Due to his injury, Tofu needs to be expressed 3 times a day to urinate. When he is left alone, he is put in a small area to make sure he is still comfortable but also safe. He loves treats, getting snuggles from his foster dads, and loving on his doggy foster siblings.

If you’re looking to open your home to a very special, sweet boy, apply to adopt Tofu!

If you are interested in adopting Tofu, please fill out an application by clicking here.

Click here to follow on Instagram; Click here to follow on Facebook.

Volunteers Needed For Blood Drives

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MORRIS COUNTY —New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS), which provides blood for local patients, is looking for a few good volunteers.

The blood drive volunteer is an integral member of our team whose tasks include assisting donors with registration and/or at the refreshment area. No medical background necessary. Volunteers should be outgoing to provide friendly customer service and be able to perform tasks as needed. Must have transportation.

All training is provided including additional precautions for the safety of our team and blood donors.  For additional information call or text Sharon Zetts, Manager, NJBS Volunteer Services at (732) 850-8906, Monday to Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To apply online as a blood drive volunteer click here.

Morris County Positive COVID-19 Cases on the Rise

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PARSIPPANY — Morris County authorities are reporting a moderate increase in the rate of COVID-19 cases, consistent with a statewide uptick, citing a correlation with increased indoor gatherings prompted by cooler outdoor temperatures.

“New Jersey is seeing moderate increases in community spread of COVID-19 and the New Jersey Department of Health has indicated that it is anticipating a second wave. There has been an increase in a transmission associated with gatherings, especially gatherings held indoors,” said Morris County Health Officer Carlos Perez.

Below is the revised new COVID-19 cases in Morris County from November 17 through November 23:

The County Office of Health Management and local health departments continue to perform essential duties to prevent the spread of infections, including enhanced surveillance and contact tracing, which is the process of identifying and notifying people who may have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19 to prevent further spread of the disease.

“It is important that persons instructed to quarantine and isolate by their local health department and/or healthcare provider do so to prevent the spread of infection,” said Perez.

Contact tracers, he said, will not ask for social security numbers, bank or credit card information, health insurance information, immigration status, or criminal history.
“They are only following up about potential exposure to COVID-19 cases, to determine if a person has symptoms and needs to self-isolate. Report any calls from persons identifying themselves as contact tracers and requesting such information to your local police department,” Perez said.

Health professionals emphasize that COVID-19 is preventable if individuals:
1. Wear a cloth face covering when in public (both indoors and outdoors).
2. Practice social distancing (maintain a 6-foot space between you and others).
3. Follow good respiratory hygiene recommendations.
4. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands.
5. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or eyes with unclean hands.
6. Get a flu shot.
7. Stay home if you are sick and avoid sick people.
8. If you become ill, call your healthcare provider before going to a doctor’s office or the emergency department of a hospital.

Becchi Concedes New Jersey CD-11 Race to Sherrill

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PARSIPPANY — Rosemary Becchi, the Republican candidate in New Jersey’s 11th congressional district, concedes the election to Mikie Sherrill.

“I’m very proud of the campaign we’ve run,” Becchi said. “I want to thank, wholeheartedly, everyone who supported me throughout this process– from my family, campaign staff, volunteers, to the voters themselves. It was a hard-fought campaign and over 206,000 voters supported our platform but unfortunately, we came up a little short and ultimately lost by 6%.

Throughout this campaign, it was clear to me that the people of this district want a representative to focus on the people and the issues that matter most to the district. Our country will face many challenges in the coming months and years and never has it been more important to put people over politics. We must continue to advocate for policies that will help us restart our economy, support our law enforcement, protect those that are most vulnerable, including those that are disabled as well as our children, and advocate for those who fought for us, our veterans. I will continue to fight for these values as I know others in the district will. I wish Mikie Sherrill well and hope that she has heard the voices of all of the people of the eleventh district and will work to unite our district, state and country” Becchi concluded.

What Now, as Scotland Finally Qualify for Major Tournament?

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V&A Dudush, Panoramio - V&A Dudush - Scotland National Stadium, CC BY 3.0

It has been 22 years since Scotland last appeared at a major tournament, going out in the group stages on World Cup 98 after a humiliating defeat at the hands of Morocco. Since then, six different managers have tried to qualify for 10 major tournaments, without success.

They even went into the tie with Serbia as underdogs as their opponents have been at three of the last four World Cup finals. Leading until the 90th minute, Scotland looked likely to break the heartache, only for a last-minute equalizer to seemingly shatter their dreams.

They held firm through extra time and finally won in the penalty shoot-out, 5-4. That has ensured them their place at the Euro 2020 tournament, which will now be held in 2021 across several different European countries. Euro 2020 was scheduled to take place this summer but as Bwin explain, it was lost along with a host of other sporting events as restrictions were placed on travel and large gatherings. The hopes are that restrictions will now be lifted to allow fans to attend, especially as Scotland have been drawn in a group with their old enemy, England. The two first met in 1872 in the first-ever international game, but have only met once in a major tournament since 1996.

The question now for Scotland, is what happens next? Manager Steve Clarke will surely be immortalized for his role in pushing them to the finals next year, and with a squad packed with promising young players, there must be a strong hope they can kick on and once again become a regular fixture on the international scene. Indeed, between 1974 and 1998 they only failed to qualify for a single tournament – that being the one held here in the United States in 1994 – a tournament England also missed out on.

The qualification will give the Scottish FA plenty to focus on and work with, as does the presence of captain Andy Robertson, the Champions League-winning left-back from Liverpool’s dominant team of the last couple of years. Ties between Liverpool and Scotland have helped both to success over the years, with names such as Dalglish and Hansen classed as legends at Anfield and Hampden Park. Robertson is the only Scot at Anfield now, but he is joined in the international ranks by Manchester United’s promising midfielder Scott McTominay and Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney.

The rivalry between Celtic and Rangers is well-known and has been thought to disrupt international camps at times, but there was little chance of domestic disagreements derailing last night’s result; only three of the starting XI appear for the Old Firm. In fact, Motherwell provided more starters than Celtic, who have won nine consecutive domestic titles. By having a pool of players that is wider than the big two, Scotland appears to have found some domestic harmony.

There is also hope that a new talisman can be found upfront. Lyndon Dykes spent much of his youth in Australia but has already bagged goals for Queens Park Rangers in the Championship. He is one player the Scots will look to turn to for inspiration next summer, and if Lawrence Shankland continues his domestic form, he will surely be in the reckoning too. Shankland is something of a phenomenon, hitting 92 goals in 115 domestic appearances for Ayr and Dundee United, amongst others. He has just three caps, but having played all his football in Scotland but outside of Glasgow, he is a role model for up and coming young Scots everywhere.

The team now has all the ingredients for some sustained success. On the international scene, success is seen as a qualification for tournaments, and with exciting young players, and key figures established not only in their top-flight but in England too, the future is beginning to look brighter for the national team.

Mountain Lakes Public Schools, a Public Alternative to a Private Education

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MOUNTAIN LAKES —  The Mountain Lakes Public Schools is now accepting applications for grades K – 12 for the 2021 – 2022 school year.

The tuition program has grown over the years and proudly provides its students with an exceptional education through small class sizes, high expectations, and personal attention to each student’s academic, social, and emotional needs. The innovative educators are leaders in their respective subject areas.

They are committed to providing each student with a challenging educational program and ample opportunities for involvement in a wide array of co-curricular activities.

Tuition students enjoy a public school opportunity with the finest private school education when they elect to join the Mountain Lakes School District.  The tuition rates are less than private schools and are anticipated as follows:

Anticipated Tuition Rates for 2021 – 2022 School Year

Kindergarten – 5th Grade       $13,700
6th Grade – 8th Grade            $13,900
9th Grade – 12th Grade          $17,700

In order to be considered for possible enrollment, please visit their website by clicking here under the Tuition Student Information tab and complete the application. 

In addition, prospective tuition students may contact the main office of each school to set up a tour of the school.  Here is the contact information for each school:

Mountain Lakes High School – Terry Caprara at 973-334-8400 or tcaprara@mlschools.org

Briarcliff Middle School – Sharon Shortt at 973-334-0342 or sshortt@mlschools.org

Wildwood Elementary School – Jill Morris at 973-334-3609 or jmorris@mlschools.org

Michael J. Fetherman, Superintendent of Schools adds, “We look forward to welcoming you to a district rich in values, traditions and progressive ideals that defines Mountain Lakes as a premier learning community.”

For specific questions about the tuition program, please email Mr. Michael J. Fetherman,
Superintendent of Schools at mfetherman@mlschools.org.

Murphy Signs Legislation to Bring Changes to the Use of Body Worn Cameras

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Governor Phil Murphy. Photo by Rich Hundley, Trentonian

MORRIS COUNTY — Acting on a commitment to further promote transparency in policing and build trust between police officers and the communities they serve, Governor Phil Murphy signed two pieces of legislation (S1163 and A4312), which concern the use of body-worn cameras by members of law enforcement.

The Governor also signed executive Order No. 201, which establishes a 14-member Interagency Working Group to provide recommendations to the Governor’s Office and Attorney General regarding technology solutions to facilitate the statewide implementation of body-worn cameras in law enforcement agencies. The Working Group will work to identify barriers to adopting body-worn cameras and recommend technology solutions to facilitate their implementation.

“We’ve made it clear that New Jersey will be second-to-none in enacting vital reforms to promote transparency and boost public confidence in law enforcement,” said Governor Murphy. “Body-worn cameras are a wise all-around investment in public safety that not only redouble our commitment to transparency and accountability but also ensure that members of law enforcement are equipped with an important tool to help them carry out their sworn duties. Today represents another step down what we know is a long road to a full understanding and lasting trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

“New Jersey has made great strides to promote a greater degree of professionalism, accountability, and transparency within our law enforcement agencies and our state is committed to ensuring that our officers feel supported when they are in the line of duty,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “This legislation being signed today is about developing greater accountability and establishing trust between police officers and the people who rely on them every day to keep our communities safe.”

“We are in the midst of a national reckoning on racial justice, which has highlighted a lack of trust between law enforcement and many of the communities we serve,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Since day one, we have been committed to rebuilding and strengthening that trust, and we know that body-worn cameras are an important tool in those efforts. They encourage professionalism, promote better interactions between police and the public, and have been universally welcomed by agencies across our state. Today, we not only take an important step towards the uniform, statewide use of body-worn cameras but also towards making New Jersey a national leader on yet another set of policing policies and best practices. I thank the Governor and the Legislature for their leadership and support in these efforts.”

“Today is a great day for New Jersey law enforcement and the communities we serve. The statewide implementation of body-worn cameras represents an important step in strengthening the bonds of trust between police departments and communities while fostering greater transparency and accountability,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.  “The New Jersey State Police has learned that recording interactions with the public from patrol vehicles for the last two decades has been a valuable asset in protecting both our citizens and our troopers alike.  The addition of body-worn camera technology is yet another layer of protection for our men and women in law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

“I would like to thank Governor Murphy and his staff for their relentless efforts in making sure all officers have body cameras for the protection of the community as well as law enforcement,” said Reverend John Taylor, New Jersey State Police Chaplain. “What a great day for New Jersey to be leading the way for the nation.”

“The body-worn camera has proven to be an excellent tool for law enforcement officers,” said Quovella Spruill, Executive Vice President, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives NJ Chapter. “Unfortunately, the principal detraction to this valuable technology is the cost. This has made them unattainable for many jurisdictions. These bills for body-worn camera usage and funding are long overdue. Law enforcement and the community agree on the transparency needed to aid in protecting everyone’s rights. As a mother of teenagers, woman of color, and law enforcement executive, I see how these tools can better serve in improving our relationships with our youth and citizens.”

The signing of this bill into law today is a win for our communities and law enforcement,” said Carolyn Chang, Past President, and Current Social Justice Committee Chair, Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey. “On behalf of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey, we thank the Governor and leaders in both chambers for enacting this new law.

“I commend Governor Phil Murphy for taking the necessary steps to ensure the statewide use of this effective public safety tool,” said Camden Mayor Frank Moran. “In our community, body-worn cameras have proven to be instrumental in the protection and accountability of police officers and residents alike.”

“Today, as law enforcement, we must work with our community and policy leaders with reflection and deliberation on the topics of policing and social justice reform,” said Wayne Blanchard, President of the State Troopers Fraternal Association. “When we have conversations, we get results that equal progress. I thank the bill sponsors and Governor Murphy and his team for including the STFA in the important conversations with respect to legislation on BWC.”

“This bill will ensure transparency for both the public and our law enforcement members,” said Pat Colligan, President, New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association (NJSPBA). “It will enhance officer safety and help us continue the extraordinarily high level of service we continue to provide the residents of our state.”

“The Fraternal Order of Police endorses Assembly Bill 4312 and its passage into law today,” said Bob Fox, President of the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police. “Body-worn cameras are a definitive tool for ensuring the safety of our brave men and woman in law enforcement, as well as, the people they serve. Body-worn cameras represent another tool for law enforcement to utilize in the quest for the safety and security of the people while providing the latest technology in our pursuit of transparency. This law and its funding will help continue the public trust and ensures the technology-based applications are used for the betterment of all New Jersey residents.”

S1163 requires every uniformed State, county, and municipal patrol law enforcement officer to wear a body-worn camera, subject to funding appropriated by the Legislature. Exceptions are permitted for officers engaged in undercover assignments, meeting with confidential informants, performing administrative or non-uniformed duties, and when directed by a superior officer for a lawful purpose.

The bill was sponsored by Senators Shirley Turner and Linda Greenstein, and Assemblymembers Herb Conaway and Cleopatra Tucker.

“Police body cameras have become an essential part of community policing today,” said Assemblymembers Cleopatra Tucker, Herb Conaway, Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, and Shavonda Sumter, in a joint statement. “They aim to ensure accountability for any actions which take place during a police stop, whether it is by the officer or a resident. Tensions surrounding community policing escalated after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The distrust between communities of color and law enforcement was once again highlighted in the national spotlight. A body camera is only one way of ensuring greater transparency and accountability for law enforcement, and to rebuilding community relations; however, it will be a uniquely powerful tool in getting there.”

A4312 regulates the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers. Under the bill, officers would be required to keep the camera activated when responding to a call for service or when initiating law enforcement or investigative encounter. When immediate activation of the camera is impossible or dangerous, an officer would be required to activate the camera at the first reasonable opportunity to do so. Officers would be required to notify subjects that the camera is activated and, under certain conditions, may deactivate a camera upon the subject’s request. To protect the privacy of civilians in sensitive situations, the bill limits the use of body-worn cameras while officers are on school property, in medical facilities, and in houses of worship.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblymembers Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Shavonda Sumter, and Cleopatra Tucker, and Senators Nia Gill and Shirley Turner.

“As we work to improve policing in New Jersey, setting clear guidelines for body camera usage is crucial for transparency, accountability, and public confidence, safeguarding both citizens and law enforcement officers,” said Senator Gill. “These regulations will provide clear guidelines for how these body cameras are used allowing for consistency and reliability when footage is needed and pulled.”

“In recent years, body cameras have become a valuable tool for transparency, exposing instances of police misconduct and helping to hold officers accountable,” said Senator Turner. “They also protect officers against false accusations and reduce the legal costs associated with use-of-force lawsuits, which are ultimately paid for by taxpayers.  Body cameras will help to create safer communities, and both officers and civilians will benefit greatly from rebuilding trust between police officers and the communities they have sworn to serve and protect.”

A copy of Executive Order No. 201 can be found here by clicking here.

Morris County Freeholders Aid Local Merchants While Honoring Small Business Saturday

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MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Board of Freeholders authorized the distribution of COVID-19 protective gear to local merchants today, as they unanimously proclaimed November 28, 2020, to be “Small Business Saturday” through a resolution that also urged the public to “Shop Small” after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Infrared thermometers, a 50-count box of face masks and employee signage will be provided to each Morris County business owner who applies for the supplies, for as long as those supplies last. The gear is intended to help small merchants keep employees safe, protect customers, and continue to do business under increasing operational restrictions imposed by the state in response to the pandemic.

“We will be working with both the Morris County Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce in this effort as we continue our support for small businesses who have been particularly hard hit this year. We also believe the national campaign for Small Business Saturday has a greater significance this year in light of the many small businesses that have closed due to the pandemic,” said Freeholder John Krickus, Chair of the Morris County Economic Recovery Task Force.

Small businesses that frequently interact with the public may request a handheld infrared thermometer and a box of 50 disposable surgical masks by completing and submitting an application found by clicking here.

The damage COVID-19 has brought to family businesses is still being tallied by economists.  But Forbes recently reported an estimated 100,000 businesses have shut down permanently due to the pandemic and related lock-downs.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), a nonprofit small-business advocacy group, recently reported that one in five business owners anticipates they will not survive the year if current economic trends continue.

“I fully identify with what these small business owners are going through and what it takes to make a payroll in these times because I am also a small business owner.  While I’ve been fortunate, I’ve watched others struggle to keep in business and it hasn’t been easy. I hope we can inspire more people to patronize our small businesses not just on Saturday after Thanksgiving, but all year long,” said Freeholder Thomas Mastrangelo, a board liaison to economic development and the chambers of commerce.

The Small Business Saturday and “Shop Small” campaign were launched a decade ago by American Express to help small businesses and urge consumers to shop within their own communities during the holiday season.  More than 80 percent of Morris County businesses have 20 employees or fewer, putting them firmly at the front end of the small business spectrum, and one-third of workers here are employed at companies with under 100 employees, according to the latest data available from the Current Population Survey of the U.S. Census.

“On behalf of our members and small businesses throughout Morris County, I would like to thank the county government and the freeholder board for their generosity in making these thermometers and face masks available,” said Meghan Hunscher, president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce and Morris County Economic Development Corporation.  “This is especially timely as this coming Saturday, November 28, is Small Business Saturday, which encourages shoppers to patronize local small businesses. With the county’s support, these small businesses will now be full prepared to safely welcome shoppers on this busy day.”

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, New Jersey was home to an estimated 884,049 small, which made up 99.6 percent of all businesses in the state, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Those companies also employed about half of the 3.6 million private-sector workers in New Jersey last year.

The 2019 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey reported that 95 percent of consumers who shopped on Small Business Saturday last year said it made them want to shop or eat at small, independently-owned businesses all year long, not just during the holiday season.

Nationally, in 2019, consumers reported spending a record $19.6 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday, according to a survey contracted by American Express and the NFIB.  On average, for every dollar spent at local small businesses, 67 cents stays in the local community, according to a 2018 survey authorized by American Express and NFIB.

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