Small Business Owners Hope State Workforce Incentive Program Brings Employees Back

Unemployed New Jersey residents could see an additional $ 500 in their bank accounts as part of a new work incentive, Gov. Phil Murphy said on Monday.

The plan is an effort to help small businesses in the Garden State that are looking for employees. Employers would also receive funds to help fill positions under the plan.

The Westfield Chamber of Commerce has announced that it is hosting a career fair this week. Local businesses hope the state’s program will encourage skilled workers to return to work.

“The whole furniture industry is booming,” says Ron Shovlin, owner of Shovlin Mattress Factory.

And while owning a booming business is a good thing, Shovlin says it comes with some challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Aside from supply chain issues, it’s hard to find skilled labor,” he says.

Shovlin says he hopes the state’s Return and Earn incentive program will help address the labor shortage. He says he needs at least three new employees at his Fanwood factory and retail store to keep up with demand.

“It was very difficult. Things started to open up and they couldn’t get the help they need to reopen, ”said Gene Jannotti, CEO of the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber of Commerce represents 500 local businesses. Jannotti says he believes the incentive program can only help small businesses and, in turn, help the economy.

“This will help stimulate this economy again and jumpstart the economy by reintegrating these people into the workforce,” he says. “We have made a lot of progress in recent months, but we need to go much further. “

The $ 10 million pilot program will be funded with US bailout money from the federal government. The governor says that if he is successful, the state will consider expanding it. It was not known when the incentives would start.

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