Many boardwalks along the South Jersey coast are now open for business… or at the very least, walking. After weeks of shut down, towns like Ocean City and Wildwood have decided to re-open their boardwalks.
But in Ventnor, the popular, non-commercial boardwalk remains closed. Those looking to walk, run or bike, will be forced to use the very busy Atlantic Ave. Walkers will need to squeeze into 6ft wide sidewalks. The Ventnor Boardwalk, technically a street, is 20 ft wide.
After a barrage of resident pressure, the Mayor and Commissioners have lifted their ill-advised surfing ban in Ventnor as of MAY 13. Surfing and paddle boarding will now be allowed in the Ventnor surf. Why was it banned in the first place?
The Mayor of Ventnor, Beth Holtzman, was initially a proponent of keeping the Ventnor beaches & boardwalk open. But then, for some reason, Holtzman changed her mind. Watch this video from March 26.
Atlantic County Exec Dennis Levinson has presented a very broad plan to get the County back to business. Officials submitted a proposal for reopening business shuttered by the current health issues.
The proposal to NJ state officials calls for immediate relaxation of closures that have affected small businesses.
Current rules designated some businesses as essential. They have greatly benefited large national chain stores at the expense of small local businesses,” says the proposal, submitted by County Executive Dennis Levinson and Freeholder Chairman Frank Formica.
Given the relationship of boardwalks to shore tourism, steps should be taken to open all boardwalk businesses and lessen restrictions on activities. (like walking and riding on boardwalks)County Exec Dennis Levinson
Strict social distancing is still critical. Shore communities have a strong interest in the manner in which beaches may be opened and enjoyed by residents and visitors.
Atlantic County leadership believes local towns should make the decision to open beaches and boardwalks. Local communities must decide on how to enforce compliance, too.
Atlantic County wants everybody to get back to work, safely.
Levinson: The current economic situation in Atlantic County is dire. The economic impact of the closures is expected to linger. It will not be resolved quickly. The regional economy is largely dependent on tourism, hospitality, recreation, dining, shopping and entertainment.
Economic impact of health related closures in Atlantic County: significant decline in tax revenue is expected.
In late April, Atlantic County contacted every county mayor. Those municipal officials recognized the need to get businesses opened as quickly as possible, in order to leverage the upcoming tourism season.
In a weekly teleconference with local chambers and business organizations, one particular community estimated that:
- 30% of their small businesses will not re-open.
- 89% of respondents adversely impacted by pandemic.
- 75% reported lost sales and income. Significant threats to their continuing operations.
- 41% say cash resources will be gone within a month.
Smart Mayors recognize complexities of getting businesses back in operation, while ensuring public and employee safety.
Atlantic County Plan: Jersey shore community goal should be to open beaches for swimming, sunbathing and other recreation sooner than later. (July is way too late)
Levinson: As to hotels, motels and other lodging: They’re vital to a tourism economy. We must be able to offer accommodations in which guests and employees feel safe and protected.
Message to Mayor Beth of Ventnor: Don’t let cure be worse than disease.
Atlantic County Exec Denny Levinson: So called ‘essential’ retail establishments have been permitted to operate since mid‐March. Let’s be fair. We should open all of our smaller retail establishments too. With smart restrictions.
Hair & nail salons, barbershops, medical‐related facilities, etc. Many are small businesses. Their mandated closure by NJ Gov. Murphy has severely impacted the ability of owners and employees to provide for their families.County Exec Levinson.
Rules that designated some places of business as essential. have greatly benefited large national chain stores at the expense of local small business.
Atlantic County Exec Dennis Levinson: A small jewelry shop, dress shop, furniture store, shoe store or other specialty business can’t open and sell the same piece of jewelry, dress, recliner, pair of shoes or Hallmark card that can be sold by the likes of Target, WalMart, Sam’s Club, CVS or others that have been deemed ‘essential’.
Levinson: This financially devastating inequity must be corrected immediately.