New Jersey in-person auto sales to resume; retail could soon reopen for in-store shopping

Posted at 3:05 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 17:34:46-04

NEW JERSEY — As New Jersey continues to see a progression in battling COVID-19, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that in-person car, motorcycle and bicycle sales can resume beginning 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

The governor also said during a Facebook Live with Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss Tuesday that non-essential retail stores in New Jersey could welcome customers for indoor shopping and restaurants could open for outdoor dining within "a matter of weeks".

It's good news for small businesses who are trying to stay afloat under the strain of coronavirus.

Inside the kitchen at Chef Roscoe Coleman's RMT Buffet and Catering on Springfield Avenue in Irvington, the smell of peppers, onions and garlic sautéing are a sign of business slowly returning.

When coronavirus struck, Coleman’s catering business took a nosedive, just like everywhere else. At the time, his kitchen was fully stocked with food, so he decided to just give it all away.

"I just believe in giving. The more you give, the more you get back," he said, who gave free food to his former customers in the healthcare industry.

"We gave food to them, we gave food to the police department, we gave food to the senior citizens, which we really like doing, because we know they can’t get out," the chef added.

That spirit of healing his community is now beginning to heal his business.

Coleman prepared an order to feed 25 healthcare workers on Tuesday after a doctor at St. Barnabas Hospital called in a paid order for his staff.

"Now we have business coming in," said Chef Roscoe. "Not as regular as it used to be, but people are responding to the family dinner packages that we offer."

Citywide, Irvington has suffered from at least 1,270 cases of coronavirus and at least 134 deaths. Irvington has been testing seniors and Mayor Tony Vauss said they hope to start testing the general public starting this Friday.

On Tuesday, Gov. Murphy announced 18,000 pharmacists statewide are now authorized to administer COVID-19 tests, and CVS will start offering self-swab tests at least 50 locations by the end of the month.

"This is another important step forward as we continue to build testing capacity in our state," said Governor Murphy.

The city of Irvington is also working to roll out mobile testing units. They have not yet announced a location for testing the general public, but they plan to test 350 people each Friday. You will need a prescription.