With many businesses forced to close or suspend operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is leaving many individuals and families feeling anxious and uncertain about their future.

“This is a tough time for all, but especially for those who may live paycheck to paycheck without the benefit of savings or other resources to fall back on,” Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson said in a release.

While the Atlantic County Economic Alliance (www.aceanj.com) is available to assist local businesses connect with loan and grant programs, residents who are temporarily laid off or are facing unemployment also need support.

  • Residents who need to apply for unemployment benefits should do so online at www.myunemployment.nj.gov.
  • Those who seek financial assistance including food stamps may apply online at www.NjHelps.org.
  • Job seekers can access more than 43,000 current job openings among more than 450 employers at www.jobs.COVID19.nj.gov.

Levinson also wants county residents to be aware of several initiatives to help support New Jersey homeowners and tenants through this public health and economic crisis. They include a 90-day mortgage payment grace period without any late fees or credit rating downgrade. There is also a 90-day moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. Landlords cannot evict tenants during this time and are also asked not to raise rents. Credit card companies have also been asked to suspend late fees where feasible and to reduce interest rates.

“More details will be forthcoming, but this information should bring some comfort to many of our most financially vulnerable residents,” he said.

On Sunday, recipients of the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) received an average of $94 more on their Electronic Benefits Transfer debit card, the first of two monthly increases. A household of three will receive an average of $205 per month more in March and April.

Atlantic County also provides support for the homeless and those at risk for homelessness with funding for food, temporary housing, healthcare services and case management.  These services are coordinated in cooperation with Jewish Family Services and the Atlantic Homeless Alliance.  Learn more at https://www.jfsatlantic.org/services/atlantic-homeless-alliance.

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.