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Corner Office: Executive Q&A
What is the biggest issue facing your industry?

by Avani Bharucha and Jason Wolf
Avani Bharucha
Associate Partner, Baratz & Associates, P.A.
“The accounting industry has been forced to embrace new technology during the pandemic. Baratz & Associates, P.A. had already accepted the remote-work trend on a limited basis. So, our firm was not only prepared with employee resources, we further invested in software that delivers end products to clients securely. This has helped maintain stability for both employees and clients, enabling our business to continue in the face of challenging times.”
Jason Wolf
Founder and Managing Principal, Wolf Commercial Real Estate
“Absent another round of fiscal stimulus, consumer spending could downshift in coming months. Although the pace is slowing, the economy is still firmly on the path to recovery. Unfortunately, commercial real estate is lagging in this respect. Across all major property types, vacancy rates have turned higher and rent growth has slowed, or in the case of retail, declined outright. Likewise, property price appreciation has begun to slow, and cap rates have shown signs of pressing higher.”
The New Jersey CEO Council has pledged to hire or train more than 30,000 residents by 2030 and spend an additional $250 million with state-based, diverse companies by 2025, focusing on low-income and underserved communities. With this, they are challenging other companies to produce an additional 40,000 jobs and $250 million in local purchasing.
New Jersey is receiving an additional $100 million in federal aid to help the state’s economy recover from COVID-19. Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant program will distribute $70 million for small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees. The remaining $30 million will be split up in the following ways:
• $15 million to support renters through the state department of community affairs’ COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program
• $10 million to help small businesses in New Jersey buy personal protective equipment
• $5 million to support local food banks and other hunger relief efforts across the state

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Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2020).

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