A pair of Hunterdon County leaders have asked Gov. Phil Murphy to allow “nonessential” retail businesses to offer appointment-based sales, effective immediately.

“Allowing small businesses to offer appointment-based, retail shopping represents the next logical step forward in the reopening of New Jersey’s economy,” Hunterdon County Freeholder Director Shaun Van Doren and Deputy Director Susan Soloway said in a letter shared to the county's official Facebook account Sunday.

“Our small business community is truly at a breaking point," Soloway said, adding the Governor’s office confirmed receiving the plan but had no further comment.

“It is not fair that large retailers like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target can sell unlimited amounts of goods ranging from clothing, shoes, children’s toys, appliances and home furnishings; while our downtown retailers continue to remain closed by government decree,” Soloway said, calling the shopping by appointment request “more than reasonable.”

“There is no reason that an art gallery, specialty clothing store, pottery business, flower shop or children’s toy store cannot offer a safe shopping experience in such a controlled environment,” Soloway said in the joint letter sent to Murphy.

Murphy amended his executive order nearly two weeks ago, allowing non-essential retail stores to begin offering curbside pickup for customers, effective May 18.

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