NEWARK, N.J. – The Northeastern Retail Lumber Association (NRLA) has announced that, through executive action, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey has designated LBM suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors as essential businesses.
Essential businesses include those necessary to maintain shelter and the state’s infrastructure, such as hardware and home improvement stores and manufacturing and trucking companies supplying those businesses. This is a critical component as it allows NRLA wholesale and distributor partners to continue to function alongside its retail members.
Nick Kuiken, VP of sales for Kuiken Brothers, Fairlawn, N.J. said, “Governor Murphy’s mandate reflects the LBM industry’s first priority, which is the implementation of health and safety standards. His taking immediate action demonstrates the importance associations such as the New Jersey Building Material Dealers and the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association have when it comes to governmental affairs. It is my hope that other states will use this model and follow suit.”
NRLA commended Gov. Murphy for his actions. “This executive order will allow our industry to fill critical needs in our communities and municipalities. Our members stand by ready to support the state’s efforts to manage the COVID-19 outbreak,” said NRLA President Rita Ferris.
“The LBM industry is a trusted and reliable anchor in neighborhoods across New Jersey,” said Kirk Ives, NRLA director of legislative and regulatory affairs. “Being classified as an essential business allows our members to continue to provide the products and services their customers need and depend on during these challenging times. We look forward to partnering with our public officials to help protect the health and safety of our communities.”
The NRLA, which operates in 11 states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, is advocating for the lumber and building material supply industry to be deemed as essential and is asking member companies to email their Governor and Legislators to request this designation. So far, along with New Jersey, states who have recognized the important role building material suppliers play in building the health and safety of our community include Maine, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Gov. Murphy’s essential businesses mandate falls under Executive Order 107. Gov. Murphy also signed Executive Order 108, which invalidates any county or municipal restriction that in any way will or might conflict with any of the provisions of Executive Order 107. Both Executive Orders took effect at 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 21.