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Gov. Phil Murphy announced the formation of a statewide council of leaders May 8, who will advise New Jersey’s restart and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wildwood businessman Brendan Sciarra, owner of Dogtooth Bar and Grill, Poppi’s Brick Oven, and Mudhen Brewing Company, was appointed to the council.

“I am honored to represent South Jersey on the governor’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council. Tourism accounts for $45 billion in revenue, $5 billion in state and local taxes, and tens of thousands of jobs annually," said Sciarra. "Our decisions to reopen must be data-driven, with health and public safety at the forefront, specifically that of our workers."

"The cyclical nature of South Jersey’s economy doesn’t allow for miscalculations. We must do this right. If South Jersey is closed for Memorial Day Weekend, the state will take an economic blow, but an outbreak July Fourth Weekend would be catastrophic to our economy," Sciarra added.

Sciarra will sit on the council’s Tourism and Entertainment Subcommittee, which will begin virtual meetings next week, along with eight other subcommittees. The governor’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council brings leaders from diverse industry groups and community organizations throughout New Jersey together to advise state leadership on economic matters impacted by COVID-19. In addition to focusing on issues surrounding the short-term restarting of New Jersey’s economy, this council will also begin the task of positioning the economy and creating a framework for the long-term recovery.