NEW JERSEY – An additional $100 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support New Jersey residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to officials.

The bulk of the money, $70 million, will be distributed to restaurants, microbusinesses, and other small businesses through Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.

“Small businesses and the people they employ are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy, yet they have borne a disproportionate share of the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “If we are to emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient than we were before, it is incumbent on us to support them in any way possible. This additional funding helps us accomplish that goal.”

An additional $10 million will be used to help small businesses purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through the NJEDA Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program; $15 million will go to support renters through the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating economic impact on many vulnerable New Jersey families and keeping a roof over their heads is our top priority,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “The additional support we are providing will extend relief to tenants so they can focus their limited resources on staying safe and secure.”

The remaining $5 million will be used to provide relief for New Jersey residents facing food insecurity. These funds will build off of the $20 million announced in July that the Department of Agriculture (NJDA) used to support Emergency Feeding Organizations, which have been supporting food banks, food pantries, hunger relief centers, and soup kitchens that provide food to those in need.

Housing prices aren’t coming down anytime soon according to In its latest housing report, the take-away is housing prices around the country remain at record highs as we move towards year-end. The U.S. median home price hit $350,000, a 12.9 percent year-over-year increase. Consider that’s the largest annual price growth since 2017.

Climbing prices have not kept buyers away. “This an unusual Fall market because it’s October and we are still seeing lots of buyers. The low-interest rates mean buyers can qualify for higher-priced homes which drives up market prices,” notes Danielle Hale, chief economist for “It does not appear prices are coming down anytime soon,” Hale adds.

The numbers showed 21 continuous weeks of median listing prices rising. Inventory declines were slightly down. This is a small sign “sellers may be staying in the market”, according to Hale. Yet year-over-year inventory is down significantly—38 percent. Look to that key market indicator, Days on Market and you’ll find homes are selling 13 days faster than they were in the first week of October 2019. “Sellers continue to get the message that buyers are actively participating in the market.” The national market is stronger now than in the pre-COVID days of January.’s proprietary, Housing Market Recovery Index (Housing Market Recovery Index,) rang in at 110.4 for the first week of October. Today’s market is 10.4 points stronger than before COVID. Hale’s advice for buyers in today’s market. “Buyers should be as prepared as possible with as much professional help as possible. Because those buyers will need to be able to make quick competitive choices.”

Here’s what’s happening in metros around the country defined by year-over-year median listing prices, total listings and, median days on market. The Charleston-North

Just how much money do Phillies have coming off their books this offseason? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies have a substantial amount of money coming off of their books this offseason — more than $60 million with the expiring contracts of four players in Jake Arrieta, Didi Gregorius, David Robertson and J.T. Realmuto.

From a luxury tax perspective, those four expiring average annual salaries equal $60.5 million.

Jose Alvarez ($2.95M), Phil Gosselin ($1M) and Tommy Hunter ($850,000) reach free agency too, clearing up another $4.8 million.

That’s over $65 million that was applied to the Phillies’ 2020 luxury tax threshold that won’t be applied in 2021. That’s a ton of wiggle room for the Phillies to accomplish what needs to be accomplished this offseason by signing Realmuto, adding pitching and potentially bringing back Gregorius.

Beyond that $65 million, the Phillies can clear even more money if they decline the club options for Hector Neris ($7 million) and/or David Phelps ($4.5 million). It may not make sense to cut ties with either reliever, though, given how thin this bullpen is. That is a more-than-fair price for Phelps if he pitches as he did in the five years before the Phillies acquired him, not the month after.

Three more players who will get more expensive in 2021 if the Phillies keep them are Vince Velasquez, Heath Hembree and Adam Morgan. 

  • Velasquez made $3.6 million (pre-proration) in 2020 in his second arbitration year. A reasonable estimate for his final arbitration year would be $4.5 million, which is steep for a pitcher who hasn’t solidified himself in the rotation or bullpen.
  • Hembree made $1.6 million and will likely be in that $2 million range again after a disastrous stint with the Phils. He could be a non-tender.
  • Morgan made just a


  • Trump accused Democrats of holding $1,200 stimulus checks hostage to aid for cash-strapped state and local governments
  • The president is still recovering from COVID-19 and is taking a steroid that interferes with thought processes and causes aggression
  • Trump’s shift in direction comes as the recovery from the coronavirus-induced recession appears to be losing steam

After putting the kibosh on further coronavirus stimulus negotiations, President Donald Trump Wednesday urged Congress to send him a trimmed-down measure that would provide $1,200 payments to individuals, along with funds to shore up the airlines and small businesses.

Trump sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average into a more than 375-point dive Tuesday, tweeting he had ordered an end to negotiations between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The two sides were more than $500 billion apart on the size of the next round of stimulus. The president said there would be no new talks until after the Nov. 3 election.

The action came after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell urged lawmakers to pass a sizable stimulus package, warning failure would lead to a protracted recovery and permanent damage to the economy.

The Dow opened higher Wednesday, recouping Tuesday’s losses.

Hours after halting the talks, the president, who still is undergoing treatment for COVID-19 and taking a steroid that interferes with thought processes, tweeted Congress should move immediately to “approve $25 billion for airline payroll support and $135 billion for [the] Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses.”

He also accused Pelosi and other Democrats of “playing games” with stimulus payments for individuals, holding them hostage to funds for cash-strapped state and local governments reeling from the costs of dealing with the pandemic.

Wednesday morning, Trump urged Congress to “move fast” on stimulus checks for individuals.

Trump’s shift in direction comes as

  • The largest oil and gas companies, including ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and BP, are projected to sell a combined $100 billion in oil and gas assets around the world as they focus on top-performing regions, particularly the U.S. shale, according to a new analysis from consulting firm Rystad Energy.
  • Climate change and renewable energy investments are forces that these Big Oil firms need to respond to strategically, but their own carbon divestiture campaigns will be motivated by factors distinct from the push from climate activists. 

a boat in the water: The Johan Sverdrup oil field in the North Sea, operated by Equinor, is the third-largest oil field on the Norwegian continental shelf, with 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Equinor is planning to cut the carbon-intensity of energy products it sells by at least 50% as part of the energy transition related to climate change.

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The Johan Sverdrup oil field in the North Sea, operated by Equinor, is the third-largest oil field on the Norwegian continental shelf, with 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Equinor is planning to cut the carbon-intensity of energy products it sells by at least 50% as part of the energy transition related to climate change.

Energy transition has climbed towards the top of the agenda in the boardrooms of the world’s largest oil and gas companies. With electrification and renewable energy on the rise, Big Oil is striving to adapt to a transformation that could eventually render their business obsolete if they don’t latch on to the opportunities it brings. The result could be a massive sell-off of assets as the biggest petroleum players concentrate their oil and gas production to the countries where oil and gas is cheapest and easiest to produce.

The transition to renewable energy poses a threat to oil and gas production in the longer term as solar and wind power is expanding on the energy supply side, while lower-cost electric vehicles and better battery technology are driving big changes on the global oil demand side. Big oil companies have strong skills within energy and own assets globally that they can use to remain competitive