Supporting Local Businesses in New Jersey
As a small businessperson in South Jersey I know how important it is to support local businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of our society and they represent a very important part of the economy of New Jersey and the nation.
According to the New Jersey Small Business Association, New Jersey small businesses employ 1.8 million people, or 49.8% of the private workforce, with the largest share working at businesses with fewer than 100 employees. There are over 860,000 small businesses in New Jersey and almost 240,000 of them are minority owned. Clearly, local businesses provide a huge amount of our prosperity as a state and we need to support them in any way we can.
The COVID-19 pandemic and lock-down has caused huge stress on most small businesses in our state and many have failed because of the government restrictions on in-person shopping. While I understand the need for caution when it comes to COVID I think it was misguided to classify certain businesses (typically larger ones like Walmart and supermarkets) as critical to remain open while the broad mass of smaller businesses were required to close. I truly feel that the social distancing that was implemented at places like supermarkets could have been implemented at small businesses too.
Regardless of what Governor Phil Murphy and the officials in Trenton mandated earlier in the crisis, we as citizens need to do a better job of supporting our friends and neighbors who have local businesses. Now that the guidelines are in place to re-open small businesses, I ask everyone when they are making a purchase to consider buying from their local retailers instead of the large chains or online retailers.
These business owners were here before the pandemic and we need to make sure that they are here for the long term.