Each Monday we open up the show for small business owners and employees to call and plug their business. This week we heard from one of the most diverse grounds of business owners from carrot cake bakers to dog walkers to the best chicken parm in America.

Dillon Kydd via Unsplash
Dillon Kydd via Unsplash

Here's a list of the top picks from the calls on Monday. As we've discussed so often on the air, the backbone of New Jersey's economy is the thousands of small businesses that line our main streets, strip malls and are increasingly popping up in people's home offices.

In 2021, there were nearly a million New Jerseyans employed in what is considered a small business. The accepted definition is fewer than 500 employees, but if you look at those businesses which employ 20 or fewer, there are more than 900,000 people making a living with a true small business.

The real challenge in New Jersey is that most businesses consider the state of the economy as either poor or fair, with only 3% considering the economic outlook as excellent. Clearly, the politicians in Trenton have better things to do that help the small business climate in New Jersey or lower the onerous regulatory burden, or alleviate the highest in the national tax burden. After all, some inmates think the word "inmate" is offensive, so they need to focus on ridding the world of that scourge.

Here's a list of some of the New Jersey businesses we heard about on Monday:

We So Korny Kettle Korn in Toms River

Martinsville Tavern on Washington Valley Road in Martinsville

Kelsey from KK Sweets explained the difference between a macaroon and a macron (both delicious)

Marilyn in Franklin Lakes called about her clothing store: Boutique 811

Carol called to tell us about her son's music school, Music Notes Academy in East Brunswick

We learned that the best chicken parm around is served at Laicos Restaurant in Jersey City.

Looking at the menu there are at least a dozen things I want to order on my next visit.

Brandon called and plugged a business started by his mom, New Jersey Yellow Pages - NJYP.com

And we wrapped up the show with a call from Carly who owns Best Paw First, a dog walking company in Belmar

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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