Slowly but surely Governor Murphy is reopening New Jersey, and I do mean slowly. Today he opened the malls but with mandatory masks and 50% capacity.

There will be no food courts or indoor dining but you can get take out. There will be no movie theaters, arcades, valet parking, or play areas for little kids. Teenagers in some malls can only attend with a parent. Won't that make for a great shopping experience?

Now that we've been forced to shop online, I'm guessing fewer people will be going back to the brick and mortar stores.

What mall opened hoping for a 50% capacity? What restaurant survives with 25% indoor capacity? The American Dream has become a nightmare for those who opened in it. How temporary is this temporary arrangement? Governor Murphy says, "Public health determines economic health and data determines dates," which I can definitely see on a t-shirt sold at the boardwalk. But he won't let us see the data which continues to leave business owners in the dark as to when they can begin to see the light of day.

How long can the business owners survive it? Between online shopping and the coronavirus pandemic, we could see the end of a Jersey economic icon.

This government shutdown has been permanently shutting down many Jersey businesses, such as restaurants and gyms. While many employees collect stimulus checks and unemployment, business owners go broke with the burden of paying the business bills as well as providing for their families without any money coming in.

Whatever happens from here, businesses are going to have to design a model for the future that would allow them to profit under these types of conditions. Good luck with that. While we're at it, good luck getting any future businesses to open in New Jersey. Now that they've seen how easily the government can wipe you out.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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