Is small business retail dead in New Jersey? (Opinion)
Although given the high rate of unemployment and the hundreds of thousands still out of work in the Garden State, the news about new jobs coming is welcome.
Amazon announcing the opening of nearly 7,000 jobs at first sounds great. For me, as an exclusively online shopper now because I refuse to submit to the absurdity of mask wearing, the news is not a surprise. Only a few items cannot be purchased through the site that I’ve discovered. Mainly a car and booze. But everything else from propane refills for my weed torch to olive oil and canned tomatoes for the next "Sunday gravy" are all just a click away. But with these new jobs comes the reality for many of New Jersey’s small businesses which may never open their doors again.
With NJ being among the last places in the US to deal with the reality that the pandemic is long over, retail businesses are still shuttered for the most part, or limping along with limited capacity and ridiculous and unnecessary restrictions. The entire experience of in-store shopping has changed for the worse. Can’t try on clothes, can’t interact normally as there is a heightened tension in the air with COVID-craziness. Masks hiding peoples smile and other positive facial expressions. Sadly, none of the distance, restrictions and mask policies have any basis in science.
The masks especially are a representation of submission to ignorance and fear that has ZERO basis in fact. They certainly have no impact on the end of the pandemic which was largely over well before all of the restrictions were put in place. And for those fools still ringing the panic alarm over a "second" and even a "third" wave, the actual evidence simply shows that it’s simply not happening. Positive tests are not an indicator of sick people. Actually, positive PCR tests are so inaccurate that a study reported in the New York Times used the number 90%. The reason is that the test itself is so sensitive that any trace of the virus, even dead, will show up.
So how do we recover? How do we help people who are still scared of a virus that will barely make anyone sick these days let alone kill anyone who isn’t already seriously health compromised? Sadly, I’m not sure we can before it’s too late for so many small businesses. I’m hoping that the online marketplace will create new opportunities for small business to compete on the quality and price of their goods, but the experience of shopping and interacting as normal humans seems to be rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
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.