The tour across New Jersey continues in earnest, as I jumped back in immediately after taking two weeks to travel the country. It's a great perspective to visit states around the nation and meet with business owners and local leaders.

Most will tell you that what they hear about New Jersey is negative. High taxes, over regulation, congestion and far left politicos infringing on constitutional rights.

Sadly, the state of our state at this moment under the reign of Phil Murphy and his cohorts in Trenton has not improved over the past few years.

There are several ways to restore prosperity, progress and personal freedom to our great state. Empowering parents tops the list along with restoring law and order, restructuring government agencies and restoring a focus in Trenton that is pro-family, pro-community and grounded in providing a government that serves the people and not the other way around.

One of the most important things that we've dedicated our time to is promoting small business.

As a business owner in New Jersey, I speak on this issue directly and personally. Small businesses, with nearly two million employees in the Garden State, truly are the back bone of our economy.

Of course, with the highest business taxes in the country and the massive amount of regulation and government intrusion it's clear that the current regime in Trenton does not get it or simply doesn't care.

Well, like you, I'm sick and tired of the disconnected and arrogant professional politicians in Trenton.

So, we're doing something about it. The small business tour will continue in earnest as we help shine a light on the great family businesses and entrepreneurs that hold the key to turning NJ around.

Our first stop was to Livoti's Old World Market.  Livoti's in a word is awesome.

In store products made from fresh vegetables, homemade bread and fresh mozzarella made in front of your eyes. We could have spent an hour shopping in the bright, clean, well-stocked market.

Manager Andrew brought Jodi and I around the store beaning with pride of an outstanding company with incredible products and customer service. Buddy is responsible for the pizza and sandwiches and sent us home with a mozzarella, prosciutto and arugula sub. In a word...Outstanding.

The taste and texture were top shelf. We will be back. On a side note, you don't expect to get coffee at the supermarket, but Livoti's is a cut above. The coffee was delicious, strong by not bitter. Perfect.

We then stopped in Wahoo's Tacos and met owner Remo behind the bar. Lively, friendly, fun atmosphere.

Great food, service and a strong selection of beer. It's important to note that even when visiting a franchise that has multiple locations in several states, those businesses are family owned at the local level.

Remo exemplifies all the best that New Jersey entrepreneurs have to offer. Pride in the product and delivery. Understanding that customers come first, Remo provides a much needed break for Middletown folks tired from a long day's work, or commute on the parkway, and a festive atmosphere to enjoy the company of friends and family.

Next time, Jodi and I are hoping to stay for a beer and a meal. The smell was delicious.

Our last stop was actually our first stop, but we were asked to come back as more people showed up to say hi after we left.

Bijoux Boutique is a brand new women's boutique clothing store that just opened a few months ago. We had a great conversation with owner Gwen and her husband Frank and a dozen plus customers who stopped in to shop and hear my message of protecting and promoting small business.

The quality of the products, the displays and customer service add up to a store that will undoubtedly be very successful. So visit Bijoux Boutique to buy an outfit, then stop in to Wahoo's for a beer and a bite, then hit Livoti's to bring home the groceries.

A special thanks to our friend Andrea Agin from Industry Magazine for making the small business introductions!

We'll be back in Middletown soon.

Check out my upcoming schedule here and join us on the trail...

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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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