Right in the heart of Monmouth County, Middletown fitness center I AM Fitness has survived the lockdowns and is open for business. I spent some time with owner Deena Valente, Bob Meyer, and the great crew at I AM Fitness on 205 Harmony Road in Middletown last week.

I AM Fitness in Middletown, NJ
I AM Fitness in Middletown, NJ

All are a part of our small business tour around New Jersey.

As we know, small business is the backbone of New Jersey's economy. There are nearly 900,000 small businesses across the Garden State and we're doing our best to highlight and support as many as possible!

Nearly 2 million New Jerseyans work in what the SBA defines as a small business. Some, of course, are bigger than others and we've chosen to focus on the smaller small businesses, typically retail shops, service providers, gyms, restaurants, and main street storefronts.

As I've discussed for many years, the climate for business in the Garden State is poor and the burden of regulation and taxes is over the top and worse than most states. Fitness centers and gyms offer great opportunities for people to change or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

There is no doubt that during COVID we got it completely wrong at so many levels. One of the most obvious was closing physical activity centers like gyms. Clearly the most vulnerable to human ailments are those with co-morbidities like obesity and other ailments and physical activity obviously goes a long way to keeping people healthy.

I AM Fitness is a two-floor gym with enough machines for any workout style. From state-of-the-art lockers with steam and sauna rooms to a huge pool, this facility has it all. It was a great visit on Thursday, and I was happy to distribute our new shopping bags!

I AM Fitness in Middletown, NJ
I AM Fitness in Middletown, NJ

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.

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

LOOK: 25 must-visit hidden gems from across the US

From secret gardens to underground caves, Stacker compiled a list of 25 must-visit hidden gems from across the United States using travel guides, news articles, and company websites.

Biggest NJ company layoff notices in 2022 and 2023

In some cases, workers may be offered back their jobs or transfers to different locations. 

Here’s a look at more than a dozen of the biggest announcements within two years.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM