Saturday, November 26, 2011

For Small Businesses, It's Not A Quick-Fix

Today is small business day -- a nice concept but, in our opinion, not quite enough. The American economy is suffering through long periods of non-growth (for lack of a better term). Salaries have remained flat for years now and many jobs have been eliminated all together.

Consumers pay more each year for products that give them less by continually shrinking. The only ones benefiting are big corporations who continue to make larger profits as they figure out new ways to eliminate small businesses (and more jobs).

Small businesses need our support more than just one day out of the year. Corporate America becomes larger and stronger every day by opening more stores and continuing to undersell the Mom and Pops -- making it ever more difficult for them to compete.

It may sound like paranoia, but envision a future where every single American works for one of five major corporations. Actually, we'll be lucky if there are that many left at the time.

If each town supports its local economy EVERY day of the year, we could all be much more independent. Our local economies would thrive, the quality of products and services would rise, and jobs would be plentiful and more satisfying to those filling the positions.

Granted, this is a somewhat simplistic model -- obviously -- there will always be certain products and services we can't obtain locally. However, if you start locally and expand out from there, your most local region will benefit first. The next time you're looking to make a purchase, think in this order; your own town, your own county, your own state, nationally, and finally globally.

Many will argue that Corporate America creates local jobs, but in reality it ends there. These corporations are otherwise faceless and impersonal and the bulk of jobs they create are low-paying and their employees dread going in day after day. Staff generally handle customers by reciting company policies instead of using common sense. Mom and Pops, on the other hand, strive to provide top-quality day in and day out -- they have to since they don't see the volume of customers that larger chains do.

As a general rule, you'll pay more for local products and less for those towards the global end of the list, but it's important to remember that a lower price can be indicative of an inferior product or service. Customer service goes a long way when you're getting nowhere with an automaton who works for a rubber stamp company that merely saved you a few dollars.

We urge you to support local businesses ALL year long... not just today. After all, if the culmination of a year's worth of work or all of your customers came to you just one day out of the year, do you really think you'd still be employed for the other 364?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mud Slides and Flooded Roadways

Be careful driving this morning and leave yourself some extra time. There are currently lots of flooded roads and some that are impassable across NJ resulting from last night's heavy rains.

Friday, September 2, 2011

In a down economy, crime rates usually rise. Throughout New Jersey, local police departments are reporting higher than normal thefts and break-ins.

Even more disturbing is the string of violent crimes being reported in Morris, Sussex, and Bergen counties. Women should be alerted to the following home invasion tactic: perpetrators are posing as flower delivery people and even have flowers in hand. Upon opening the door, victims are assaulted and tied up by the perpetrator(s).


Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene Leaves Flooded Areas Across New Jersey

Photo By Paula Dias
All across the state neighborhoods have been left with flood waters resulting from Irene. From rural areas to urban locations, there was no pattern to the chaos that was left behind.
Significant flooding has been reported in Manasquan, Hoboken, and East Rutherford.

Photo By Laura DiCerto

For more photos visit

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Top Things to do to Prepare for an Emergency

Following a 5.9 earthquake earlier this week, hurricane Irene is scheduled to blow in across the east coast this weekend. Living in this part of he world we generally avoid these sort of crises, so we thought it would be a good idea to brush up on how to prepare for an emergency.

1. Water – While this may seem really obvious, you may not be aware of just how much water the average person needs (about 123 gallons daily) and just how quickly it becomes an issue.
2. Canned Goods – Non-perishables are the easiest way to provide for your family over extended periods.
3. Gas & Coal for Grills – While canned goods are fine in a pinch, it's nice to be able to cook a hot meal and minimize the feeling that things aren't normal.
4. Prescriptions – Make sure you have all of your important prescriptions filled in case you can't reach a pharmacist.
5. Cash – When ATMs aren't working and someone selling goods can't swipe a credit card, cash is the only way you'll be able to make an exchange.
6. Battery Operated Radio – When there's no power for computers or tv's and mobile devices don't work either, a good old fashioned portable radio will still be your best opportunity to stay in contact with the rest of the world.
7. Flashlights – Children can easily be upset during these times, especially at night when there's no power. Make sure you have plenty of flashlights and candles available to keep them calm.
8. Batteries – Radios and flashlights are only good if you have something to power them with. And while you're at it, make sure your mobile devices are fully charged as well as any spare batteries.
9. Pet Needs – Let's not forget our little friends during trying times. Cat liter, pet food, and medicine are extremely important for keeping your pets happy and healthy.
10. Ice – Start storing plenty of ice in a cooler now so that you can extend the life of your perishables or perhaps just enjoy a cold drink.
11. Contact Info – In this day and age of ubiquitous electronics, many of us no longer know our most important contact information without a laptop or mobile device. It's a good idea to take a moment and jot down the most needed contact information of family, friends, and medical providers in case you can't access this information as you normally would.
12. Autos – Before it becomes a problem, make sure your car has a full tank of gas and the proper amount of air in the tires. While you're at it, fill up the portable tank as well.

Be prepared and be safe.
More On Our Site

How Do You Know If Someone Is Really From New Jersey?

• They refer to it as "Great Adventure" and not "Six Flags".
• They know what pork roll is.
• They refer to the more popular NY "zeppoles" as "funnel cake".