• Gabriel Donio

Local business will bring jobs, economy back


The stock market is doing well, considering the terrible economic numbers. Major corporations won’t be the key to the resurgence of the American economy, however. It will be businesses like the newspaper, and the advertisers on its pages, that bring jobs and the economy back.


It’s always been “Wall Street” vs. “Main Street” when speaking about the status of the American economy. I never felt the two worked in opposition to each other, although it could be said their goals don’t always line up on every economic issue.


At the moment, people’s economic fortunes are tied to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the way government on every level reacts to it. That means we have a vastly different situation regarding the economy on every level than we did in the late 2000s, after September 11, 2001, the early 1990s, the late 1970s, the Great Depression of the 1930s or any other previous economic contraction.


Those other economic downturns were tied to financial pressures. They may have seemed out of control, but the reality was they were cyclical. There is nothing cyclical about a pandemic with a virus that doesn’t have a vaccine. It’s open-ended chaos no matter how you look at it or what your political view may be.


While the scientists work on a vaccine that (they hope) will bring order to the chaos, the rest of us are feeling the effects on every level: financially, psychologically, physically, spiritually.


Here is where economic revitalization on a local level comes into play. It’s the same theory MainStreet Hammonton had decades ago when they began to revitalize a downtown people said was “dead.” It’s the same philosophy this newspaper had when it created the term “uptown” for the White Horse Pike (Route 30) and Route 206, an area that had stagnated by the mid-2010s.

Hammonton has benefited from the work of people who are constantly thinking about the economic health of the town, about the business community and the community at large. These entities know that the people who are most likely to care about preserving and creating jobs, filling vacant stores and fostering existing businesses are the ones that are fiercely local.


The entities are the town of Hammonton; the Greater Hammonton Chamber of Commerce; MainStreet Hammonton; and the Hammonton Board of Education. Together these entities represent government and most of the businesses, large and small, in the local economy.


Local people want to help other local people, and by working together, these entities will bring jobs back to Hammonton, will keep jobs in Hammonton, will keep businesses in Hammonton and will bring new businesses to Hammonton. It will take a tremendous amount of work, but all these entities have a proven track record and a commitment to helping friends and neighbors in need.


We may not be able to create a vaccine for a virus. We can, however, work harder, put in longer hours, use our combined creativity and find a cure for the local economic downturn.


At a time when small, rural towns like ours are becoming more attractive than ever to people seeking a good home, a quiet street, excellent schools and a true sense of community, it would be criminal to squander the opportunity being presented to us by the circumstances of today.


Our agricultural industry—particularly our blueberry industry—continues to be our greatest economic champion. No column about the local economy would be complete without mentioning it, and we thank our growers and everyone involved in the local agricultural industry for everything they do to help Hammonton. It is always appreciated.

Here at The Gazette, we will continue to work hard and put in long hours (we’re not just going to ask others to do it, we’ll do our part as well). During the last 23 years, we have always been there for our advertisers (and for all businesses in town) because we know supporting and boosting our advertisers isn’t simply good for our business; it’s good for all business. It’s good for the local economy. It’s good for local jobs.


You see, we’re not just a newspaper that takes ads. We see every advertiser in The Gazette (and every potential advertiser in The Gazette) as our business partner. When they do well, so do we, and so does the town.


The old saying for it is: “A rising tide raises all boats.”


Well, we believe local people and entities can make that tide, and those boats, rise.

And we’re working as hard as we can, as a united group, to bring the local jobs and economy back to where they were, and even better.

Gabe Donio is the publisher of The Hammonton Gazette.