It sounds odd to talk about positive economic signs as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic grinds toward a first anniversary, but that’s exactly what we will comment on here as a follow-up to this week’s front-page article regarding the continued reinvestment the Hammonton business community has made in the local economy.
While other communities have seen their brick-and-motor businesses ravaged by the economic downturn that occurred in the wake of shutdowns and restrictions imposed by the State of New Jersey (as in other states), Hammonton has seen businesses remain open, and the handful of business closures replaced by new enterprises started—defiantly—during a global pandemic.
From downtown to uptown, from the business park to Little Italy, Hammonton has continued to fight against the tide of gloomy economic news. The results are easy to see when you drive through town: businesses are open, lights are on and commerce is being done daily.
It all starts with the people who live here, work here, own a business here or work for a business here. These people don’t just like to win. They hate to lose. Somehow, collectively, they have clicked an internal switch that has propelled them, their businesses and the entire Hammonton economy into a place that continues to generate revenue and keep our community strong.
Local government—the municipality and the school district—has played a positive role. So have economic development organizations like the Hammonton Revitalization Corporation (the parent organization of MainStreet Hammonton), the Neighborhood Preservation Program, civic clubs, church organizations and any number of community groups.
To these and everyone else who is lending a hand to keep the local economy moving despite significant odds against it, we say thank you, and continued success. The Gazette believes in Hammonton, and that belief has only become stronger during the last year. Our belief in our town is stronger for a variety of reasons, and one of them is watching the people who keep our local economy running well. They have been and remain an inspiration.