The upcoming holiday shopping season is vitally important to New Jersey Main Street small businesses because many of them depend on strong sales at this time of the year to be able to turn a profit for the entire year.

But this year there’s a problem.

“Small businesses across New Jersey continue to struggle, especially with labor shortages, to keep their stores vibrant and to serve their customers," Eileen Kean, director of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, said.

Many businesses affected

She pointed out “this runs across so many sectors, whether it be your local restaurant, your local brewery to your florist shop to your boutiques on Main Street.”

She noted supply chain disruptions are also an ongoing problem in some industries, and “there is no easy solution before us."

Kean said the result is an added work burden on small business owners and the workers they do have.

RobertoDavid ThinkStock
RobertoDavid ThinkStock

Longer hours, no days off

“They have to work much, much longer hours than they ever deemed necessary, so it’s really in the spirit of the true small business entrepreneur who is just really putting in those hours to meet demand,” she said.

She stressed when you’re doing your holiday shopping this month and next, “what we’re hoping all of our fellow New Jerseyans can recognize is the need for true patience and compassion, just understanding what businesses are going through.

She said that even if getting service in a store or restaurant takes a bit longer than normal, don’t get angry, take a breath and “give everybody a smile because this is the season of forgiving, for being pleasant, for getting along.”

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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