The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

Is Our Government Doing Enough to Protect Our Local Businesses?

Gateway Diner Closes
An+image+of+a+sign+reading%2C+Sorry+Were+Closed%2C+representing+the+closing+of+small+business%2C+the+Gateway+Diner.
Miguel Montejano
An image of a sign reading, “Sorry We’re Closed,” representing the closing of small business, the Gateway Diner.

New Jersey holds 254 boroughs, one of which is inhabited by just over 4,000 people and is located in the County of Gloucester. Westville is a town where not much happens. Well, besides the floods. In June of 2019, the borough saw dangerous water levels, forcing dozens to leave their homes, some in boats. The Red Cross was present, providing food, water, and shelter for those evacuated.

This was an extreme of a frequent occurrence. Westville sees floods practically every week between the Delaware River and the creeks surrounding the borough, it is more likely you will see some water than to not. In fact, a Facebook group was created out of this called “Is the Brooklawn Circle Flooded?” Brooklawn Circle is an entrance into Westville, Brooklawn being adjacent to Westville. 

The circle is a common flood destination, but there is another spot that brings trouble.

Gateway Diner, a beloved dining place in Westville, was forced to close their doors. Due to the extreme flooding of the area, the state plans to replace the Route 47 bridge connecting Brooklawn and Westville. On the Westville side of this bridge stands Gateway Diner, the 32-year-old, family-run business that stood strong through the various weather hits seen to the South Jersey area over the last three decades.

On Sunday, October 22nd, the diner was forced to close.

When speaking to the Courier Post, owner Angelo Poulos said he, “Tried putting it off as long as [he] could,”

The state government was ultimately the cause of the loss of another small business in New Jersey. This brings up a very important question: Are our governments doing enough to keep small businesses alive?

In this situation, the answer seems to be no. A small-town man was forced to close the doors of his 32-year-old business due to: a) road fixes called upon by the state, and b) being afraid to pursue a struggle with the state government. 

Gene Marks, in his article titled, Why aren’t more small business owners taking advantage of government help? the writer calls the claim of the government “not doing enough” baloney. He says that our government provides a large amount of support for our small businesses, who are not taking advantage of the opportunities available to them.

He points out the resources offering free or low-cost capital, free counseling, connection services, and more that are readily available for people to use. All you have to do is look.

He does say that, “The government can do a better job of making us aware that all of these resources exist,” but that doesn’t mean that they are not there for our small businesses.

In many cases, there may not be an ever-present flood on your street that determines whether your parking lot is available for your car. And maybe a fresh road would help that situation. However, the fear of a small business going up against a government that seems to be opposing you affects your control over your business. Perhaps if our governments took the time to connect with our local businesses, then they would become aware of the opportunities provided to them, and a clear connection could become established between the two parties.

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About the Contributor
Kalise Miller, Managing Editor
I’m Kalise Miller! I’m the Managing Editor for The Chomp, the Class of 2025 President, and an officer of multiple clubs at Gateway. I participate in fall cheer and competitive dance as well. In my free time, I enjoy reading, listening to music, and spending time with my friends! Typically, I will be writing about school sports featuring quotes and insights right from the athletes. I also write about Gateway-specific events, like Prom and Mr. Gateway!
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