Many South Shore businesses that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy have been rebuilt and reopened their doors, but still lack customers, who may not know that their favorite stores or restaurants are open or who may still be displaced themselves.
In order to address the problem, the Town of Hempstead has teamed up with the Herald Community Newspapers to create a website that will provide information for those trying to find out if and when a business is open.
The new Internet Sandy business tracker can be found at www.liherald.com/recovery. Businesses and restaurants can log in, free of charge, and provide prospective customers with information on their status and their hours of operation, and even upload photos. Any South Shore business that was affected by the storm can be listed free.
Consumers can go to the site to find information on their favorite shop or restaurant or even get special offers from those establishments.
The new “We’re Open for Business” program is sponsored by the town, which is also sponsoring a series of 30-second television commercials featuring storm-impacted businesses. The commercials urge viewers to “go coastal” and return to storm-ravaged communities in their leisure time.
“Many businesses that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy are back,” said Town Supervisor Kate Murray at a May 30 press conference at Tropix on the Mile restaurant in Freeport. “But they need our help to get the word out that their doors are open. Many shopkeepers and restaurateurs spent their life savings to rebuild, and they need customers to come back to their waterfront business districts if they are to survive and prosper.”
Herald Publisher Cliff Richner agreed. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities,” Richner said. “So many of them were hit hard by Sandy, and help from the government has been painfully slow in coming. Businesses struggling to hold on need all the help they can get. That’s why this effort by the town is so important.