“At the Herald newspapers, the key to our business has always been connecting local businesses with local readers,” Richner added. “I’m glad we can put our expertise in advertising to work on behalf of our friends and neighbors — our customers — as they work to restore their businesses.”
One of the companies that has already posted its information on the website is Empire Kayaks in Island Park, which reopened its doors last month. Co-owner Michael Fehling said he thinks the website will really help his business and others that were closed for months by the storm.
“The website will let people know that we’re open for business,” Fehling said. “We lost a lot, but not everything, and now customers need to know that we’re back in operation. The website will be a big help in that regard.”
Henry Hastava, who owns his own insurance business in Island Park and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, said, “I want people to know that we’re back. I put my business on the website to say, ‘We’re open and we’re back.’”
“Any exposure will help the reopened businesses,” said Island Park Chamber President Glenn Ingoglia. “This will really work well for customers who are curious as to whether a particular business or restaurant has opened to easily find that information by logging on to one website.”
In addition to the website and the televised ads, the Heralds and the town have partnered in a direct-mail initiative. The mailing, which will go out to 240,000 households, will urge residents to return to South Shore businesses and also direct recipients to the website.