"We're open for business," announced Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, as she unveiled a major television advertising, direct mail and Internet promotional campaign geared toward boosting sales at Long Island's Sandy-slammed south shore businesses. Joined by business recovery initiative partners, including Cliff Richner, owner of the Herald Community Newspapers; Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin; Councilwoman Angie Cullin; Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy; local business owners; and representatives from the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, the Long Island Business Council, Vision Long Island and local chambers of commerce, the town detailed the hardships businesses endured as a result of the Superstorm, the challenges faced during reconstruction and the financial obstacles ahead as they struggle to recover. The partners also discussed components of their business boosting initiative for south shore restaurants and businesses that were impacted by the Superstorm.
"Many businesses that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy are back," announced Murray. "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."
The Supervisor unveiled a thirty-second television commercial that is airing on several cable television networks between May 23rd and June 24th. Featuring several storm-impacted businesses, the public service announcement urges neighbors to "go coastal" and return to storm-ravaged businesses to spend money and leisure time.
Additionally, the town has partnered with the Herald Community Newspapers on a coordinated direct mail/internet initiative, which will bring customers back to the south shore. The mailing, in addition to encouraging customer support, directs both business owners and prospective shoppers to the Herald's website at www.liherald.com/recovery. The site provides a map-based directory for business owners to let customers know they are open, their address and telephone number, special offers, as well as other pertinent information. Customers can go to the site and view their favorite restaurants and businesses while learning about new shops that they can visit. Only Sandy-impacted businesses are invited to register.
"Small businesses are the life-blood of our communities," stated Cliff Richner, owner of Herald Community Newspapers. "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. Herald Community Newspapers are committed to doing all we can to get our customers, friends and neighbors back on their feet. I salute Supervisor Murray and the town for their leadership on this program."
"I want to thank Cliff Richner and the Herald Community Newspapers for partnering with the town on this business recovery initiative," stated Murray. "Small business is the backbone of our economy, and we need them to recover from the forces of Mother Nature so our downtowns can remain vibrant and our tax base can become stronger. Our business community has always been there for us, and now they need government to help them rebound from Hurricane Sandy."
Business owners were enthusiastic about the initiative, calling it a welcome boost to local commerce. "We've worked really hard, along with others in our community, to get back up and running after Sandy," said Chris Squeri, co-owner of Tropix on the Mile in Freeport. "The support of local businesses is crucial during this time of recovery, and we thank Supervisor Kate Murray for leading this wonderful initiative. We look forward to an exciting summer at Tropix on the Mile."
The Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce also voiced support for the campaign. "Businesses on the south shore of Nassau County have been severely impacted in the wake of Superstorm Sandy," said Julie Marchesella, President of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce. "I am happy that the Town of Hempstead is supporting the efforts of those struggling Main Street Businesses to rebuild, and help stimulate economic activity to the area following the storm."
"Freeport businesses and restaurants were among the hardest hit of all commercial properties anywhere during Superstorm Sandy," observed Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy. "It was heartbreaking to witness the devastation, and it is inspiring to see businesses rebuild. I am pleased to work with Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray and local businesses to help make the recovery process as successful as possible. Kate has been a real friend to Freeport businesses."
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