Long Islanders shopping on Main Street in Huntington Village during Small Business Saturday in 2019. (Photo: The Long Island Times, File)
Island Hopping

‘We Are Open’ campaign to boost local small businesses

A new ‘We Are Open’ campaign has been launched to help support Long Island’s small businesses that are struggling amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

The campaign has a dedicated Facebook page created by the LI Main Street Alliance, which represents more than 40 downtowns in Nassau and Suffolk counties, according to a written statement from the group.

The ‘We Are Open’ Facebook page provides listings of more than 1,000 small businesses that are still operating and offering takeout, delivery or online services.

A survey conducted by the group found there was a 40 to 50 percent drop in sales for most restaurants, bars and local services in the weeks leading up to the state’s PAUSE directive, which ordered many businesses to temporarily close.

In the days following the shutdown, revenue for businesses that remained open were down 80 to 90 percent, and about a third of the businesses surveyed said they are considering permanent closure if they can’t get sufficient help from government grants and loans.

To help support these local businesses, the LI Main Street Alliance is asking people to patronize the businesses still open, purchase gift certificates from local stores or restaurants and donate to local food pantries. The group also urges people to share its ‘We Are Open’ page on Facebook to help spread the message.

“Every dollar counts, and safely patronizing local businesses for takeout, delivery or online services provides a bridge to keep a skeleton crew going until stimulus funds come in and the coronavirus crisis ends,” said Eric Alexander, director of LI Main Street Alliance and Vision Long Island, in the statement. “Main Street shops are always there for community and local organizations. We need now to be there for them.”

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Trade Winds

Trade Winds is written by journalists from the Long Island business community.