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Quinn offers boost to small biz after hurricane

Businesses along Rockaway Beach Boulevard will be looking for a boost this holiday season.
TimesLedger Newspapers

A unique gift store on Rockaway Beach’s vulnerable shore wants the public to know it is back in business — and the city is helping to get the word out.

With the shopping season in full swing, the city kicked off a campaign aimed at jump-starting The Blue Bungalow, at 165 Beach 116th St., and other businesses washed out by Superstorm Sandy.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) announced a new promotional campaign, Support NYC Small Business, to encourage shopping in city neighborhoods hit hard by the October storm. City agencies have also teamed up with Yelp, a website that connects consumers to small businesses, to further promote shopping by featuring lists of recently reopened businesses.

There is also a Back to Business website, featuring an interactive map of business owners around the city that have reopened their doors.

“In the height of the holiday shopping season, we need to make sure that New Yorkers, tourists and all shoppers are fully aware that many small businesses impacted by Sandy have reopened and are ready to serve customers,” Quinn said. “Through this promotional marketing campaign and new interactive map, along with a Yelp partnership, we will be helping drive shoppers to neighborhoods and businesses hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy this holiday season and beyond.”

The Blue Bungalow, started by Rockaway Beach locals Liz Smith-Breslin and Jeanne Jamin, is a gift shop that carries one-of-a-kind gifts and jewelry, including handmade items and beach writing art. The storm shut the store for nearly a month, but the owners cleaned up the shop and reopened late in November. Now they are working to lure in holiday customers.

The Support NYC Small Business campaign will include recovery stories featured on the Web and on television to promote businesses that have reopened.

“So many New Yorkers are looking for ways to help those impacted most by Hurricane Sandy, and one easy way is to shop this holiday season and beyond at the small businesses in areas around the city that were hit hardest but have been able to reopen their doors,” said Rob Walsh, commissioner of the city Department of Small Business Services. “This campaign encourages New Yorkers to pick up a bottle of wine in Red Hook, or a handmade gift at Blue Bungalow in the Rockaways. Small businesses are the economic engine of our city and we are doing all that we can to encourage New Yorkers to support them during their time of need.”

Visit supportnycsmallbusiness.com to access the interactive map to find stores back in business.

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at smosco@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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