Inside Long Island Business

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New coalition and website promote businesses in hard-hit Sandy areas

The desire to help South Shore businesses affected by superstorm Sandy is there, and a new organization and website aim to help them tap into that goodwill.

This week, Kevin Kelly, chief creative officer of Melville’s Bigbuzz Marketing Group, launched the website and organization — called the Long Island South Shore Recovery Coalition (lissrc.org). The goal is to assemble a coalition of business owners, agencies and consumers interested in aiding the South Shore business recovery and directing potential customers and their dollars to the businesses that need it.

At the moment, the website states its mission and allows businesses and those interested in helping to submit information. Kelly hopes to soon have a directory of shops and restaurants for customers to search.

“I think a lot of people are still waiting for that opportunity to help,” Kelly said. “If we could tap into that, it would be a trigger for people to say, 'Oh, all I have to do is drive another 15 minutes and eat in this neighborhood.' "

Eventually, Kelly hopes to spark awareness through social networks as well as develop an app to allow people to find South Shore businesses and earn “hero points” for patronizing and referring them. The points won’t have any monetary value but will be a way to add a fun game element to the cause, he said.

Kelly wanted to get the organization and website started as soon as possible, he said, but he envisions handing off the website after building momentum.

“I got the feeling in three months some of these places wouldn’t have survived,” Kelly said. “So we have to get started.”

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