File photo of a member of he National Guard. (Aug....

File photo of a member of he National Guard. (Aug. 25, 2010) Credit: Uli Seit

The move to consolidate Long Island's National Guard and Reserve units by next year will leave behind several empty buildings and result in fewer customers for some businesses, some local leaders said.

Under the consolidation, facilities will close in Amityville, Bay Shore, Freeport, Garden City, Huntington Station, Patchogue and Uniondale - with those troops reporting to Farmingdale.

Depending on how much activity is at each facility and what kind of area it is in, some local businesses said they will miss the troops' presence.

E. Christopher Murray, president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, said that, while the impact likely would not be large, establishments like local restaurants would lose the business - however small - they received from National Guard members.

"I don't think it is a huge impact, but in these times, every little bit hurts," Murray said. "So in the sense of losing any business or additional real estate that's on the market, it hurts because of the economy at this time."

Referring to the troops from the Patchogue armory, Gail Hoag, executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, said, "We're sorry to see them leave. Some of the businesses will be hurt by the move because they [Guard members] do frequent the businesses in the area. Also, of course by coming here they drive by our town and see our businesses."

At a deli around the corner from the Patchogue armory, owner Vinnie Mercogliano said a couple of soldiers had told him about it closing down. He estimates that more than a dozen members stop by for breakfast or lunch every week.

"I'm a little worried," Mercogliano said. "We're going to lose a little bit of our customer base."

Frank Sparacino, a manager at a deli near the Huntington Station armory, said he was disappointed when informed about the closure.

"They all come in here," he said. "They're all a bunch of nice guys."

Other community leaders, however, said the impact would be minimal.

"I really believe the effect on the Garden City business community would be negligible," said Althea Robinson, executive director of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce.

Latest Videos