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Hempstead Town unveils post-Sandy ad blitz

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and local business

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and local business owners celebrate the “We’re Open for Business” campaign in Freeport on Thursday. (May 30, 2013) Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Hempstead Town officials have unveiled a TV advertising, direct mail and Internet promotional campaign geared toward boosting sales at South Shore businesses impacted by superstorm Sandy.

Town officials, along with representatives from a local newspaper chain, business owners, chambers of commerce and community development groups, kicked off the "We're Open for Business" campaign Thursday at Tropix on the Mile on the Nautical Mile on Woodcleft Avenue in Freeport.

"We are happy to say our Sandy-slammed businesses are back," said Supervisor Kate Murray, who made a symbolic toast to success with a "recovery Champagne."

Murray unveiled a 30-second TV commercial that will air on several cable TV networks about 475 times from May 23 to June 24, at a cost of $25,000. The public service announcement features businesses ravaged in the Oct. 29 storm and urges neighbors to return to them to spend money and leisure time.

"These businesses are proving the resolve of the business community and that the business community is stronger than the forces of Mother Nature," Murray said. "We need to help them to let everyone know that they are open for business."

The town will send more than 240,000 mailings directing residents to the Herald Community Newspapers website at A map-based directory for Sandy-impacted business lets customers know they are open.

"Many of the locations on the South Shore are coming back," said Julie Marchesella, president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce. "Small-business owners in Nassau County are resilient, hardworking and are dedicated in making their business their success."

Town officials could not say how many businesses were damaged by Sandy or had returned.

The Nautical Mile is a popular destination with its restaurants, bars and nightlife. Most of its restaurants and shops reopened Memorial Day weekend.

"The rebuilding of the businesses on the Nautical Mile is critical to the stability of Freeport and with the help and assistance of people like Kate Murray and the Town of Hempstead, we can bring back this business district back to pre-Sandy conditions," Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy said.

Tropix owners, who opened the bar-restaurant on Memorial Day 2012, spent more than $1 million rebuilding after Sandy caused severe flooding and a fire that burned it down.

"With this campaign . . . we have closed a chapter on the Sandy book," co-owner Chris Squeri said. "It's kind of bittersweet for us and it's very emotional."

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