Business owners in Long Island's downtowns are being surveyed about...

 Business owners in Long Island's downtowns are being surveyed about what can be done to revive the economy. Here, Main Street in Sayville during the shutdown. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Business owners in Long Island’s downtowns are being surveyed about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and what can be done to revive the economy.

The Rauch Foundation, which published the Long Island Index research reports annually for 15 years, is asking restaurants, dry cleaners, coffee shops, clothing stores and other Main Street staples to complete a questionnaire by Nov. 30.

The poll, which will take 5 to 10 minutes to complete, may be found at It is available in English and Spanish.

"It’s easy to guess what the impact of the pandemic might be on local small businesses – but until we hear from the business owners themselves, we can’t really know for sure," said foundation president Nancy Rauch Douzinas. "It’s important that our business community is included in the recovery process and that their experiences and hardships are taken into consideration."

The Garden City-based foundation is working with the Long Island Association business group and others to encourage participation in the survey.

The poll is the first to focus exclusively on COVID’s impact on downtowns in Nassau and Suffolk counties, said LIA CEO Kevin Law, adding, "I strongly encourage local businesses to reply to the survey, so we might better plan appropriate responses."

Law also is co-vice chairman of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, which submitted a COVID economic recovery plan to state officials in September at the request of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Council member and former Greenport Mayor Dave Kapell worked on the recovery plan and is also a consultant to the Rauch Foundation. "We need the feedback of the storeowners to help assess the best strategies," he said.

The foundation expects to release the survey results and recommendations early next year.

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