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May 26, 2020

Dear Fellow Members,

I hope that this email finds you all well and healthy!! Yesterday, we celebrated Memorial Day, and while much of the fanfare of parades and our ceremonial tributes were cancelled, I do hope that you all took some time to pay respect and to remember all those who have sacrificed their lives for us, and those who continue to do so! Our veterans and military service men and women are the backbone of our country and certainly are deserving of our adoration and respect for their heroic efforts!!

This has been another very challenging month for us all, but I am hopeful that at this juncture, we are all closer to seeing some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel! As of this writing, our County is just moments away from entering the first of our re-opening phases, which is such great news.

Additionally, there are several other initiatives that will be rolled out to assist our business community.

Our County Executive will be announcing a small business recovery program called “Boost Nassau.” The program will ensure that Nassau’s businesses and non-profits can access the new NY Forward Loan Program announced by the Governor. Please CLICK HERE for more information.

A new website, boostnassau.com, will also be launched with more information and details on how to apply. Nassau businesses and non-profits will be encouraged to visit the website and select the non-profit National Development Council (NDC) as their lender. As we begin to enter Phase 1 of the County’s re-opening, I would encourage you to CLICK HERE to review the guidance available on the NYS ESD website and complete the required business affirmations. 

As a member of the County's Economic Advisory Council, I would also ask you to take a moment and CLICK HERE to complete the second economic impact survey. Your responses to these questions are very important and assist the County in having a true pulse as to how our businesses are being affected, and what emerging needs and concerns must be addressed.

This has been a time like no other. When I began my tenure as President, I certainly could not envision that so many precious lives and livelihoods would have been affected by a pandemic. Certainly, this is something that we will all never forget, especially as there is still much healing and work to do to ensure our healthy return to changing norms for ourselves. No doubt, things are different....many of our beloved small businesses have not been able to survive this pandemic....and those returning will do so with different guidelines and expectations for success. Our Chamber has been working hard to ensure that information is readily accessible and assistance is available - whenever and however we can help. We too, have experienced the disappointment and concern for the future. However, with that said, we are strong and have a fierce history of fighting and flourishing!! Although our Street Festival was cancelled for our initial June date, we are hopeful that we will once again return to the streets to celebrate on August 16th. Additional event details and applications can be found on our website. We do hope that you will be standing by our side (appropriately social distanced, of course!) and be a part of this event!

We are poised to have our first virtual General Meeting conducted via Zoom - and while it will be different, it will still be an opportunity to see familiar faces, network our efforts, and experience the warmth and support of our membership. On this Thursday, May 28th we will meet at 12:00 Noon - our regularly scheduled time. If you have not already done so, please CLICK HERE to register for the meeting by Tuesday 5/26, and an invite will be sent to you on Thursday morning. We will be announcing our upcoming slate of officers and directors at this meeting, so I do hope you can join us!! Additionally, this year’s Installation will also be conducted via a Zoom ceremony on June 25th. And while it will be a bit different, it will nonetheless be a celebration that we hope you will be a part of!!

We are in the midst of uncharted waters...which can be terribly scary and unsettling. But, one thing we have historically witnessed, is that oftentimes, when least expected, the change that occurs in times like these can have potential that we never could have envisioned. And while at this moment I am at a loss as to how that might be possible, I am a person of optimism and faith and have profound confidence that we will get through this. Likely, we will look and feel different a year from now, but nevertheless, we will thrive in time!

A special thanks to all those who have worked tirelessly to keep us safe, healthy, fed, and supplied! So many of our businesses have been able to step up and assist others! That is the strength of the human condition!! Wishing you all health and safety!!!

Warm Regards,

Jamie E. Bogenshutz, LCSW
President, Massapequa Chamber of Commerce