I would never have imagined that I would be sending out an April message that would have the content looking as it does. Who would have thought that we would be in the midst of an international pandemic, and that we all would be affected – both personally and professionally – on such a profound level. And while I could go on and on about the devastating statistics and its implications, I instead choose to focus on those things in the world that we can control. We are such a resilient community. I have watched in awe as so many of our members have stepped up and altered how they conduct their businesses in order to do the best that they can during this tumultuous time. I have watched our first responders do what they do best – treat those in need and sacrifice their own personal safety so that others are okay. Our dedicated Police and Firefighters, our EMTs, nurses, doctors, and members of the healthcare community have been extraordinary – making a difference moment to moment!
But certainly, there are so many unsung heroes…like our employees who continue to keep their doors open, keep shelves stocked at our local ShopRite and Uncle Giuseppe’s, serve food, and refine takeout capabilities donned with gloves and masks. I know that takeout from Smokin Als’, Gusto Divino, Paddy’s Loft, Corner Galley, Sergio’s, Leonardo’s, Krisch’s, Chicken Au Go Go, and so many more have made life feel a bit more normal. You can CLICK HERE for a full list of our member restaurants who are still operating through delivery and curbside pickup to best serve our community!
So many of our other members have also been remarkable during this time. Our news publications including the Massapequa Post, Massapequa Observer, All Island Media, Newsday, and South Bay’s Neighbor have kept information flowing to our doors in spite of the obstacles. I know that at YES Community Counseling Center, the organization continues to provide help and support to our vulnerable children and families. Working remotely, counselors continue to be available to help anyone in the community who needs resources and support. Food pantries are open for families, and we are blessed to have those resources available throughout the community – not only through YES, but through our local parishes as well. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge all those who, in spite of the hardships, are able to donate funds and food so that others can be fed. And so many more are doing such invaluable work so that our community stays strong. For instance, our members Greg and Robin Massimi of TLC Companions are adding 15% to the pay of their healthcare workers to show appreciation for their heroic actions and service. And Karen Gawrych of Mary Kay was able to donate almost 50 bottles of Mary Kay’s Satin Hand Creams to the healthcare workers at St. Joseph Hospital. It is always amazing to watch our members come together and put others first. That is the strength and magic of our community!! Selflessness when others need it most.
In an effort to keep all of our members abreast of things throughout this time, we continue to post announcements, information, and resources through our Constant Contact, Facebook, and website. Our banking partners – Dime Community Bank, Island FCU, Jovia FCU, Sterling National Bank, TD Bank, Teachers FCU, and The First National Bank of LI – have made themselves available to our businesses with a wide range of services, including information related to loans, grants, and other opportunities and resources to assist businesses. We ask that you also visit our website at www.massapequachamber.org and check out our Latest News section for continued updated information and resources. And of course, if you have any news or information that you would like to share with our membership, please be sure to e-mail our office or tag our Chamber on Facebook, and we will be sure to share with our social media following!
As you may all know, our Annual Street Fair which was scheduled for June has now been postponed. While we are hopeful that we may be able to reschedule this event in the late summer, we still cannot be assured that this will happen. As this is the financial backbone of our Chamber, along with membership dues, we will certainly be looking to reschedule our fair when things are better, as the safety and well-being of our community is our greatest priority. When we have our date, we do hope that you will all be out to support the Chamber and to celebrate – and certainly, we will have great cause to celebrate!!
This has been an unprecedented time for us all. Some of us have lost family and friends to this awful virus, while others have suffered the loss of employment and a general sense of normalcy. But, as each day passes and the news gets a bit more encouraging, things will find their way back to stability. It may look and feel a bit different, but we are resilient. We know how to overcome obstacles, and we know how to persevere! We are Massapequa!!
On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff at the Chamber, we wish you all health and strength.
Jamie E. Bogenshutz, LCSW
President, Massapequa Chamber of Commerce