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Main Street Businesses Bank on Holidays After Sales Loss Due to Sandy

Extended outages resulted in lost sales for local businesses who say they are counting on holiday sales to carry them through.

Some Main Street businesses that lost power, food and ultimately sales, due to Hurricane Sandy are hopeful they will make it up during the holidays.

Jesse Annunziato, owner of Jesse James Seafood in Kings Park, said his business was closed Monday to Monday after the storm and it cost him food and business.

“We lost around $40,000 in live, fresh, frozen and prepared food and probably $7,000 in sales,” said Annunziato.

Annunziato said he didn’t anticipate that the outage would be for as long as it was. His father was owner of the shop when Hurricane Gloria ripped through Long Island in 1985. Then, he said, his dad lost just three days of power.

“I lost for seven, which is the longest this strip has been out. We were one of the last ones on,” he said.

Kings Park Meat Market, which is on the same block as Jesse James agreed that  areq of Main Street usually comes back from power outages earlier and said he too, lost a lot of product.

“I can’t say how much we lost, but we lost all of our fresh stuff,” said owner Fred Messina. “We didn’t get power back until Saturday, that’s why.”

Messina kept generators on to power his freezers, but said it really isn’t the answer for a business like his.

“No power means people aren’t going to buy meat anyway. We all sell stuff that has to be cooked,” said Messina. "This is the third time it has happened in 29 years. Before Irene, the last time was Gloria and that was more than 20 years ago. Every 25 years is not that bad. We are hopeful it will be another 25 before it happens again.”

Annunziato, whose has store has been in business since last October, said it is something that happens. “It is out of your control and you move on.” 

Business at the seafood store has been going well, he said, and up until the storm, very well.

“The week I opened, the customers who had power came in and bought,” he said.  “It put a notch in Thanksgiving plans, the orders are coming in later than usual, but they are coming in.”

Annuniziato said his customers are already thinking ahead to Christmas Eve, traditionally a big sales time for seafood.

Messina said people are making up for lost time, stocking their refrigerators and placing their Thanksgiving orders. “It kind of threw people off though.  Everybody lost two weeks. No one realized just how soon Thanksgiving was.”

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