Losing business and food was costly, he said, but Platteduetsch has been a part of the community for so long that he wanted to give back as best he could. The restaurant teamed up with Rock Out Cures, a nonprofit organization that hosts fundraisers there throughout the year, to host a benefit for victims of the hurricane. In the field behind the restaurant, volunteers boxed and sorted supplies that were then transported by helicopter to hard-hit areas like Breezy Point, Queens, and Lindenhurst.
“It was really awesome to see the community rally around and give and help out one another,” Buck said. “As soon as we were able to do something, we wanted to help out.”
The Shop on Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont also lost power for a week, and the loss of revenue was a financial blow for the relatively new business, owner Carl Achille said. The Shop is a barbershop in its second year of operation that also serves as something of a community center where residents gather to catch up and stay informed.
Achille said that he kept The Shop’s doors open as late as possible before the hurricane hit. He closed at 6 p.m. on Oct. 28 and secured everything as best he could. Initially Achille and his employees feared flooding from rain, but after he realized that Elmont would be spared from flooding, he began thinking that The Shop would reopen quickly.
The days of lost business were painful ones, Achille said. “I was expecting at most two days [without power],” he said. “It took way longer than expected. We’re in the people business, and when people are hurt, they’re not going to come out and spend money.”
Achille, who is also the vice president of the Elmont Chamber of Commerce, said he was afraid that the storm would force many local businesses to close for good. Other business owners told him they were thinking about going out of business because the loss of revenue was too much. “It’s difficult to catch up,” he said. “You still have to pay your bills.”