Family-owned Dee Jay Carpet in Cedarhurst opened for business the day after the storm and regained power the next day, said owner Michael Nacht. “Overall, business has been fine since the storm,” he said. “Lots of estimates, and we’re trying to get everyone back in their houses as quickly as we can.”
The vacancy rate for the 283 available business spaces in Cedarhurst is 6.7 percent — about 19 empty stores — which village officials describe as excellent. Silverman said that the alliance between the village and merchants pays off. “It is such a strong merchant association,” he said. “The BID’s goal is to bring in business to benefit the merchants, and the landlords are doing a really good job of using the money very efficiently. The Summer Sidewalk Sale gives the retailers a way to bring in customers that doesn’t cost anything.”
Robert Wengrofsky, owner of the Variety Connection, was busy the minute he opened his doors on the Wednesday after the storm. He sold flashlights, batteries and cleaning supplies to those who were still in their homes, and dishes, pots and pans to those who had been displaced. After one day in the dark, his store had power, but no phone or Internet.
Though Wengrofsky won’t participate in the Midnight Madness sale — he says the event is better for the clothing and jewelry stores — he is a BID member, and strongly supports the group’s mission. “What we’ve been able to have here is a good partnership between the merchants and local government,” he said. “Other communities look to Cedarhurst to find out how to keep business going. We have very capable people, very dedicated people to put these events together.”