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City Joins Yelp to Promote Hard-Hit Businesses Reopening After Sandy

By Irene Plagianos | December 20, 2012 6:00pm

NEW YORK CITY — Want to help city neighborhoods hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy? Get out and shop.

That’s the message the city is promoting in its newly launched Support NYC Small Business campaign.

The initiative, spearheaded by City Councilwoman Christine Quinn and the Department of Small Business Services, includes a handy interactive map featuring businesses that have managed to get back up and running after taking a walloping from the deadly storm.

The city has also partnered with Yelp, a popular website that features user reviews and recommendations of local businesses, to help get the word out about the newly reopened shops.

Yelp is promoting lists of reopened businesses on its site and also directing users to the interactive map.

More than 550 businesses are currently highlighted on the map, including South Street Seaport café Made Fresh Daily, Dumbo’s One Girl Cookies and Red Hook wine shop Botta Di Vino.

Merchants can easily add themselves to the map, and Small Business Services spokeswoman Merideth Weber says more and more shop owners are doing so every day.

“Especially with the holidays here, now’s the time to support these businesses — businesses that have worked so hard to open their doors,” Weber said.

The SBS estimates that some 13,000 small business were affected by the havoc wreaked by Sandy.

The map is just one piece of the advertising campaign — the initiative is also trying to promote the shops by working with radio, TV and print publications, as well as placing ads in taxi cabs, bus shelters and other locations around the city.

"In the height of the holiday shopping season, we need to make sure that New Yorkers, tourists and all shoppers are fully aware that many small businesses impacted by Sandy have reopened and are ready to serve customers," Quinn said in a statement.