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Chappaqua Businesses Unite in the Wake of Irene

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y.—Tropical Storm Irene made her presence felt throughout downtown Chappaqua, some businesses losing tens of thousands in inventory and revenue, and some just losing power for a few days this week.

One shop owner, Dawn Greenberg thought that the businesses affected could use a creative boost to recoup lost revenues.

“I saw the damage and since I’m a small business owner, I know margins are so tight with small business,” Greenberg said. “We’re empathetic to our businesses affected by Irene.”

Greenberg is the owner of Westchester’s only fair-trade shop, Aurora, located at 1 King Street.

“We just want people to come down to them (those businesses)” Greenberg said. “Next week is another week. We hope things will get better and we’re bouncing back.”

Greenberg’s “artist friend”, Quincy Egginton came to King Street in Chappaqua and did arts and crafts with the people of all ages.

“Dawn is really wonderful, trying to raise awareness in the community for fair trade and in this case, the damage local stores got from Irene,” Egginton said. “She wants to create a sense of community with store owners. She knows how to reach and communicate.”

Greenberg received food from Chappaqua’s French restaurant, Le Jardin du Roi, Chappaqua Paint and Hardware and Crabtree’s Kittle House.

“I love supporting anything to do with the town”, said Tara Mikolay, co-owner of Desires by Mikolay.  “They see the flooding in the street and they don’t really know much it affects these stores. Flood insurance doesn’t cover all the expenses. We’re just trying to get people to come shop downtown.”

Le Jardin du Roi was affected by Tropical Storm Irene, losing all their food and starting from scratch.

“It feels good to help,” said Wendy Egan, manager at Le Jardin. “There are still a lot of our customers without power. We’ve had people coming in with their phones and computers asking to charge them. We’re doing whatever we can do to help them. It’s all about the community here.”

Chappaqua Paint and Hardware played a vital role throughout the storm, giving Chappaqua residents to get supplies like batteries, flashlights and lanterns.

“I told her, we’re just looking to help,” said Lou Bastone, owner of Chappaqua Paint and Hardware. “Whatever you need, we’ll do. We got cookie trays for the sale and we lent her a table, we’ll help her with anything else she needs.”

Auntie Penny was relatively unaffected by the storm but they still understand the problems facing other downtown businesses.

“We like to support our fellow local retailers. It’s hard enough to be a retailer in this town then to deal with Irene is just a lot,” said Eve Spence, co-owner of Auntie Penny.  “Scott, Tara (Mikolay) and Dawn are working really hard to make sure to help everyone that had issues. They’re supporting them.”

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