Businesses near LIRR stations to lose big in event of strike

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Kristin Thorne reports from Ronkonkoma.

With negotiations between the MTA and unions representing Long Island Rail Road employees, riders aren't the only ones who stand to lose should a strike take place.

Hundreds of businesses located at or near train stations across Long Island and Queens depend on the daily commute to pad their bottom line.

The mornings at Bagels and Such begin well before sunrise.

"I open the door at 3:15, because I have regulars," owner Faye Ugan said.

And most of them are LIRR riders.

"My customers, 90 or 80 percent are commuters," Ugan said. "I don't get any locals. So those couple days I'm going to lose 80 percent of my business."

Think about it. Before you get on your train, you too probably grab a coffee, soda or newspaper.
If you're not there anymore, what does that mean for the small mom and pop shops?

"It's not fair if they go on strike," commuter Carlton Harris said. "It's a real inconvenience for everybody."

And it's not just the bagel shops, delis and newstands.

The tourism and hospitality industries on Long Island are also worried about what a strike could mean for their profits. Business owners say they get 65 to 70 percent of their yearly revenue during the summer, and it's a huge problem if people can't make it from the city out east.

"A hotel could lose $20,000 to $30,000 over a weekend," Hotel Indigo owner Rob Salvatico said. "It's a significant number for us."

And after a harsh winter and hopes of a great summer, the news of a pending strike is enough to dampen anyone's mood.

"It's beautiful out," Salvatico said. "We see people at our properties are excited to be out, and now, for them to lose that opportunity is just disappointing
Related Topics:
businesslirrlirr strikecommutingtrainslong island railroadRiverhead
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