The Westerly-Pawcatuck Chamber is working to raise $400,000 to make sure area businesses damaged by Superstorm Sandy are up and running by Memorial Day.
Chamber executive director Lisa Konicki says the storm seriously damaged some 29 businesses, and most of them have yet to see a dime from their insurance companies.
Funds raised by the chamber will help businesses remove sand, repair damage and replace inventory before the tourist start arriving.
“Without a doubt our whole town depends on the tourism traffic that comes to our community,” says Konicki. “And so we need to have these hotels, these restaurants and these family attractions up and running.”
Konicki says Superstorm Sandy flooded out the first floors of hotels and buried a miniature golf course in five feet of sand.
“Sam’s Snack Bar, there is nothing but sand where that business used to once be," she says. "And Little Mermaids, another snack bar, was also completely decimated by the storm.”
The Greater Westerly Chamber has raised about $230,000 so far.
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