The devastation of Hurricane Sandy to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States has made it the second costliest hurricane ever after Hurricane Katrina, with an estimated $65 billion in damage and 253 lives lost.
Nashville Wraps customers all over those regions were affected. Many were flooded and without power for several days. Things That Make Scents candle shop (at right) in Manasquan, New Jersey had four feet of water from the storm surge, even though they’re not located directly on the ocean. Since there is only a small creek behind their shop and they had never been flooded before, they were not offered flood insurance.
Owner Janine Predmore said, “We had just taken all of our Christmas packaging out of storage. We lost everything – bags, dozens of colors of tissue, ribbon, all our products, display racks, manufacturing equipment, computers, paper files, everything. I couldn’t even write checks to pay bills because they were ruined too. A fire would have been better because at least it would have been covered.” See her flooded store, including the eel left inside by the storm, here.
Janine’s shop was without power for 2-1/2 weeks so she could not get into her store to make more candles. However, things are starting to look more hopeful. She reopened a week ago and had a great weekend because so many locals supported Small Business Saturday.
Crazy Susan’s Cookies in Ocean City, New Jersey completely lost their store. The building they were renting had flood insurance, but they were unaware it didn’t cover the contents of the store. “All of our equipment was ruined,” explained Susan. Thankfully, they have a second location in Voorhees they’re operating out of until they can find another location in Ocean City, and she’s keeping her sense of humor, as you can see from her sign in this photo: “Life is Short, Eat More Cookies”. See our earlier feature on their store last fall in this blog post, “Crazy Susan’s is One Smart Cookie”.
Another customer, Cheese on Main, in Ocean Grove, New Jersey sits a couple of blocks inland from the coast. They were not flooded, but they were without power for a week. Owner Susan Morris shared, “We lost $7,000 worth of cheese that wasn’t covered by insurance. The only help we’ve been offered is getting a small business loan from the SBA, but we don’t want to do that.”
Their biggest problem is getting product. “We compete for supply with the New York City restaurants, and everyone is waiting on boats to come in from France and Italy.” However, Susan remains positive because it seems the local community is spending more for the holidays. Her average order had previously been around $25, but this past Black Friday weekend, orders were double that. Just today she got a call from a Switzerland customer wanting to make sure that she is still open because he wanted to place an order for cheese gift baskets for his American relatives.
Our customer The Yellow Door, a gift and jewelry store, has locations in Brooklyn, New York and Deal, New Jersey. They lost a lot of revenue at their Jersey Shore location because it had no power for two weeks, but they are graciously turning this into a positive for the community by giving away a free sterling silver heart necklace to affected families. The necklace is valued at $100 and is gift wrapped.
“We are well aware firsthand of the conditions on the Jersey Shore,” say Jonathan and Luna Zemmol, Owners of The Yellow Door. “If there is something we can do to help a family who’s going through some tough times, we want to do it before the holidays to help people express their appreciation to loved ones, despite any financial troubles they may be experiencing after the storm.”
Please know that here at Nashville Wraps our thoughts and prayers have been with all of our affected customers. We too know the effects firsthand of natural disasters – such as the 2010 Nashville Flood and Your World Can Change in 30 Seconds or Less.
If your business was affected by Hurricane Sandy or any natural disaster, Nashville Wraps wants to offer a small promotion to help you with your packaging costs. Please call us at 1-880-547-9727 or email [email protected] to receive this offer.
Please share your Hurricane Sandy story in the comments below.