NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Businesses in the Rockaways are still struggling to get back to normal, but a group of high school students want to give them a boost using their artistic talents.
“There aren’t many times I’m jealous of New Jersey, but clearly I am now,” Jonathan Gaska said.
That sentiment echoed along the shores of the Rockaways on Friday.
“Quite frankly, we think New Jersey has done a much better job. The governor has really come through for his seaside communities,” said Gaska of Community Board 14.
Gaska wishes he could, but can’t forget the “Stronger than the Storm” ad.
“The ads on TV and were not getting that, really,” Gaska said.
But they need it, with local support radio ads running the ad. And there are published ads, too. But it’s not enough. They need and want more help from the state.
“About 40 percent of our businesses have yet to open since the storm and that’s nine months ago,” Gaska said.
Businesses that have reopened their doors, like the Irish Circle, say business has been much slower than it was pre-Hurricane Sandy.
“We used to get people that would go to the beach, come here to have something to eat or drink and we don’t have that anymore. You can see it’s quiet,” employee Debbie Suglia said.
Suglia said she has worked at the Irish Circle for 15 years. She too is tired of hearing the Jersey Shore is back.
“I want them to help us. I want our community back. I want them to help our businesses that can’t get reopened,” Suglia said.
With a YouTube video to do their part and help boost beach business, four students from Information Technology High School produced a video set to the tune of the “Rockaway Beach” by the Ramones.
EXTRA: ‘It’s In Rockaway!’
Quinton Harris is one of those students. He said they worked for a month to get the job done.
“We knew that the Rockaways was a very troubled place, so we knew that since we couldn’t give money directly to them – we’re just students — we had to find some other way,” Harris said.
And to the people of the Rockaways, Harris said, “I just hope you guys are making it okay. I hope our video is bringing some sort of relief and support and business to where you live.”
Students are doing what they can to help, while residents of the Rockaways hope the state will do more.
The radio ads aimed at getting beach business back to the Rockaways will run through August.
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