NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Unlike the past, the New York City Half Marathon will have the full support of the South Street Seaport area next month.

The race and its 15,000 runners weren’t exactly embraced by this community last year.

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“We objected to it,” Community Board No. 1 member John Fratta told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.

Now, with just 35 percent of the businesses open and virtually no foot traffic, Fratta says it’s a very different story.

“We’re hoping that they realize the impact that Sandy had on the community and that they can be part of the solution,” he said.

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On March 18, the race will end at the corner of Water Street and Wall Street and then the runners will head to the seaport for a celebration where it’s hoped local businesses will set up booths.

Local business owners like Jacqueline Goewey, owner of Made Fresh Daily, one of the few businesses open on Front Street, are welcoming the crowds.

“Not that many people seem to know still how badly hit the area was by the hurricane and anything that will get people to the neighborhood and raise awareness can only help,” she said.

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She said they plan to offer every runner a sweet treat from the shop.