PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — As reopening continues in New York, more than 50% of businesses in the suburbs are still struggling. But there are new plans to help Main Streets recover.

The latest effort comes from Port Washington, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Friday.

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Once thriving Main Streets are desperate to pulse again. Downtowns are major community assets and critical to the health of the region.

“The perfect combination of small town, small stores. Everyone knew your name, but we had access to New York City,” said Port Washington resident Sue Beaupre.

From the train station to the local bakery or hardware store and waterfront dining, Schreiber High School student Jennifer Rodriguez said she studied how Main Streets evolved to link our past and present.

“Everyone is connected and everybody really knows each other, and it’s just nice,” Rodriguez said.

Discover Long Island is now unveiling a new boost to recovery efforts: download the exclusive and free Downtown Deals app to help keep small businesses alive in villages, towns and hamlets like Port Washington.

“Rent a kayak, rent a boat, go to a theater, stay at a hotel, go to a restaurant,” said Discover Long Island CEO Kristen Reynolds.

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“Using the Downtown Deals app, you’re going to get discounts… We’re keeping our tax dollars here with our taxpayers,” said North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth.

According to the Rauch Foundation, permanent store closures skyrocketed and more than one-third of all Long Island businesses lost more than 50% of revenue during the pandemic.

Boost Nassau can provide small business funding.

“There’s money out there from the state, from the feds, from us, even from some of the towns as well,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “So we want to make sure we don’t leave any money on the table.”

There is much to take pride in.

“Bookstores, more town halls, but also just little things like poetry readings…. So I’m definitely an advocate for small towns,” said Christina Kemp, a Port Washington resident.

It’s a matter of survival.

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Click here for more information on Downtown Deals app.

Jennifer McLogan