East Islip chamber waives membership fees, announces business caravan


Considering the closure of many businesses as well as social distancing mandates, chambers of commerce are limited in what they can typically do. But East Islip Chamber of Commerce has been planning the last few months.

Releasing a letter recently, chamber president Gary Teich announced that that the chamber will soon be offering complimentary membership to local businesses that are not already members. Additionally, existing members’ fees will be waived for the remainder of the year.

“Our goal is that our chamber can be used to help advertise your business on our website and social media,” the letter read. “Our hope is you take full advantage of it. Our Chamber is here to help us all get through these difficult times.”

Teich said that local businesses will be able to acquire membership once the chamber’s website is up and running, as the website’s functionality is necessary in order to process the memberships. He added that the website will be finished in upcoming weeks and those with questions are welcome to contact the chamber through its Facebook page.

Additionally, the chamber is planning a social-distancing-friendly advertising event, coined the “Road to Recovery Tour.” Local businesses are invited to join a vehicle caravan on May 23 that will traverse the streets of East Islip sporting their business’ signs and logos.

“We are going to be in a car. We are going to be socially distanced. We are just driving like when somebody is doing a birthday party for somebody and they all drive by. This is just a different spin on this,” Teich said.

Local businesses that Teich has personally inquired about participating in the motorcade, he said, have generally expressed excitement.

“This is a very, very inexpensive way of advertising,” Teich said. “It is renewable, [and] they can use these banners wherever they want to go.”

The chamber has and continues to express its appreciation for the businesses, essential workers, and residents in the community doing what they need to do during the health pandemic at hand.

“We are all here, and we know they didn’t forget about us. And we didn’t forget about them. We are all here and we are all a big family,” Teich said.


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