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Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce meeting recap

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On Tuesday, May 31, the Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce held their general membership meeting at the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Library.

Chamber president Donna Periconi spoke about the Bay Shore Memorial Day parade, which happened the previous day. Periconi noted that the chamber received a grant from PSEG for new flags to be put on Main Street to line the way for the parade.

Officers from Suffolk County Police Department’s COPE spoke at the meeting. The officers mentioned that there will be more of a police presence in downtown Bay Shore during the summer, not for any problems but to monitor and make sure all of the upcoming events go smoothly. The officers were asked about the recent shootings across the country and if they have been working with local schools in the area. COPE Officer John Wright said he has visited every school in the Islip School District and the Central Islip School District since the tragedies and other officers went to Brentwood, Bay Shore, East Islip and West Islip. He also noted that they visited numerous houses of worship as well.

Wright said that when he visits the schools, he “does as much or as little as the school wants.” Some schools have him walk through the hallways and ask how to improve security, while others just meet with him briefly.

Periconi also discussed the upcoming Arts Festival by the Bay, which is slated for Sunday, June 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The festival has not been held since 2019 due to the pandemic. The first festival was held in 2001. Periconi mentioned that back in 2001, there was only one restaurant open in downtown Bay Shore—the now-closed Milk and Sugar. In 2019, the festival was attended by 15,000 people. This year’s event will feature the Greater Nassau Chorus, Babylon Chorale, Hibernian Festival Singers, the First Baptist Church of Bay Shore choir, and many more great musicians. There will also be food, street vendors, a petting zoo and pony rides.

Alive-by-the-Bay will also be back this year on Tuesday, June 28, July 12, and July 26.

Periconi also noted that the homeless situation in Bay Shore has improved dramatically in the last year.

Brad Hemingway, deputy director of the Islip Economic Development team, spoke about the Keep Islip Thriving grant program. The grants provided from the program are for up to $5,000. Hemingway said the program is aimed to help out smaller businesses with fewer than 500 employees and at least two years of operating history that were negatively impacted by COVID-19. Funds for the grants came from the American Rescue Plan. Information on the grants can be found on the Town of Islip website by clicking on the “Keep Islip Thriving” tile on the homepage.

The meeting ended with a presentation from Donna Moravick, the executive director of Northwell Health South Shore University Hospital. Moravick’s presentation touched on the updates at the hospital, the level of care, and what the community can expect in the future.

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