Coney Island continues to rebuild

For some, it might seem like Hurricane Sandy swept across the Eastern Seaboard ages ago. In reality, it was just seven months ago that businesses and residents were devastated by damages from flooding, heavy winds and long-standing power outages. Company leaders who rely on seasonal income were especially nervous about their recovery process, as summer means customers. If there is nowhere for people to go, how can owners make money?

That was a common question for many on Coney Island, a New York area that offers roller coaster rides, hot dogs and countless other boardwalk wonders. According to Robert Steele, the city's deputy mayor for economic development, crowds have returned to the beaches.

Steel explained to the Associated Press that Sandy was a "punch in the stomach" but business owners are back strong. New York spent $270 million to reopen its beaches, as they are a crucial aspect to the New York experience, he said.

Just last weekend, Brooklyn hosted its annual Mermaid Parade, where artists, musicians and more come together to celebrate the fabled aquatic creature.

Dick Zigun founded the Mermaid Parade in 1983 and told NPR that Hurricane Sandy flooded the offices of Coney Island USA, which is his own non-profit. According to Zigun, most of the damages to the building have been repaired, but it didn't leave enough money to fund the parade. However, supporters donated over $100,000 to ensure that the Mermaid Parade took place as planned.

"It's like Mardi Gras after Katrina," Zigun said. "It's important to the soul of Coney Island to let the world know that we're here, we do what we do. We haven't changed."

Working with commercial insurance specialists can help small to medium-sized business owners find the right policies for their company so they can bounce back after severe weather.




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