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port jefferson chamber

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Photo from Barbara Ransome

Port Jefferson may be cold, but it’s already getting ready for spring. 

“The Port Jeff chamber, with the support of a grant for beautification from PSEG for $2,000, was able to purchase 5,000 Dutch Master daffodil bulbs,” said Barbara Ransome, director of operations of Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce.

The grant she mentioned comes from PSEG Long Island as part of the company’s Main Street Revitalization Program that has been helping small businesses during these tough pandemic times. 

Funds for the Plant Port Yellow program came from a new concept that was introduced by PSEGLI earlier this year. 

Photo from Barbara Ransome

John Keating, manager of economic development with PSEGLI, previously told TBR that the company added a new category to their revitalization program to help beautify local villages and towns. They were awarded up to $5,000 for items like outdoor lighting, seating and heating, but for 2021 the company added an extra $2,000 to spruce things up even more. 

“We added the beautification piece of it,” Keating said. “So, anything else that they might have wanted to do, like landscaping or planters and things like that, they could do a separate application and be eligible for another $2,000 — a total of $7,000.”

Port Jefferson Village was one of the several areas whose chamber took advantage of the opportunity. 

Ransome added that just last weekend, volunteers gathered together to plant those 5,000 bulbs, specifically thanking Rich Degnan and his staff from Central Outdoor Services who helped plant 750 of the bulbs Saturday.

According to the Long Island Association, roughly 90% of the Long Island economy comes from small businesses, so the pandemic caused stress for the smaller shops. Keating said that between 2020-21, PSEGLI has provided about 36 chamber of commerce grants — some $80,000 in total. 

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From left, Mary Joy Pipe, Stu Vincent, Maryanne Douglas, Marites Son and Nancy Bradley are sworn in by Leg. Hahn (in foreground). Not pictured, Michael Sceiford. Photo from Barbara Ransome

The Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce held its swearing-in ceremony last week for new members and celebrated existing ones. 

On Feb. 24, members joined at The Space at 234 Traders Cove, where Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), chamber installing officer, helped swear in its executive board including President Mary Joy Pipe, of The East End Shirt Co.; 1st Vice President Stu Vincent, of Mather Hospital; 2nd Vice President Michael Sceiford, of Edward Jones; Treasurer Maryanne Douglas, of Davis Town Meeting House Society; 3rd Vice President Marites (Tess) Son; and Secretary Nancy Bradley of People’s United Bank. 

The chamber also welcomed its new directors: Loretta Criscuoli of The Spice & Tea Exchange; Raquel Fernandez of Icon Properties; Rose and Robert Rodriguez, of Hook & Ladder Party Company; and Kristine Murillo, of Fedora Lounge Boutique Hair Salon. 

Flowers for the event were donated by the chamber’s new partner, Diane Mutell of Slate Floral & Event Studio, and antipasto boxes were provided by chamber partner Pasta Pasta.

Only the board of directors were invited to attend the event physically, while remaining attendees were on Zoom. 

Other members were celebrated for their reelections, including TBR News Media publisher Leah Dunaief, Steve Muñoz of Amazing Olive, and Suzanne Velázquez of Stony Brook University. 

Barbara Ransome, director of operations, said the chamber’s small business award was given to John Urbinati of The Fifth Season restaurant. The $500 award will be used to upgrade and enhance their e-commerce and online shopping cart. 

— Courtesy of Port Jeff Chamber

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Alexa DeSimone brought her own creativity to bear in crafting her cookie at the Port Jeff Village Center Dec. 5. Photo by Julianne Mosher

It was a sweet day for Port Jefferson children and their families. 

On Saturday, Dec. 5, The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Cookieland event inside the Harbor Cove Room at the Village Center. 

Kids of all ages were each able to decorate two large sugar cookies with sprinkles and icing to celebrate the holiday season. 

“The chamber is encouraging shoppers to come and enjoy our beautifully decorated village,” Barbara Ransome, director of operations with the chamber, said. “We wanted to create a level of normalcy with COVID compliance, mindful of safety and mindful of the holiday spirit we all need.”

Packages of individually wrapped cookie decorating kits at the PJ Chamber Cookieland event. Photo by Julianne Mosher

For $15, La Bonne Boulangerie bakery of Port Jefferson provided the kit, with tickets available for purchase through the chamber’s website. Four tables were spread out throughout the room, with protective barriers between guests. Masks were worn at all times, and proceeds supported the chamber of commerce nonprofit. 

Holbrook resident Andrea DeSimone brought her 8-year-old daughter, Alexa, to decorate the snowman and snowflake-shaped cookies. 

“I figured it would be something fun to do,” she said. “Especially since it’s not nice outside.”

Due to the inclement weather on Saturday, a socially distanced visit from Santa surprised families inside the room, instead of the originally planned photo opportunity outside with his sleigh.

Alexa was thrilled to play with the provided decorations.

“My favorite thing is putting on the frosting and getting it all over my hands,” she said with a laugh. “I’m having so much fun today.”

Families who missed out can still get tickets for the next two events on Dec. 12 and 19, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.