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Chamber of Commerce Waiting Your Turn

At the monthly meeting on May 7 the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce welcomed several new businessmen: Andre Kim opened a new store on Plandome Road, Artifacts Gallery; Paul Murphy is with the Principal Financial Group in Melville and lives in Manhasset and Les Wolfe announced he markets sports memorabilia. As of the May meeting there are 123 paid members with more expected.

It’s just a matter of time, and soon conversation turned to parking issues. A study was referenced that claimed 220 employees park around Plandome Road.

Mike Nowakoski, vice president and branch manager of Chase Bank, 330 Plandome Road, said he arrived in Manhasset as branch manager in January of 2011 and as the bank has no parking spots, he  immediately registered his name with the Manhasset Park District for 10 parking spaces for employees. He went to the back of the line and about a month ago, over 2 years later, received a call from the park district. He was told he had the 10 spots and was asked if he could pay immediately as it was a significant amount, around $8,000 for the year. He received approval, he said, but also received another call, within days, from the park district saying only one parking spot had been approved. The reason, Nowakoski was told, was that more places were being designated for local shoppers, causing him to wonder why he had initially been asked to pay in full. He went to the back of the line for another parking place and set up a rotating schedule at the bank for himself and two others to have the parking spot every third week.

No employee is a fan of constantly moving his car every hour or hour and a half, the bank manager said, not to mention the employee is MIA should customers need assistance. But a ticket is about $85, a hefty expense for most employees.

The Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations is actively seeking parking solutions in Manhasset.

In general business, Diane Harragan indicated the flower baskets lining Plandome Road would be installed sometime before the Memorial Day Parade. Alex Otis of Manhasset Florist prepares the hanging baskets.

Katie Miller encouraged chamber members to submit paperwork to be a “Chamber Member of the Week” in the Manhasset Press.  Chamber president Les Forrai said he has been a member of the week and has it linked to his website, adding it’s a “win/win for everyone.”

The guest speaker was Craig Jennings, a small business coach, who began by saying he had played basketball at lunch hour for a short time with Jim Brown.

Jennings discussed 10 mistakes small business owners make causing most of them to stay small. His website is www.craigjennings.com.