Coffee with Glen, CEO of Brazzlebox
Thank you for reading Coffee with Glen, CEO of Brazzlebox.com. “Hey, We’re OK” is a movement on the Jersey shore to make everyone aware that even though Hurricane Sandy hit them hard last year, businesses are open! A great message on an important topic and Brazzlebox is trying to bring more awareness to it.
Our Director of Strategy, Roger Frank, starts today’s discussion. I’m from New Jersey. Exit 136. One of the great things about being from New Jersey is that you can’t have a big ego. As I’ve traveled the world and met people from London, Paris, Rio, Rome and all the great cities of the world, I have to tell them I’m from New Jersey, Irvington New Jersey to be precise. But there is a trade-off. It’s the Jersey shore, one of the great gems of the east coast. I’ve been going there my whole life and Glen has been going there for most of his. For both of us the damages caused by Hurricane Sandy were personal. I’ve seen the damages and it hurts. But for me it’s not about my business, it’s about my memories.
Our CEO Glen Zinszer was just there for a family vacation. We spoke everyday about Brazzlebox, the Jersey shore, our memories, family vacations and what we could do to help. What struck both of us, as he observed first hand, was that the towns he visited, Wildwood and Cape May, had very little physical damage. However, the economic damage was a different story, which could be seen in the empty parking lots and “vacancy” signs.
In speaking with some of the small business owners about the fact that there was very little physical damage but no tourists, one store owner made a comment which is the topic of this blog, “Hey, we’re ok”. What struck both of us was the difference between the reality of what was happening on the ground and perception. Yes, the damage at the shore was devastating. But it was not the entire shore. Many towns survived relatively unscathed. But in the media avalanche that followed the devastation, little distinction was made between towns that were open for business as usual.
So what can we do to help? For starters, we wanted to share our thoughts and observations. Can we help in time to salvage the end of the season? Maybe, but more importantly, it gave us an idea of how Brazzlebox can really make a difference in the future. It’s about the local community banding together to help each other and get out their message: “Hey, we’re OK!” Glen, over to you…
Thank you Roger, this was my 30th summer heading down to the Jersey shore and staying in Wildwood and Cape May. I have enjoyed with my family the incredible beaches, wonderful food, rides on the boardwalk and Morey’s piers and of course I always had to “watch the tramcar please.”
This year it had the same excitement yet it was immediately obvious that there were a lot less people around. Many parking spaces at hotels and restaurants were empty and all of the business owners I spoke to were reporting the lowest numbers in over a decade. The consensus from all of these business owners is that they wanted more voices to make people aware that the Jersey shore is open for business. “Hey, we’re OK” is the message they wanted to get out before the season ended this year and we are happy to do it!
The feedback from Brazzlebox.com members on helping with disaster recovery relief for businesses was extremely positive! Brazzlebox’s Business Disaster Recovery Program (BDRP) is being designed to help small businesses recover faster from these type of disasters. Brazzlebox.com is a social network exclusively for small and home based business owners as well as provides community specific resources for start-up businesses.
Brazzlebox is here to help and today the message from the Jersey Shore businesses is “Hey, we’re OK!” Go visit!