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Big and Small Businesses Alike Stand to Suffer from Possible LIRR Strike

by Rebecca Lewis
A A
Ryders Joe Deli in New Hyde Park

Rebecca Lewis, WFUV

Commuters aren't the only ones who are going to be left out to dry.

George Santos owns Ryders Joe Deli. It's located right next to the train station in New Hyde Park, just outside of Queens. He said if Long Island Rail Road workers strike, it would be devastating for his business.

"Ninety percent of our business is commuters, trying to catch the train, knowing them on a first name basis, sometimes letting them go without paying and they'll catch us the next day," Santos said before greeting one of his regular customers and striking up a conversation about the World Cup.

Santos has just one of any number of businesses on Long Island and in New York City that will get hit hard by a strike. Matt Cohen is with the Long Island Association, and he said  a one day strike might only be an inconvenience, but he fears what a longer strike would mean for businesses in the Big Apple.

"New York City and Long Island economy are inextricably linked and the city is going to have it hard," Cohen said.

Cohen said whether it's a local store on the island or a larger business in the city, everyone will feel the effects of the strike if a deal is not made by the July 20 deadline.

Thursday was the last day the MTA and LIRR unions sat down with negotiators. Although the unions have put a counterproposal on the table, a deal was not yet reached and the next negotiation day is not known.

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