For the first time, Amagansett has a chamber of commerce.
Lee Satinsky, owner of the Computer Shop, is spearheading the effort to organize the hamlet’s businesses. Twelve members had joined as of Friday, and a board meeting to plot the chamber’s initial activities is scheduled for today.
Plans for the chamber, Mr. Satinsky said, go back two years, but state and federal paperwork required to create a 501(c)(6) organization, which provides tax-exempt status to chambers of commerce and similar organizations, delayed the launch. “Once we got all that out of the way,” he said, “it was chamber time.”
Members of the Amagansett Chamber of Commerce, according to Mr. Satinsky, include the Computer Shop, Crossroads Music, D’Canela restaurant, and the Stephen Talkhouse. The Victor D’Amico Institute of Art, also known as the Art Barge, will also become a member, according to Christopher Kohan, its president.
Mr. Satinsky was reluctant to discuss the chamber’s plans until comments are received at an upcoming members’ meeting. “We have a lot of beginning ideas for what people want, but want to make sure everyone’s on the same page. We’ve talked to the town board, and they’re excited about it. We’re going to be doing a few events throughout the year, and all the money is going to go locally,” he said. The chamber has established a Web site, amagansettchamber.org.
Mr. Satinsky and Patty Collins Sales, a manager at Star Island Yacht Club in Montauk, had been organizers of the Am O’Gansett parade, which will happen on March 9 this year. That responsibility has been passed to the chamber, Mr. Satinsky said. A pancake breakfast will happen on Sunday at 9 a.m. at the Stephen Talkhouse, with a $10 donation benefiting the chamber. Also benefiting the chamber, the Computer Shop is holding a raffle for an Apple iMac computer. Tickets, at $20 each or $100 for six, are available at the Computer Shop and at Crossroads Music, in Amagansett Square. The winner will be chosen on March 9 at the Am O’Gansett parade’s after-party, also to be held at the Stephen Talkhouse.
“Sometimes, Amagansett is the little forgotten town,” said Michael Clark of Crossroads Music. A chamber of commerce, he said, “gives us the opportunity to make recommendations and do some things that would be beneficial for the whole community, based on community and business input. With the economy being what it is, the only people that are going to jump-start it is us, all of us.”
A chamber of commerce specific to Amagansett, said Mr. Kohan, is unique. “It will be neat to see what could be drummed up if he’s willing to make that effort,” he said of Mr. Satinsky.
“It’s a good idea,” agreed Htun Han, a broker at Hamptons Realty Group on Main Street who said he plans to join the chamber. Mr. Han will be the grand marshal of the Am O’Gansett parade. “Although Amagansett is small compared to East Hampton Village, it’s still got its own group of businesses on Main Street,” he said.