Steve Bellone’s ‘Suffolk Forward’ Gift Card Program

With roots on Long Island, NY, the team behind Operation Main Street is truly #NewYorkTough. And tough challenges like those imposed by COVID-19 call for all the creativity, innovation and scrappy smarts a grassroots technology initiative like Operation Main Street can muster. Produced pro bono by Huntington based, this free, searchable directory lets community residents across the county — and country — save their favorite local shops and restaurants with immediate cash infusions derived from gift card purchases. That’s why we are so proud to be awarded the distinction as the flagship solution of Suffolk Forward, a bold plan led by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. 

Bellone crafted the Suffolk Forward plan in collaboration with the county’s sharpest problem solvers, technology leaders and academicians. Said Bellone, “Suffolk Forward is an exciting new partnership that will allow local businesses to leverage expertise and resources to improve their operations and IT infrastructure.”

Local Economic Development

It All Starts with a Plan

The Suffolk Forward Plan was designed in cooperation with Stony Brook University College of Business and has five distinct initiatives designed to help local businesses. Anyone with questions can contact the  Suffolk County Business Recovery Unit at Suffolk 311 or

  1. Dubbed the Suffolk Forward Gift Card Platform, offers free business listings to companies that sell gift cards online with an easy-to-search interface that lets residents support their favorite stores with gift card purchases. Suffolk County business listings are here.
  2. The Suffolk Forward Job Board provides Suffolk County Residents with access to regional job opportunities and businesses with a pool of talented applicants searching for new employment opportunities. 
  3. The remaining three initiatives provide small businesses with support and education services delivered by Stony Brook University designed to meet the challenges identified by small businesses. These initiatives include the Tech Enhancement Program, the Suffolk Forward “Pandemic Shift” Business Workshops, and the Suffolk Forward Virtual Expert Network.

Said Brian Yudewitz, Chairman of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, “We as a chamber are happy to see action being taken by the county to assist businesses.  Huntington has been hit hard by the stay at home order and our businesses will need help from all levels of government to assist in the recovery and reopening.” 

Working together, and alongside great local leaders Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, we will carry on stronger than ever.

Written by Team eGifter