Tag Archive | "Bridgehampton National Bank"

BNB Announces Quarterly Dividend

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Bridge Bancorp, Inc., the holding company for The Bridgehampton National Bank, announced the declaration of a quarterly dividend of $0.23 per share. The dividend will be payable on October 31 to shareholders of record as of October 17.  The company continues its trend of uninterrupted dividends.

Bridge Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company engaged in commercial banking and financial services through its wholly owned subsidiary, The Bridgehampton National Bank (BNB).  Established in 1910, BNB, with assets of approximately $2.2 billion, and a primary market area of Suffolk and Southern Nassau Counties, Long Island, operates 27 retail branch locations.

For more information, visit bridgenb.com. 

Record Income for Bridge Bancorp

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Bridge Bancorp, Inc.,  the parent company of the Bridgehampton National Bank, has broken its quarterly record for net income and earnings per share, it announced. The bank recorded net income of $4.5 million, with earnings per share of 39 cents for the second quarter of 2014. These figures represent a 49 percent rise from the same period a year ago. The bank also recorded an increase in net interest income from $4.5 million to $16.8 million for the same period.

The number of loans have also grown by 33 percent, a dollar increase of some $300 million, the banking company reported. The bank also reported a 27-percent increase in assets to $2.2 billion. In other news, the bank said that deposits had increased 20 percent to $1.75 billion.

The company declared a dividend of 23 cents for the quarter.

“Our expanded footprint and larger capital base allows our team of dedicated bankers to deliver BNB’s brand of community banking services across a greater section of Long Island and into the boroughs of NYC,” said Kevin M. O’Connor, the president and CEO of Bridge Bancorp, Inc.

BNB Announces First Quarter Gains

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Bridge Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of Bridgehampton National Bank (BNB; bridgenb.com) announced last week its first quarter results for 2014, reporting core net income and core earnings per share of $4 million and $0.35 per share. The core net income excludes $3.6 million or $0.31 per share of charges and net tax associated with the February 2014 acquisition of FNBNY Bancorp and the First National Bank of New York, branch restructuring costs and net losses on sales of securities. Inclusive of these charges, Bridge Bancorp reported net income of $0.4 million in the first quarter of 2014 and $0.04 per share.

According to a press release issued late last week, before the cost of the acquisition, the net income of $4 million and $0.35 per share for the quarter represents a 39-percent increase compared to last year. Net interest income also increased $3.6 million to $15.5 million for March 2014, with a net interest margin of 3.46-percent. Total assets of $2.1 billion are also reported as of March 2014, 34-percent higher than 2013. Loan growth also grew in the first quarter, to $274 million or 32-percent higher than in March 2013, and deposits increased 22-percent in the first quarter over last year with $1.67 billion made.

“The first quarter of 2014 featured several noteworthy accomplishments for the company,” said Kevin M. O’Connor, President and CEO of Bridge Bancorp, Inc. “We completed the acquisition of FNBNY and converted their core systems in mid February 2014. This adds three branches in new markets: Melville, in Suffolk County and Massapequa and Merrick, our first two branches in Nassau County, along with a loan production office in Manhattan. Our 26 branch locations, along with two loan production offices, combined with our expanded network of nearly 600 surcharge-free ATMs in select Rite Aid pharmacies across Long Island, New York City, and throughout New York State, offer our customers more convenient access to our community banking services,”

“In addition to the FNBNY acquisition, we experienced strong organic growth in loans and deposits during the quarter,” added Mr. O’Connor. “This growth contributed to record core net interest income and core net income.  Our strong, well-capitalized balance sheet, funded by core branch deposits, positions us to successfully fulfill our mission to be the community bank of choice for the communities we serve.”

Bridgehampton National Bank Donates $25,000 to Local Food Pantries

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The Bridgehampton National Bank (bridgenb.com) Annual Apple Campaign, which was started in 2011 to provide contributions to local food pantries, culminated Monday with the distribution of $1,000 checks to each of 23 food pantries from Montauk to Greenport to Deer Park and Melville. At a presentation and reception at the BNB Bridgehampton office, pantry representatives Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Southampton, Springs and Sag Harbor were on-hand to accept the funds.   Maureen’s Haven, which helps the homeless on the East End, also received a check for $2,000. This is only part of the $25,000 donated by bank customers, employees and the company itself.

“This is one of the community programs we are most proud,” said Kevin M. O’Connor, president and CEO of Bridgehampton National Bank.  “It is a true collaboration between the bank, its customers and employees, working together to help those most in need in our communities. It is the essence of what it means to be a community bank.”

The Apple program began nearly five years ago with a conversation initiated by the East Hampton Food Pantry. They suggested the “apple” as a means of recognizing donations. With 26 branches across Suffolk and Nassau Counties, BNB took its Apples bank wide. The program is an annual holiday tradition which runs through the end of January.  In lieu of a holiday gift, BNB donates in the name of its employees, customers enthusiastically participate and BNB matches donations and fills in any gaps to reach the goal and fund one pantry in each of its markets. In addition to the financial gift, branch staff collected non- perishable foods during the months of November, December and January, which are also distributed to local pantries.

Business Briefs: Saunders & Associates Adds Sag Harbor Love to the Mix

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Saunders & Associates Real Estate Adds Sag Harbor’s Love to the Mix

Saunders & Associates (www.hamptonsrealestate.com.), a Hamptons-based real estate firm, announced on October 4 that Noel Love has joined the firm.

A real estate agent with nearly 20 years of experience, Love joins Saunders & Associates as a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson and will work out of the firm’s Southampton office.

A resident of Sag Harbor, Love comes to Saunders from Brown Harris Stevens, where he was involved in more than $50 million in real estate transactions.

Love began his professional career in the music industry at Motown Records in 1965, where he served as New York Promotion Director and sought airtime on New York radio stations for such Motown legends as The Supremes, Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles and Stevie Wonder.

From Motown, he moved to Polydor Records and took on the role of vice president of promotion. He eventually began his own independent national promotion company, Love-Rosen Promotions, which was awarded the 1975 Independent Promotion Company of the year by Billboard magazine.

In 1993, Love moved to the Hamptons and in 1998 was recruited by the president of Brown Harris Stevens of the Hamptons. Love has remained with that company until earlier this month.

Love, a Sag Harbor resident, lives on Noyac Bay.

The number of brokers at Saunders has now reached 96. Recent hires include entrepreneur and businessman Jon Guren, real estate developer, investor and attorney Alan Schnurman, Sandra Woodward Pullman, Krae Van Sickle, Lylla Carter, and Chris Coleman from The Corcoran Group; as well as Vincent Horcasitas who worked at Prudential Douglas Elliman.

SagTown Coffee Offers Main Street Delivery

SagTown (www.sagtowncoffee) at 78 Main Street in Sag Harbor in the Shopping Cove has started Main Street, Sag Harbor coffee delivery.

According to SagTown barista Julia Celano, the coffee company began offering the service two weeks ago. No matter now big or small (think one cup of regular Joe), SagTown will delivery the coffee to your place of business for a small $1 delivery charge.

According to Celano, the service started as a spur of the moment idea and has been a roaring success. The business even created to-go menus showcasing their beverages, from a traditional latte or espresso to speciality coffees like their salted caramel latte, chocolate peanut butter latte, Chai tea latte, caramel macchiato, and for the kids options like Ghirardelli hot chocolate, steamed milk and freshly squeezed lemonade.

For more information or to place your order, call 725-TOWN (8696).

Bridge Bancorp Announced Third Quarter Dividend

Bridge Bancorp, Inc., the holding company for The Bridgehampton National Bank (www.bridgenb.com), announced the declaration of a quarterly cash dividend of $0.23 per share. The dividend will be payable on October 20, 2012 to shareholders of record as of October 17, 2012.

According to a press release issued on October 3, this announcement continues a trend of uninterrupted dividends by the company.

Bridge Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company engaged in commercial banking and financial services through its wholly owned subsidiary, The Bridgehampton National Bank. Established in 1910, the bank has assets of approximately $1.4 billion, a primary market area in Suffolk County, and operates 21 retail branch locations, including its newest branch in Ronkonkoma.

Through the branch network and electronic delivery channels, the bank provides deposit and loan products and financial services to local businesses, consumers and municipalities. Title insurance services are offered through a subsidiary, Bridge Abstract, and investments through Bridge Investment Services.

BHS: Exclusive Representative for The Residences at Sagaponack

Brown Harris Stevens (www.bhshamptons.com) announced this week that they are proud to be the exclusive representatives of The Residences at Sagaponac, a premiere development of traditional luxury homes in Sagaponack. Pre-construction offerings, created by world-renowned architects, these designs combine traditional American architecture with advanced modern amenities and technology.

For more information, contact Ingrid Brownyard at Brown Harris Stevens Sag Harbor office at ibrownyard@bhshamptons.com or Amelia Doggwiler in the firm’s Southampton office at adoggwiler@bhshampton.com.

REVCO Lighting + Electrical Supply, Inc. Launches Clean Energy Division

REVCO Lighting + Electrical Supply (www.revcoelectric.com) has announced the launch of its Clean Energy Division. In addition to an assortment of electrical supplies and lighting, REVCO now offers the latest in energy efficient technology including solar photovoltaic systems, wind energy solutions, LED lighting and charging stations for the electric vehicle. These products are suitable for both residential and commercial application.

In May, the company installed a 50kw solar panel system at its Southampton branch in order to better educate its customers and staff on this technology and to conserve electricity. Since then, REVCO has seen a 45-percent reduction in its own utility costs. REVCO is also hosts one of the South Fork’s first electric vehicle charging stations, now open for public use at their Southampton branch.

REVCO will be celebrating the launch of this new division at a party on Friday, October 26 from 5 to 7p.m. at its Southampton branch and will even offer a free charge up.

Fishers Home Furnishings Storewide Sale

Fishers Home Furnishings (fishershomefurnishings.com) on Main Street in Sag Harbor will continue its storewide sale, offering 20 to 60 percent off all stock in store through October 14 and continuing to offer 20 percent off upholstery orders through October 31.

For more information, call 725-0006.

Peconic Landing Launches Community Connection Events

Peconic Landing (www.PeconicLanding.org), located on a 144-acre campus in Greenport, last week announced it has launched its fall Community Connection series of life enrichment and cultural programs for area residents of all ages.

“Many of our programs are open to the public,” said Peconic Landing Cultural Arts Coordinator Dominic Antignano. Antignano is also curator for the Outdoor Living Gallery, a permanent selection of sculptures from world-renowned artists on display at Peconic Landing’s Brecknock Gall and open daily for self guided tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As a partner of the Maritime Heritage of the North Fork, a month long signature series event of Arts Alive Long Island, Peconic Landing will also host events including Maritime Inspired Art, a juried art show opening at Brecknock Hall on October 18 with a free reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Songs of the Sea follows at 6:30 p.m. with Frank Hendricks presenting some lesser known aspects of maritime music as he performs sea shanties and focsles.

A professional development series has also been planned at Brecknock Hall. “Time Management Make-over” will be presented on Tuesday, October 16 at 7 p.m.

On the lighter side of classes, “Designing Silver Jewelry Using Precious Metal Clay will be offered Mondays, October 15 through October 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

For more information, or to register, call 477-BLUE.

“In My Mind” Adopted by Autism Society

Alex Olinkiewicz and Dr. Richard O’Connell announced this week that The Autism Society has adopted their book, “In My Mind,” based on the successful YouTube videos of the same name that has over 1,300,000 viewers, for distribution.

This summer, “In My Mind” was featured in readings at The American Hotel in Sag Harbor and Claudio’s in Greenport.

“In My Mind” chronicles Olinkiewicz, a Shelter Island native, and his experience as a person with Asperger’s.

For more information, visit www.createspace.com/3899100.

Pepalajefa Announces Fall Menu Items

Pepalajefa (pepalajefa.com), located at 7 Main Street in Sag Harbor, announced last week that it will offer new fall menu items this season, featuring a hot case with warm items and daily soup, meat, pasta and side specials.

Included on the fall menu is Spanish lentil soup ($6.50), eggplant caponata and goat cheese on focaccia ($8.50), meatloaf and cornichons on a baguette ($9.75), chorizo with leeks ($12.50 per pound), Moroccan chicken legs ($12 per pound), polenta with wild mushrooms ($7.50) and figs with goat cheese and bacon ($2).

Pepalajefa is open Thursday through Tuesday till 6 p.m. For more information, call 899-4630.

Core Dynamics Offers 4 Weeks of GPT for $259

Core Dynamics, (www.coredynamicsgym.com) on Deerfield Road in Watermill announced this week that it will offer Group Performance Training (GPT), a small group training of no more than six people per group, designed to maximize the body’s fat burning ability through circuit training methods.

Group Performance Training is now offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday and Thursday at 8 a.m., and Monday through Thursday at 6 p.m.

Core Dynamics offers a free week trial (up to 2 classes) of GPT for members and offers 4-weeks of GPT for $259.

Offer expires October 31. For more information, call 726-6049 or email the Core Dynamics team at info@coredynamicsgym.com




BNB Celebrates Centennial

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Dorothy Field, Peter Iwanyckyj, Tara Hagerman celebrate Bridgehampton National Bank’s Centennial on Friday, February 19 at the Sag Harbor branch of the bank.

Bridgehampton National Bank was founded when farmers and small business owners alike banded together to create a community-based financial institution in Bridgehampton that could address the needs of a growing agricultural economy.

Henry Chatfield, G. Clarence Topping and Elmer Thomson opened the bank on the east side of the E.C. Loper store on Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton on February 19, 1910. Their focus was to serve local businesses in the area, loaning farmers the money to purchase seeds during difficult times and aiding local merchants in expansion.

And according to Bridgehampton National Bank (BNB) CEO Kevin O’Connor, very little has changed over the last 100 years when it comes to BNB’s core philosophy – it is a community bank where personal relationships are forged, whether between lenders and small business owners, or tellers and the working mom who deposits her check each Friday.

“Last night, Southampton Town presented us with a proclamation, and it was very personal, not just some standard proclamation,” said O’Connor on Wednesday morning. “It was very special to our organization to accept that kind of honor, in Southampton, where we began, where so many of our shareholders live. I looked around, and I felt like I knew everyone in the room. It was a very personal experience.”

Providing a personal experience for business owners and clients, said O’Connor, is the secret to BNB’s success and one of the reasons he said the bank has flourished, particularly in the last two decades where 16 branches and counting were founded by BNB from Montauk to Mattituck and now as far west as Shirley.

“We like to think our employees, in a sense, become business advisors for these local companies,” said O’Connor. “We hope to be able to work with customers on a one-on-one basis, and will make introductions to accountants if they are looking to take their business to the next level, or attorneys if a business is considering purchasing a property. It really is a partnership. You want to be a trusted advisor.”

That extends, said O’Connor, to BNB’s branches, all which celebrated the centennial with their customers this past Friday with cake and balloons.

“I value tremendously the branch employees and network,” said O’Connor. “For a long time, I think people perceived the lenders as the superstars, but what the branch managers and tellers do is so important. They are the people our clients generally have the most contact with.”

Bridgehampton National Bank was federally chartered in 1910, joining the Federal Reserve System in 1914. The 1920s began the first period of expansion for BNB, with its board of directors purchasing the Loper Building in Bridgehampton in 1920 for $8,000, agreeing to lease the west side of the building to the post office.

Coming through the Depression intact, by 1935, BNB managed 2,000 accounts. By the 1960s, the company had formed a partnership with AInterBank, which would become VISA, and through this alliance were able to offer small business owners the ability to accept credit card purchases. BNB’s growth continued in the 1970s when it opened its first branch office in the Bridgehampton Plaza on Snake Hollow Road, but it was in the 1990s that the company truly branched out, developing its website and opening a number of branches across the North and South forks. BNB currently serves clients in Bridgehampton, Mattituck, East Hampton, Southampton, Southold, Montauk, Greenport, Sag Harbor, Hampton Bays, Westhampton Beach, Wading River, Cutchogue and Shirley.

According to O’Connor, with a number of small businesses flourishing in Patchogue, BNB is looking to open a branch there next.

“We will never put a branch next to Wal-Mart, because that is frankly not our marketplace,” said O’Connor. “We went to Shirley because there were a lot of people with small businesses and we will go to Patchogue for the same reason.”

O’Connor sees BNB continuing to expand, using this now 100-year-old model of conservative, community-based banking.

“A company has to have a culture and I think we have a very strong culture,” said O’Connor. “We have all the products, all the technology the big banks have, but we can also deliver and serve our customers at locally based branches where many of our customers are our shareholders and we look them in the eye, every day.”

Holiday Opening for Hampton Library

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Despite delays, Christmas may come a little early for the residents of Bridgehampton.

Hampton Library Director Susan LaVista said this week it is her goal to reopen the historic Bridgehampton library on Tuesday, December 22. The library has been shuttered for a year and a half now while undergoing an ambitious renovation and 4300 square foot expansion approved by the town in September of 2008,

“I really want to be open by Christmas,” said LaVista.

Two months later than officials hoped the project would be completed, LaVista said the library decided it was best to not rush, instead allowing time for finishing touches – shelving, cabinetry, staining floors, furniture delivery, installing bathroom fixtures – rather than pushing to open the doors of the new space.

“We want the job finished right,” she said. “I think it will be work, but I think we can open by the holidays.”

LaVista and her staff locked the doors at the 130-year-old, Main Street building in August of 2007, moving into the old Marders’ building on Main Street. The Town of Southampton, which purchased the building in 2003 with Community Preservation Fund monies, struck a deal with the library allowing them to lease the building for two years provided they renovate the structure.

“It has been nice for patrons, although a little tight for the staff,” said LaVista. “We are really happy to see the place renovated.”

Hampton Library spent over $200,000 on the renovation of the Marders’ building in order to make the space an appropriate, temporary facility. Originally projecting an opening for their new 11,000 square-foot, energy efficient space in the spring of 2010, most recently the board hoped for a fall debut of the new Hampton Library. Now in the final stages of construction, LaVista said the decision to open will lay in the hands of fire marshals and building inspectors who will need to give the library their final seal of approval.

LaVista said this week the Hampton Library would close its regular services at the Marders’ building on Wednesday, December 9, although the library would continue scheduled programming at the site. After December 9, LaVista said patrons can return any borrowed library books to any Suffolk County library. Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library and Southampton’s Rogers Memorial Library have also offered their services to Hampton Library patrons until the move is completed.

“Technically, you can go to any library in the county to return or pick up books,” said LaVista. “But they really have both been wonderful.”

“I feel like I am on a rollercoaster picking up speed,” she continued. “I cannot believe we are really ready to move in.”

The library has already begun sending books over from the Marders’ building, she said, noting a lot of the fiction and non-fiction is already in the renovated library.

“We still have the new books here, the media, and of course, the childrens’ books and the young adult collection is still here,” said LaVista.

While the library will open by the end of the year, LaVista said she planned to host the official grand opening party in February, after she could be assured the “kinks were worked out.”

“We will get through the holiday season, work on our punch list and by the time the last few things have been settled out, we will be ready to have a true celebration,” said LaVista.

Local Banks Get Personal and Win Big

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On Wall Street, the future of the nation’s largest banks, from Citibank to Bank of America, remains uncertain as the Dow Jones Industrial Average continues to slide. On Main Street, however, community banks appear to be in better shape than their Wall Street counterparts. The future for Main Street banks like Apple Bank or Bridgehampton National Bank seems calm, and perhaps, even bright.
The steady course of East End based financial institutions can be attributed to the business choices they made in recent years. As larger institutions lent money to riskier borrowers and made more adventurous investments, local banks say they created realistic mortgages and invested conservatively.
“We maintained a credit standard when we looked at loans,” said Kevin Santacroce, a senior credit officer at Bridgehampton National Bank. “At Bridgehampton, we took the time to sit down with customers and [created] loans with the expectation of getting paid back . . . In the shorter term, it seems like we are hurting the people who weren’t accepted [for the loan], but in the longer term we are helping them avoid being in insurmountable debt.”
According to Doug Shaw, Senior Vice President of Suffolk County National Bank, lending conservatively was business as usual for community banks not just on the East End but nationally.
“Many community banks tended to their nettings,” said Shaw. “As a consequence they didn’t get involved in many of the financial instruments you hear about in the media . . . It isn’t just banks on Long Island, but across the country.”
Steve Bush, the Executive Vice President of Apple Bank, added that his company placed only 20% of their overall investments into mortgages.
Although many East End banks are publicly traded, Shaw added that these banks maintain close relationships with their customers and also feel responsible to these customers.
“Most community banks know their customers better than larger institutions. When you know your customer well, you know what it will take for them pay under any circumstances,” said Shaw.
A few years ago, as mortgages were sold from one institution to another, Sanatacroce said many banks lost sight of the customer and focused merely on making a profit from the transaction. At Bridgehampton National Bank, Santacroce said he has worked with a few customers who had trouble making payments. For people whose mortgages were sold from one company to the next, it is often hard to find a person to talk with about restructuring their payment schedule. “When they made the loan, they were [often] sold right away, so the person who they sat down with when the signed the loan isn’t the person they can go talk to,” said Santacroce.
As national financial institutions continue to go belly up, many local residents are taking their business to community banks. In 2008, business at Bridgehampton National Bank grew by $200 million, which was a record year for the publicly traded company. According to Santacroce, the company’s stock price remains relatively flat despite the volatile fluctuations of the market. Bush, of Apple Bank, said his bank netted a profit of almost $30 million last year.
Santacroced adde that Bridgehampton National Bank is still well capitalized, meaning it still has a great deal of money to lend.
Shaw of Suffolk County National Bank said community banks good standing in terms of capitol is a key reason people are switching to local banks.
“We have the ability to give them the kind of lending larger institutions simple cannot access [right now] because of their colossal losses,” said Shaw.
Local banks, however, have only recently had the upper hand in the banking world. Santacroce remembered almost ten to fifteen years ago people said community banks would be forced to close down as larger banks set up shop on the East End.
“I believe there will always be a place for smaller community banks,” said Santacroce. “People don’t realize that banking is a very personal relationship . . . Finances are personal . . . And people need the person-to-person type of relationship when they are talking to someone about their finances.”

A Wary Main Street Waits On Congress Bailout Vote

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As the nation waits with bated breath while the United States Congress takes another stab at a $700 billion bank rescue plan some government officials say is aimed at protecting the economy from virtual collapse, communities across the country are wondering how the mistakes made on Wall Street will change their way of life on Main Street in the coming year.

According to Congressman Tim Bishop, if the government sits idly by as credit and loan markets continue to shrink, and banks and investment houses fold, Main Street will undoubtedly feel the effects of the shaky economy in a major way and in some cases Main Street already is.

Last night, on Wednesday, October 1 the United States Senate was scheduled to vote on a new $700 billion economic bailout plan, and early reports showed strong expectations across party lines that the measure would pass. According to Congressman Bishop, the House of Representatives would then consider the bill today, Thursday, or Friday.

The expectations surrounding Wednesday’s vote echoed similar hopes on Capital Hill last weekend, prior to a defeated bailout bill in the House on Monday, 228-205 – a bill Congressman Bishop voted in favor of. On its face, the bill would have provided $350 billion to financial institutions, with another $350 billion available under Congress review. Following the House’s defeat of the bill the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 700 points, a historic decrease. Although the markets rallied on Tuesday with the news that Congress would take another stab at the economic recovery bill, Bishop said on Wednesday if something is not done to help stabilize the economy, Wall Street will not be the only ones affected by what follows, but our local Main Streets as well.

“I think the risk to Main Street is enormous if we do not fix this,” said Bishop. “People talk about this plan as a ‘Wall Street bailout,’ and what we are really trying to do is protect Main Street. Whether we like it or not, our economy is rooted in the credit markets.”

 Bishop said the East End of Long Island was not immune to the downturn in the economy, noting on Wednesday morning he had already received news that he viewed as a possible harbinger of things to come.

“I was just told this morning that one of the largest builders on the East End has laid off 40 workers,” he said. “That is on Main Street, not Wall Street.”

 “So I do believe we have to move aggressively to fix this and doing so is much less about bailing out a reckless and greedy Wall Street and more about protecting our neighbors,” said Bishop.

According to Greg Ferraris, mayor and resident in Sag Harbor, in his professional opinion as a certified public accountant who represents a number of East End businesses, there very well could be ramifications locally as a result of the fiscal crisis if action is not taken.

“Certain industries have already been affected by the slow down and the housing crisis that has turned into a complete economic crisis,” he said.

Ferraris added he believed under the right circumstances the storm could be weathered, and blamed the media for painting a far gloomier portrait of the economic climate to come, which has in turn affected the market. He did acknowledge without the right plan in place, and without people beginning to take more responsibility for spending practices, things could get worse and easily trickle down to Main Street businesses.

One industry that has seen a downturn is real estate on the East End, an economic bastion for many as prices soared over decades.

On Wednesday, Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce President and real estate agent with Prudential Douglas Elliman Robert Evjen said one of the biggest challenges facing a slowing real estate market today was tightening loan and credit markets.

According to Evjen, many felt the tightening of the credit, loan, and real estate markets as early as last spring. But regardless, said Evjen, he does not believe the market locally will be impacted as dramatically as the rest of the country.

“I still feel to this day that we are insulated compared to the rest of the country,” said Evjen. “I don’t think any other real estate market is as closely tied to Wall Street as a secondary home market in the Hamptons.”

And while Wall Street may be suffering as of late, Evjen said from a real estate perspective there are two ways to look at the current economy – it can bode badly as Wall Street won’t see the kind of bonuses that led to record breaking sales or it could benefit the housing market as brokers look to invest in, and cash in on, a slowing market.

“I would still look for value in real estate like this before putting my money in the markets, where it is more likely to take a dive,” said Evjen. “Now is the time to buy.”

As for Main Street’s economy, as Chamber president, Evjen said he did believe shoppers would be more cautious in their purchases, avoiding big ticket items, but nonetheless shopping.

“I think Main Street here is insulated in the type of guests we have – visitors that have discretionary incomes, whereas other communities will have a much tougher go of things,” said Evjen. “I think we will be okay.”

What was of particular interest to Evjen was what effect the credit crunch and fiscal crisis would have on local lending institutions, which he said roughly 80 percent of Sag Harbor businesses relied on for revolving loans to cover large, seasonal purchases.

“It’s amazing how we are all tied into this,” he said.

According to Douglas Shaw, senior vice president at Suffolk County National Bank and Kevin O’Connor, President and CEO of Bridgehampton National Bank, businesses should not be worried, as both banks reported their conservative lending practices have protected the institutions from the same catastrophe facing banks that took on risky loans.

Shaw and O’Connor noted what these banks failed to do, and what Suffolk County National and BNB did not overlook, was to assess one’s capacity for paying back a loan in the first place.

 “We’ve been in business for 118 years and while we have evolved the fundamental requirements we have had have not changed that much,” said Shaw “Running our business this way is good for the bank, good for the borrower, good for the employees of the bank and good for the community.”

“We are still making loans and local business can still come to us,” said O’Connor. “We are open for business …We have been asked if we have tightened our credit standards, and our response is we never loosened them.”

Shaw added he believes a number of community banks have maintained these types of conservative standards, which will help weather the storm ahead.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.