BY MEGHAN SACKMAN
The Queens Chamber of Commerce invited representatives from its partners and affiliates from communities across the borough Queens communities to connect and share ideas on how to improve the business climate in what organizers hope will become a monthly gathering.
“We’re really here to discuss how we at the Queens Chamber can lend assistance to you and how we can communicate,” said Walter Sanchez, president of BQE Media, which publishes This Is Queensborough. “It’s a group to really talk about how the chamber and our news organization can help you get the word out.”
This was the first time the Chamber hosted reps from Business Improvement Districts and hyper-local chambers of commerce to discuss how they can work in synergy.
“What this meeting is all about is to talk about the ways we can work together and communicate,” said Chamber president and CEO Thomas Grech. “I’m positioning the chamber as a big umbrella, because there’s strength in numbers.”
Issues discussed included press coverage, marketing, community engagement, and the isolation of business districts in Queens. Theo Boguszewski, representing the Rockaway Business Alliance, said businesses on the peninsula feel disconnected from the rest of the borough due to its location.
“I think that it’s easy to forget that Rockaway is part of Queens because we feel kind of isolated,” she said. “It’s great to get tied in to greater Queens and meet all of you guys.”
James Corvino of the Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce said the meeting made his group feel less on its own when it comes to struggles they may face in the future.
“I feel more unified and like I have support,” he said. “We can pool our resources and make things happen in the community.”
“I think with these meetings we’re going to be able to really connect and be able to help each other a lot more,” said Chamber COO Sophia Ganosis. “You can help us as well, because you can tell us what you think is important where you and we can share it with other people.”