Local Chamber/BID Events & Happenings

ABOVE: The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation kicked off it’s 50th year with a gala on November 30. GJDC president and CEO Hope Knight (center) honored Thomas Wright, president of the Regional Plan Association, and Tracey Gaven-Bridgman, vice president of operations at Starbucks, for their organization’s work in the revitalization of Jamaica.


82nd Street Partnership
37-06 82nd Street, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Executive Director: Leslie Ramos
QUICK GLANCE: Budget of $224,000 with more than 200 businesses under its umbrella. The district is on 82nd Street from 37th Avenue to Baxter Avenue. The board meets quarterly with the annual meeting in June.
The 82nd Street Partnership has a robust schedule of events throughout the year, including Viva La Comida, Halloween parade, holiday tree lighting, back-to-school activities, the “A Walk With A Doctor” event. The latter takes place in October through a partnership with Elmhurst Hospital. Doctors demonstrate life-saving tips in cases of disasters and everyday accidents.

Bayside Village BID
213-33 39th Avenue, Bayside, NY 11361
Interim Executive Director: James Ellis
QUICK GLANCE: Budget of $218,000 and over 350 members.
Founded in 2007, the BID includes commercial property owners and residents on Bell Boulevard between 35th Avenue and Northern Boulevard, as well as a block east and west on 41st Avenue.

Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 751123, Forest Hills, NY 11375
President: Leslie Brown
QUICK GLANCE: Re-formed in 1995, the group has over 225 members.
Chamber meetings are held on the last Wednesday of the month at 9 a.m. at the West Side Tennis Club, 1 Tennis Place, in Forest Hills.
The chamber is currently planning a new event, the “Forest Hills American Music Festival,” an all-day event highlighting American music from jazz to country. Forest Hills has a rich history in music tied to the concerts at the Forest Hills Stadium going back to the 1960’s.
The Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce hosted its fourth annual Celebrate Winter event on November 27. As part of the chamber’s campaign to “Eat, Shop, Love Forest Hills,” local businesses and organizations gathered under a tent at 71st Road between Austin Street and Queens Boulevard to celebrate the community and promote local businesses.

Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce
135-32 38th Ave., Suite 25, Flushing NY 11354
Executive Director: John Choe
QUICK GLANCE: Founded in 2014 and representing over 200 businesses.
The poster child for hyper-local chambers around the city, GFCC created the Night Market, a lending circle for businesses, and is paving a new path forward for Flushing’s growing population of new immigrants.
Litter in the area is rampant, and the chamber is making it a priority. The chamber is partnering with the city for locations for up to 50 new garbage cans in Downtown Flushing. They will be purchased by the city and maintained by the Department of Sanitation. The chamber is inviting local business owners and residents to provide suggestions for the placement of these heavy-duty garbage cans.
The Greater Flushing Chamber partnered with member Danny Lye, owner of Danny’s Steakhouse and Oyster Bar and Kakurega Sushi, in organizing this year’s 3rd Annual Holiday Community Meal.
On Christmas Eve, they served more than 300 meals to the less fortunate in Flushing at the historic St. George’s Church, working with volunteers from a number of civic groups, including La Jornada, which organizes a weekly food pantry.
The Chamber will march in the annual Lunar New Year Parda in Downtown Flushing. The parade will take place this year on February 17 at 11 a.m.

Greater Jamaica Development Corporation
90-04 161st Street, Jamaica, NY 11432
President: Hope Knight
QUICK GLANCE: Founded in 1967, the group has 75 members.
GJDC’s work expands economic opportunity and improves quality of life for the ethnically and economically diverse residents of Jamaica and for the region at large, which benefits from rational, well-planned, and sustainable metropolitan growth. The chamber just held its 2017 gala on November 30th at the Ritz Carlton, where it celebrated its 50th year. They honored Starbucks and the Regional Plan Association.
A joint venture has been formed between BRP Companies and Wharton Properties to purchase and develop a site located at 90-02 168th Street. The open-air parking lot north of Jamaica Avenue will become a 500,000-square-foot development with 300 mixed-income residential units.
In addition, the team will develop more than 70,000 square feet of retail space. The project is slated to break ground in the second half of 2018. President & CEO Hope Knight says it will create jobs and fill a need in Jamaica.
On February 2 at 7:30 p.m., explore the music of Frank Loesser, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Maury Yeston with cabaret artist Jackie Schiffer at the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, 161-04 Jamaica Avenue.

Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation – Woodhaven BID
84-01 Jamaica Avenue, Woodhaven NY 11421
QUICK GLANCE: Budget of $257,000 with more than 350 businesses under its umbrella.
On Jamaica Avenue from Dexter Court to 100th Street, the BID features six supermarkets. They are providing free benches for store owners along Jamaica Avenue. They also provide 2.5 and 5 percent home improvement loans. The BID again this year hosted a number of holiday events, including a Tree & Menorah Lighting Ceremony and the Welcome Santa to Woodhaven Parade.

Jamaica Center BID
161-10 Jamaica Avenue, Suite 419
Jamaica, NY 11432
QUICK GLANCE: Budget of over $1 million.
Founded in 1979, the district includes 300 stores on Jamaica Avenue between Sutphin Boulevard and 160th Street in Jamaica. They offer a value card and support business owners in their expansions and openings.
Valerie Stevens is director of Business Services and Operations, supporting member businesses in their marketing efforts. Stevens has been focusing on social media to assist with branding and expansion. The BID is currently looking for a sponsor for their banners and trash can program along Jamaica Avenue.

JFK International Airport Chamber of Commerce
616 Duke Street, Westbury, NY 11590
Executive Director: Mercedes Altman
QUICK GLANCE: Founded in 1978, the group has over 200 members.
JFK Airport is the only airport in the country to have its own chamber of commerce wholly dedicated to the airport business community, which employs 35,000 people. The airport handles more than 50 million passengers a year, using almost a half-million square feet of warehouse space to handle more than a million tons of air freight cargo a year.
On January 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Russo’s on the Bay, the chamber will host a luncheon featuring guest speaker Tyler Morse, CEO and Managing Partner at MCR, the developers of the new TWA Hotel at the airport. The cost is $85.

Long Island City Partnership
President: Elizabeth Lusskin
Founded in 1979, the Long Island City Partnership advocates for economic development that benefits LIC’s industrial, commercial, cultural and residential sectors. The goal is to attract new businesses to the neighborhood, retain those already here, welcome new residents and visitors, and promote a vibrant and authentic mixed-use community. The LIC Partnership operates the LIC Business Improvement District and the LIC Industrial Business Zone.
The partnership just received a $100,000 grant from Governor Andrew Cuomo to put together a business plan for the development of a Life Sciences and Research Innovation Cluster in LIC.
The Partnership is also currently conducting a survey for their general comprehensive plan for LIC. See the plan or complete the survey on their website. People who fill out the survey will be entered in a raffle to win airline tickets courtesy of JetBlue.
On Thursday, January 11, the partnership will hold its 3rd Annual Members Celebration at Manducatis Rustica on Vernon Boulevard. It is only open to partnership members.

Maspeth Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 780265, Maspeth, NY 11378
President: David Dario
QUICK GLANCE: Founded in 1953, they have 120 members and a budget of $115,000.
The Chamber meets the second Tuesday of each month at noon at Connolly’s Corner on Grand Avenue. The majority of their budget is spent on holiday lights, banners, beautification and festivals, including replacing the street banners on Grand Avenue. There has recently been a push to form a BID on Grand Avenue.

Middle Village Chamber of Commerce
79-47 Metropolitan Ave., Middle Village, NY 11379
President: Salvatore Crifasi
QUICK GLANCE: Budget of $8,000 with 35 businesses under its umbrella.
Formed in 1929. MVCC meets annually and focuses on the Metropolitan Avenue shopping district between 69 and 80th streets. Annual membership fee is $150, and they are looking to gain momentum through attracting new members. The mission is to improve the area and assist local businesses if they have any concerns or needs.
Their new initiative is cleaning Metropolitan Avenue and organizing the holiday lights in December to create a festive atmosphere for the community. The MVCC has received grants for street cleaning and are looking for grants for the holiday lights, since some businesses do not support them.

Queens Economic Development Corporation
12-55 Queens Boulevard, Room 309
Kew Gardens, NY 11424
Executive Director: Seth Bornstein
QUICK GLANCE: Budget of $1.5 million and a resource for over 2,000 businesses in the borough of Queens.
Funded by Department of Small Business Services, they strive to create and retain jobs via programs that grow neighborhoods and assist small businesses. QEDC assists by providing one-on-one consultations, hosting workshops, operating training courses and networking events.
The Queens Economic Development Corporation is currently considering applicants for its Made in Queens (MiQ) program. MiQ is a brand and certification promoting local makers and manufacturers, while also sharing their stories and providing growth and networking opportunities.
Currently, MiQ has a website and organizes pop-up markets around the borough. Small businesses that enjoy the MiQ label include Milene Jardine (chocolate), Queens Thread (apparel), Pepplish Provisions (hot sauce), Sterling Silver Bee (jewelry), and Widad Franco (greeting cards). More can be found at madeinqueens.nyc.

Myrtle Avenue BID
62-14 Myrtle Avenue, Ridgewood, NY 11385
Executive Director: Ted Renz
QUICK GLANCE: Budget of $500,000 with over 300 retail and service businesses under its purview.
Board meetings are held four times a year with the annual meeting in June. The district includes Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood between Fresh Pond Road and Wyckoff Avenue. Program support is provided by the Ridgewood LDC.
Myrtle Avenue pulled out all the stops for Small Business Saturday, with Santa in Town Square and carolers strolling along Myrtle Avenue throughout the day. Executive Director Ted Renz says Myrtle Avenue is a special place during December, when most stores remain open late and music, holiday lights and decorations are up all season long. The Myrtle Avenue Sales Days Guides are out and the sales last all month.

Rockaway Business Alliance
QUICK GLANCE: Budget of $40,000 and a resource for over 200 businesses.
The Rockaway Business Alliance was founded in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy. RBA’s vision is to create business corridors that are clean, safe, and welcoming, with shopping, dining, attractions, and engagement for the local community and the visitors drawn to Rockaway’s beaches and open spaces. RBA seeks to create and curate an inviting atmosphere for all to enjoy year round.

Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation
1920 Mott Avenue, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
President: Kevin Alexander
QUICK GLANCE: Founded in 1978, the group has 30 members.
The RDRC offers employment assistance and improves public spaces with commercial development projects such as the Downtown Far Rockaway Storefront Improvement Act.

Steinway Street BID
25-69 38th Street, Suite 1C, Astoria 11103
Executive Director: Tony Barsamian
QUICK GLANCE: Founded in 1991, the BID has over 300 members.
Board meetings are held seven times a year. The BID’s vision is to make Steinway Street user friendly, while highlighting the local businesses on the street and bringing together the Astoria community in a positive way. The BID works to improve sanitation, marketing, security, holiday lighting, beautification and Internet access along this famous street in Queens.

Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 4399, Sunnyside, NY 11104
President: Patricia Dorfman
QUICK GLANCE: Annual budget of $55,000.
The chamber is an organization built around assisting and helping local business and professionals by providing resources to increase business, safety and historical preservation.
On Tuesday, January 9, the chamber will honor Tony Tang as the Sunnysider of the Year. They are also giving Impact Awards to Manny Gomez, Meredith Maskara, Ramiro Mendez, Melissa Orlando and Sherilyn Jo Sabba. The event is in conjunction with Sunnyside Artists and takes place at Tangra Ballroom at 39-23 Queens Boulevard starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $55. Eventbrite – Blue Moon Ball Luke Adams.

Sunnyside Shines
45-56 43rd Street, Sunnyside, NY 11104
Executive Director: Jaime-Faye Beam
QUICK GLANCE: Budget of $480,000 with more than 250 businesses under its umbrella.
• Workshop: Digital Marketing for Small Business – January 17, 4 p.m.
Sunnyside Community Services
43-31 39th Street
This two-hour session will equip you with actionable strategies to start on right away! When you attend this event, you will learn how to optimize your website for SEO, increase sales organically, obtain new customers and keep existing customers coming back, increase your findability online. Learn how to use social media to engage your customers and attract new customers. Leave with a 38-page digital marketing guide.
The workshop will be conducted by Steven Matt, Director of Digital Marketing at First Data and owner of Digital Marketing agency TellMeYourGoal.com.
• Workshop: Financial Planning for Small Businesses
January 24, 2:30 p.m.
Sunnyside Shines Office
45-56 43rd St.
Free workshop on financial planning for your business. This one-hour session will help businesses identify and prioritize their risk management, employee benefits, exit planning and personal financial security needs.
The workshop will be conducted by Dimitrios Skretas and Ervin Ileshi of Northwestern Mutual.

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