BY THOMAS GRECH
QCC PRESIDENT & CEO
With the proliferation of online shopping, retailers across the nation are challenged to come up with new and creative ways to attract foot traffic. Despite the nationwide decline in the retail industry, Queens features a diverse population that enjoys retail, brick-and-mortar shopping.
In fact, as of 2014, the retail sector represented 11.8 percent of total private employment in the borough. In the same year, Queens also had the largest growth in chain retail stores – 5.3 percent – in all five boroughs.
Further, according to the most-recent report by the city Comptroller’s office, retail trade in the borough of Queens has gone up nearly 30 percent since 2000. This is 8 percent higher growth than the city average of 22 percent.
How Can the Queens Chamber Help
The Queens Chamber holds workshops to help owners or prospective owners of retail storefronts, including restaurants, salons, daycare establishments, etc., learn about city regulations and gain regulatory assistance.
The chamber helps educate owners in issues such as street maintenance, signage, license and permits, and assists with resolving violations, as well as any emergencies that could interfere with a retailer’s business.
We can also arrange for compliance advisors to visit a retail location and provide on-site education about how to avoid common violations issued from agencies such as the Department of Health, Consumer Affairs, Sanitation, Environmental Protection and Fire Department.
International Council of Shopping Centers
This past December, the Queens Chamber participated in a large-scale event at the Javits Center hosted by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). This conference, second in size only to Las Vegas, attracted over 500 exhibitors and some 10,000 attendees.
Our role in the Public-Private Pavilion on the trade show floor was an effective part of our campaign to get the borough of Queens noticed by potential partners and investors. More info can be found at icsc.org.
“The Future of Retail” – June 6 at Queens Center Mall
The Queens Chamber is hosting an event on June 6 at Queens Center Mall to address “The Future of Retail.” We will have two panels, one focusing on the tenant perspective and the other on the landlord. This will be an event you won’t want to miss, as we will be inviting global, national, and regional retailers, banks, and city agencies. As always, we value your support and readership. Please contact me directly for help growing your business.