ABOVE: Borough President Melinda Katz presents a proclamation to members of the chamber.
BY JEN KHEDAROO
Members of the South East Queens Chamber of Commerce discussed growing small businesses and developing Jamaica for those already living and working in the area at a business breakfast last week.
State Senator Leroy Comrie said he’s excited about the development of southeast Queens, but placed responsibility on the South East Queens Chamber of Commerce and local businesses to continue to improve the area.
“We have to network, we have to do business with one another, we have to recommend each other to different opportunities, and we have to create forums where you can come and find out about different opportunities,” Comrie said.
“This community is growing exponentially, especially with everything happening in downtown Jamaica and JFK Airport,” he added. “There should be opportunities for all of these businesses to be a part of the expansion, from interior architect design to vending to having the first Golden Krust in JFK Airport.”
Chamber president Reverend R. Simone Lord Marcelle said southeast Queens is a beautiful community with prime real estate near Baisley Pond Park, airports and the Long Island Rail Road.
“Why are people trying to make us feel like this is a blighted community? What is so blighted about it?” Marcelle asked. “I don’t see any blight people here, I just see bright people. It’s time to get rid of the stigma of South Jamaica and southeast Queens.”
Pauline Debra Noel of Debra Designs, whose work on Panash earned her an Excellence in Interior Design award in 2014 from the Queens Chamber of Commerce, spoke about the importance of using community members to uplift the community.
“I am seeking to be the go-to designer for southeast Queens,” Noel said. “It’s important to know that we don’t have to go outside of our community because we have skilled people right here in our community. It’s important for us all to work together whether it be commercial or residential projects.”