In anticipation of their upcoming December launch, members of the new Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce met with local leaders and representatives of the Flushing community to discuss their future plans.
“We have the opportunity to meet or exceed the downtown Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan business districts,” said the group’s new executive director, John Choe. “Flushing is really, in my mind, at the forefront of changing the way our local New York City economy operates.”
Choe, founding director of One Flushing, a non-profit economic development center, said he hopes by next summer there will be an outreach campaign that includes local hotels, restaurants and retail establishments.
“In Flushing, we have a multi-ethnic community, and the chamber will reflect that and will be a bridge, not only between the ethnic groups, but also between the local mom-and-pop stores and mainstream economies,” he said.
He added that the group plans on holding networking events and street fairs for the community and participating business owners, who can showcase their services.
Regina Im, from Korea TaeKwanDo at 150-80 70th Road, said she hopes the new group will find a way to help immigrant startups find the services they need to stay afloat.
“Even my parents, they are not good at English, but they are business owners and they need help,” Im said. “I want to see that this chamber is the bridge to another chamber or another financial resource so that the people and business owners here can get the same help that other business owners have.”
Peter Tu, executive director of the Flushing Chinese Business Association, said he plans on becoming a longtime partner of the new chamber, explaining that immigrant business owners need as many resources as possible to be successful.
“I hope that this helps this community work together and become more beautiful,” he said.
Councilman Peter Koo commended Choe and his team for their efforts, adding that any help is necessary in today’s market.
“We are still living in a climate of over regulation that remains challenging for many small business owners, so the Flushing Chamber will be a welcomed addition to our diverse business community,” he said.
The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce will hold their official launch event on Thursday, December 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-25 Northern Blvd.