A Queens Connection: Chamber Launches New Website
by Shane Miller
Oct 02, 2008 | 1326 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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A new initiative to connect Queens businesses with other Queens businesses essentially turned into a pro-development rally Monday morning, as proponents of the plan to redevelop Willets Point used the opportunity to tout the plan.

The Queens Chamber of Commerce held a press conference at the Bulova Corporate Center in East Elmhurst to announce “Keep It in Queens,” a new initiative spearheaded by the chamber in conjunction with the city to create a database of borough businesses that can be accessed by other businesses seeking a particular service or product.

“The borough of Queens is booming with large and small-scale economic development opportunities,” said Robert Lieber, deputy mayor for Economic Development. “Keep It In Queens is one of our best tools to make sure that businesses in the area have a fair shot at being part of the borough’s growth.”

The program is actually an online database, located at www.keepitinqueens.com. Local businesses can enter their information into a database, which is then searchable by other businesses looking for a particular service or product, which could range from apparel to accounting services. Businesses can sign up by visiting the website.

In addition to Keep It In Queens, according to Albert Pennisi, president of the chamber, the organization will be holding a membership drive, looking to add 100 new members in three months. Other chamber initiatives include an Ambassador program where companies can earn “Queens” bucks for referrals, and a contest for companies that demonstrate their commitment to Queens businesses.

Also invited to the event were representatives from the Flushing/Willets Point/Corona LDC, who used the opportunity to tout the redevelopment of Willets Point and the impact it could have on Queens-based businesses.

The redevelopment plan was recently approved by the City Planning Commission and is now before the City Council, which will have the final say. The plan has been met with fierce opposition from some Council members, who are against the possible use of eminent domain to seize land held by existing businesses at Willets Point.

“The redevelopment of Willets Point will serve as a catalyst for the economy of Queens and all of New York,” said Claire Shulman, president of the Flushing/Willets Point/Corona LDC. “Keep It In Queens will be a vital tool to ensure that the small businesses of our borough benefit from this project.”

“Willets Point is a great example of an opportunity for our borough’s businesses to share in a multi-billion dollar economic revitalization project,” added Pennisi.

Borough President Helen Marshall speaks earlier this week about a new initiative to connect Queens companies with potential business.

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