Category Archives: Advocacy

Open Air Farmers Market Supports Access to Local Food during COVID-19 Pandemic

The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce and GrowNYC launched the fifth season of the Flushing Greenmarket located in front of Maple Playground at 136-50 Maple Ave, Flushing, NY 11355. The Flushing Greenmarket operated by GrowNYC will be open every Wednesday from 8am to 3pm, from July to November 2020. The last day will be November 24, 2020. The Chamber partners with GrowNYC to promote the Greenmarket and coordinates programming with local businesses, cultural groups, and civic associations.

“The Flushing Greenmarket comes at a critical time in our community, which has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and is struggling to find healthy and reliable food supplies,” stated John Choe, executive director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. “When you buy at the Flushing Greenmarket, you know exactly who planted and harvested the food you give to your family — that’s the type of reassurance consumers are demanding and will be the key to helping our local economy recover and get back on our feet.”

The Chamber curates programming at the greenmarket, promoting environmental education as well as activities that support community wellbeing and health. Alice Lee, Chair of the Chamber’s Advisory Board, will be coordinating monthly programming with local artists to showcase their talents and encourage more people to visit the market.

“As we fight the pandemic and get back on our feet, we’re happy to present another year of healthy food options and cultural programming at the Flushing Greenmarket,” said Alice Lee, Chairwoman of the Advisory Board of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. “We will be featuring the work of local artists every month to showcase their innovative work and to encourage more people to visit our business community.”

The Flushing Greenmarket was launched at Maple Playground in the summer of 2016 with the support of the Chamber and is operated by GrowNYC, which seeks to improve New York City’s quality of life through environmental programs that transform communities block by block and empower all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations. Located at the popular Maple Playground, the Greenmarket provides neighborhood residents access to farm fresh food from a regional farm every Wednesday from July to the week of Thanksgiving.

“We are so happy to return to Maple Playground this season. Not only is this year GrowNYC’s 50th anniversary, it’s also the 5th anniversary of our open-air Flushing Greenmarket,” said GrowNYC‘s Communication Specialist Catherine Crawford. “We’ve implemented a number of new safety protocols at all of our food access sites to keep shoppers safe, and we’re pleased to bring fresh, regional fruits and vegetables directly to Flushing residents.”

GrowNYC’s Greenmarket Program works to preserve local farmland while ensuring local residents have access to fresh, healthy food grown in the New York metropolitan region. A central component of Greenmarket’s mission and operations is product integrity: everything sold at market is 100 percent farmer grown, produced, caught, or foraged.

“Green Earth Urban Gardens started a local honey business to fund educational horticultural therapy programs for special needs students in the area,” stated Maureen Regan, founder of Green Earth Urban Gardens. “We applied to be a vendor at the Flushing Greenmarket and look forward to participating as a resource for our community.”

The Flushing Greenmarket is located on Kissena Boulevard and Maple Avenue (in front of Maple Playground) and is open Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. until November 25, 2020. Participating farmers include R & G Produce Vegetables from Goshen, New York.

Farmers accept cash, debit and credit cards, SNAP/EBT (food stamps), WIC & Senior FMNP coupons as well as Health Bucks (for every $5 spent in EBT, customers receive a $2 Health Buck coupon to purchase additional fruits and vegetables). For updates throughout the season, visit the Flushing Greenmarket webpage or the Chamber’s Facebook page for up-to-date information on at-market activities throughout the season.

Photos from this year’s Flushing Greenmarket are available online.

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Discuss the Future of our Community

Queens, often celebrated as one of the most diverse places in the world, is home to hundreds of small, locally-owned businesses — many hit hard by Covid-19.

Join Open House New York on Wednesday, June 17 at 4pm for Conversations on the City | John Choe: On Commerce to learn how the economic development efforts in one neighborhood, Flushing, are responding to this moment.

As the executive director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, John works every day to advocate for and mobilize a multicultural community of entrepreneurs, business owners, and civic leaders in one of the fastest-growing business districts in the United States. This conversation will explore how small business support and economic development is critical for the city’s recovery.

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UPDATE: Assistance Available for Local Business in Covid-19 Crisis

All Non-Essential Businesses Must Close

Effective Sunday, March 22, 8:00pm, the City will enforce the closure of all non-essential businesses in New York City, pursuant to State regulations. For more information on the City’s COVID-19 response, visit the NYC Health Department and the NYC Department of Small Business Services.

Gatherings of People Not Allowed

Non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason (including parties, celebrations or other social events) are allowed. For more information about New York’s new COVID-19 policy, visit PAUSE.

The Chamber is working with local food pantry, La Jornada, to coordinate emergency food deliveries to homebound individuals. If you know anyone who needs help, please fill out their contact information on this online form. If you would like to volunteer or donate, please fill out this online form.

NYC Public School Buildings Closed

New York City public schools will be closed to students and staff on Monday, March 16. Starting Tuesday, March 17, schools will move toward a new Remote Learning Model for all school days until Spring Recess.

 

UPDATE ON BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

 

 

The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce is working with the City to provide more information about financial assistance available to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including a zero-interest loan program and an employee retention grant.  The City will provide relief for small businesses across the City seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19.

生意在疫情中受影响的小商业可申请政府经济补助

纽约市政府刚刚公布了一项救助措施,将为在COVID-19冠性病毒疫情中受影响的小商业,提供经济上的帮助。

1. 雇员人数少于100人并且近期销售额减少25%或更多的小商业者,将有资格获得最高达到75,000美元的零利率贷款,以帮助减少利润上的损失,应对商业运营上的资金困境。

2. 纽约市还将向雇员人数少于5人的小商业提供补助金,用以帮助小商业者支付雇员的两个月工资成本的40%,约为6,000美元,以帮助小商业者在这段困难时期留住员工。

符合申请资格者,可随时致电311了解该计划的更多详情。

 

 

Sign up for more information, visit the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS).

 

We encourage you to begin gathering the materials for your application so you can submit the documentation once applications become available. Please review the eligibility requirements below. The application for the grant is expected to be open early this week, with the loan application to follow.

 

Eligibility Criteria for the NYC Employee Retention Grant Program 

Businesses, including non-profits, must:

Eligibility Criteria for the NYC Small Business Continuity Fund 

Businesses must:

SBS will be in touch with you as soon as possible about the application process and next steps. 

 

As part of the applications, businesses, and non-profits will be required to demonstrate a revenue decrease by providing documentation such as: point-of-sales/earned-income reports, bank statements, quarterly sales tax filings, 2019 tax returns, or CPA-certified profit & loss statements.

 

The situation is quickly changing. If you are seeking guidance on how to proceed with daily activities and public gatherings, we recommend visiting www.nyc.gov/coronavirus for the most up-to-date information from the NYC Department of Health. You can also visit www.nyc.gov/covid19biz for the most up-to-date information on best business practices, checklists, and updates regarding financial assistance. I have also attached a social media toolkit to assist with outreach to your local constituents. 

 

The Chamber is also expanding existing business support services, including:

If you have questions or require assistance, contact john@flushingchamber.nyc or 646-783-8985

 

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KissenaWay Black Friday Walking & Parks Tour

Looking to get outside and enjoy the outdoors on Black Friday?

Join Transportation Alternatives, Eastern Queens Greenway, Kissena Park Conservancy, Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, and more for a FREE family-safe walking tour of the extensive park network in Eastern Queens.

This is our second #OptOutside Black Friday Walking Tour of the future Kissena Way. Get ready to burn off the Thanksgiving stuffing and make some new friends along the way.

We will begin the tour at 12 p.m. from right ourtside the Main Street entrance of the Queens Botanical Gardens (43-50 Main St), meander through the wood chip paths of Kissena Corridor Park, and finish the tour at the eastern end of Kissena Park.

The total route is a little less than two miles long. We will pepper the walk with breaks to highlight the beautiful park amenities. Bring a camera to capture New York’s late autumn foliage!

Expect an easy walk, accessible to all. Just make sure to bring comfortable shoes and be aware of small puddles and mud along the route.

RSVP @ https://www.facebook.com/events/2762010967195468/

Find Yourself Here!
#FlushingFantastic

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U.S. Census Job Fair @ Queensboro Hill

Join the Queensboro Hill Flushing Civic Association and the Queensboro Hill Public Library on November 18, 2019, 6-8pm, for a discussion with Senator John Liu as well as a U.S. Census Job Fair Resource Evening.  The Queensboro Hill Public Library is located at 60-05 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355.  For more information, contact queensborohillcivic@gmail.com.

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認識不一樣的紐約法拉盛 訪問商會理事長

The executive director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, John Choe, was profiled by ET Today, a Chinese-language media company:

卓越法拉盛商會(Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce)成立於2014年,身為創辦人之一的商會理事長 John Choe 接受我的訪問,讓我重新了解法拉盛獨有的社區文化與商會過去到現在如何將法拉盛的飲食、古蹟、藝術與亞洲封街夜市重新整合包裝成為紐約一個新興的觀光地區。

有別於法拉盛許多商會都是由不同的族裔各自創立,Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce 是唯一不分族群開放給所有法拉盛商戶與中小企業入會的法拉盛商會組織。

John Choe 希望真的能幫助到中小企業,提供各種免費商業輔導甚至技術輔導,而且不限年齡、種族或是營業規模,只要是入駐法拉盛的個人商戶或是中小企業都可以參加。

John Choe 說大部分紐約市民都以為法拉盛只有小吃,但法拉盛有很多藝文活動,除了許多亞裔移民以外,法拉盛也很多藝術展覽與音樂表演,希望藉著 Flushing Night Out 的封街活動讓社區裡的居民與紐約其他地區搭地鐵過來的遊客見識到法拉盛的融合文化,這裡除了亞裔也有拉丁裔、非裔、印度裔等。

Passport to Flushing 是夢幻法拉盛(Flushing Fantastic)延伸出的活動,藉著發放法拉盛觀光護照活動讓前來的遊客能到處蓋章拍照。每一次辦活動都要消耗很多人力與資金,但希望能繼續舉辦下去讓法拉盛隱藏的文化與古蹟被看到。

法拉盛旅遊指南「夢幻法拉盛」Flushing Fantastic,將法拉盛的歷史、人文與吃喝玩樂做一個深入的導覽, 是本紐約市贊助的刊物,也有網站。

John Choe 希望在2020年找到一些閒置的戶外空間為社區居民提供更多公共休憩與休閒的場所,這個計畫由紐約市政府發起,希望讓社群居民有更多空間與家人朋友聚集。

文字與訪問:孫韶蓮

For more information, visit ET Today.

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