Tag Archives: Queens

Flushing Chamber Sponsors “Adopt-A-Block” Cleanup

Flushing Earth Citizens celebrated the completion of their “Adopt-A-Block” pilot project to clean up the sidewalks on Roosevelt Avenue between Main and Union streets in downtown Flushing.  For seven days, from May 31 to June 6, local volunteers worked two-hour shifts in the mornings (7-9 am) and evenings (5:30-7:30 pm) on weekdays and in the afternoon (12-2p) on weekends. The volunteers swept sidewalks, removed graffiti and stickers, washed down trash and recycling receptacles, and scrubbed post office boxes and newspaper bins.  Volunteers also encouraged and educated local business owners, commuters, and residents about the proper disposal of trash and recyclables.

“It is clear that many individuals and businesses want to be a part of the solution to cleaning up Downtown Flushing but didn’t know how to.  We hope this project will spark a movement fighting for a comprehensive solution towards a cleaner, more beautiful Flushing,” stated Michelle Gavin, Regional Coordinator of the Earth Citizens Organization and Manager of Body & Brain Yoga and Tai Chi.

Volunteers included individuals from the Earth Citizens Organization, Body & Brain Yoga and Tai Chi, Flushing Neighborhood Watch Group, and other local residents and business owners.  The pilot project’s theme — “Our City. Our Streets. Keep Flushing Beautiful” – was created with the intention that local residents and businesses could be part of a solution to the problem of dirtiness in Downtown Flushing by taking some responsibility.

“This problem is bigger than any one person or organization’s ability to fix. It needs a collaboration of local businesses, residents, commuters and organizations like the Flushing Chamber and the Flushing BID,” stated Robert Puerto, Flushing Earth Citizens Leader.

The project idea became a reality after winning a micro-grant of $832 at the Greater Flushing SOUP, a local crowd-funding event organized by the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce.

“The Flushing Chamber is excited to support the growing movement of local business owners and residents taking ownership of their blocks, proactively addressing the trash issue, and keeping our community beautiful,” stated John Choe, Executive Director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. “The Flushing Chamber is looking forward to funding more innovative ideas to help our community at the upcoming Greater Flushing SOUP this fall.”  Those interested in submitting proposals or sponsoring the next SOUP, should contact the Flushing Chamber at soup@flushingchamber.nyc or 646-820-5163.

Partnerships with Body & Brain Yoga and Tai Chi, the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, the Flushing BID, the Flushing Neighborhood Watch Group, Crown Container, and other local businesses made this week of taking action possible.

“We made a donation and supported because we liked the idea.  If we work together, we can clean our streets. It’s good for the businesses here,” stated Yanfei Ran of ML and Chen, P.C.

Through this project, the Flushing Earth Citizens hope to sit down with the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, Flushing BID and other interested groups to expand the “Adopt-A-Block” project for downtown Flushing with the goal of getting more businesses and residents involved in creating solutions for Flushing.  For more information, please contact Michelle Gavin at michellegavin@earthcitizens.org or 718.928.4431.

The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit membership association that seeks to build a strong, diverse, and sustainable community through advocacy, networking, and education.  Launched in 2014, the Chamber has already established Flushing’s first community night market, initiated a free English language program, sponsored multicultural festivals in Kissena Corridor Park, and is developing a new farmer’s market in downtown Flushing. For more information about the Chamber, contact visit www.flushingchamber.nyc.

For additional information about this issue, please see recent news reports below:





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Chamber Criticizes City’s Abandonment of Flushing West Redevelopment

The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce criticized City Hall’s recent decision to abandon plans to rezone the Flushing West neighborhood of Queens.

“We are disappointed that the plug was pulled from the ambitious Flushing West rezoning, particularly because of how engaged our community was with shaping our future. We held several community visioning exercises and town hall meetings where residents and business owners learned about the City’s development process. We were really looking forward to working together with our community to create the next phase of our incredibly dynamic neighborhood. In Flushing, we don’t run away from a challenging problem. We are a diverse community of hard working entrepreneurs, immigrants, and visionaries. In that respect, this unfortunate decision shows that the City never really made an effort to understand who we are,” stated Simon Gerson, President of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio had included the Flushing West neighborhood in the original group of fifteen areas targeted in his affordable-housing agenda. For the past year, the NYC Department of City Planning had worked with the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce and other stakeholders to study the issues and convene community forums to educate the public about the planning process.  The City planning process was based on a master planning effort initiated in 2011 by the Flushing Willets Point Corona Local Development Corporation, which received a $1.5 million Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) grant in 2010.  The Flushing West BOA is roughly bounded by Northern Boulevard to the north, Roosevelt Avenue to the south, Prince Street to the east and the Van Wyck Expressway and Flushing Creek to the west.

For additional information, please read the following news reports:

The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit membership association that supports the economic growth, inclusive diversity, and shared prosperity of our community through advocacy, networking, and education.  For more information, visit us at www.flushingchamber.nyc.

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Chamber Wins Sanitation Victory for Business Community

Sanitation Agrees to Replace Chamber Bins on Prince Street Triangle with City Trash Bins

FLUSHING, NY – The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce announced today an agreement with the NYC Department of Sanitation to replace trash bins donated by Crown Container Company with City trash receptacles under the “Adopt a Basket” program. Crown had previously installed the industrial-strength bins and agreed to empty them on a daily basis as a free community service to address the proliferation of trash at the Prince Street Triangle on Prince Street and 37th Avenue in downtown Flushing.

Simon Gerson, President of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, came to today’s agreement with Ignazio Terranova, representing the Sanitation Commissioner, with support from Councilman Peter Koo, Dian Yu from the Flushing Business Improvement District, Peter Tu from the Flushing Chinese Business Association, and representatives from Senator Toby Stavisky and Assemblyman Ron Kim. Sanitation will install four City trash receptacles at each corner of Prince Street and 37th Avenue and the Flushing BID will bag the trash at the receptacles every day at 1pm for pick up by Sanitation.

“Through the persistent advocacy of the Chamber of Commerce, Councilman Koo’s exceptional ability to influence the City bureaucracy and the operational expertise of the BID, the Flushing business community has taken a major step towards solving the trash problem on the Prince Street Triangle. Work is not finished, however. Business owners will continue to monitor the area and the Chamber will continue to advocate on their behalf. We are grateful to Mr. Terranova and the Department of Sanitation for following through on their commitments, and appreciate the time and attention they have paid to our neighborhood,” stated Simon Gerson, President of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce.

For several months, the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce led an effort to address the ongoing garbage problem at the Prince Street Triangle after business owners in the vicinity complained about receiving fines from City inspectors as a result of trash accumulating at this intersection and blowing in front of adjacent storefronts. In addition to Crown Container’s donation of three garbage bins, another Chamber member, GW Printing, designed and printed the colorful labels asking people to “Keep Flushing Beautiful” in English and Chinese.

“Crown Container Company believes ‘Flushing Comes First’ and we were willing to help in any way possible to keep Flushing clean. The NYC Department of Sanitation has assured the community that they will take care of the situation so at this time we have removed our pails in order to let Sanitation do their job and help us keep Flushing clean,” stated David Antonacci, owner of Crown Container Company.

On Monday, May 16, the Department of Sanitation issued an ultimatum, forcing Crown Container to remove the donated bins from the Prince Street Triangle.

“Small business owners and community leaders teamed up with the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce to take ownership of the streets in downtown Flushing. Instead of supporting this, the Department of Sanitation’s immediate response is to limit the community’s ability to keep our streets clean. Instead of adopting a punitive approach toward cleanliness, I hope the City will work with our small business owners to find long-term solutions for improving the quality of life in Downtown Flushing,” stated Assemblyman Ron Kim.

The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit membership association that supports the economic growth, inclusive diversity, and shared prosperity of our community through advocacy, networking, and education. For more information, visit us at www.flushingchamber.nyc.

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Flushing Chamber Launches SOUP

On April 15, the Greater Flushing Chamber launched its first micro-funding SOUP event. The purpose of the SOUP is to bring the community together and provide an opportunity to support local initiatives that serve our neighborhood. For a suggested $5 donation, guests received a potluck dinner and voted for a project that would potentially have the greatest impact in Flushing. During the dinner, four community groups presented their proposed projects:

  • Community Organizing Language Forums (Korean Americans for Political Advancement): Teaching Korean and Mandarin speakers how to engage members of the community about political issues in their language.
  • Bee Aware Mural Initiative (Ganeinu Early Learning Center, RFK Community High School, “For The Good of The Hive”): Plans to organize a mural to spread awareness about the declining bee population and the majors effects on humans.
  • Kick-Off event for Community Gathering to Clean Flushing Bay followed later this summer by Live at Flushing Bay (Guardians of Flushing Bay): Fighting for improved water quality in Flushing Bay and Creek by way of water clean-ups and additional programming on the waterfront.
  • Adopt-A-Block (Earth Citizens Club of Flushing): A seven-day pilot on Roosevelt Avenue between Union and Main streets which will include cleaning street/sidewalks and positive signage sponsored by local residents and businesses.

After the votes were tallied,  the Earth Citizens Club of Flushing and their Adopt-A-Block project were awarded $832, which came from individual donations at the event as well as matched contributions from sponsors: Green Earth Urban Gardens, Susten Corp, and Alice Lee. For more details, please contact Cody@FlushingChamber.NYC.

Here are the latest news reports about our Flushing SOUP Program:


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Chamber Celebrates Earth Day with Green Job Fair

The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce celebrated Earth Day by organizing the New York City Green Job Fair at historic St. George’s Church in downtown Flushing. Community members connected with careers that sustain our families, community, and the environment.  Recruiters came from solar energy companies, LED lighting installers, universities and government agencies. In addition to job recruitment, participants also accessed free resources on economic opportunities, networked with professionals and experts, and received information on job training and career assistance programs.

Take a closer look at highlights of the event below:

For more information, check out NY1 Television News.

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New assistance program aims to help Flushing businesses grow

The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce has been selected by city agencies to offer several new business assistance programs as part of the launch and first phase of the “Flushing 2050 Community Building Initiative.”

According to Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce Executive Director John Choe, Flushing 2050 is a long term visioning process to enable members of the community to voice what they think is important and necessary for the next generation of Flushing residents to prosper.

Choe said Flushing has been an attractive living destination for decades because of its many business opportunities, but escalating rents, a lack of infrastructure investment and the arrival of large national retailers make it difficult for small businesses to thrive.

“We’re a small business community,” Choe said, “so if we don’t have the opportunity to offer economic opportunities to the future, they might not be able to enter the middle class.”

Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce President Simon Gerson said that Flushing 2050 will help the community gain invaluable insight into the neighborhood’s future.

“We are America’s most dynamic neighborhood, full of energetic entrepreneurs, hardworking long-time residents, and ambitious immigrants,” Gerson said. “We are perpetually in a state of change.”

The Chamber is working on the Flushing 2050 initiative with Partners in Progress, a local collaborative established by Asian Americans for Equality which has grown to include other groups such as New York-Presbyterian/Queens Hospital, Queensboro Community College, Korean Community Services and the NAACP.

As part of its effort, the Chamber will is accepting applications from community organizers interested in taking part in the city’s new Neighborhood 360 Fellows program. Fellows will serve as resources to local business owners and jobseekers by connecting them to the NYC Department of Small Business Services.

The Chamber was also selected by the city to be the lead organization for the first “Commercial District Needs Assessment” of Flushing. This assessment is a research tool designed to help diagnose the economic health of commercial districts and then identify strategies to improve conditions for local businesses, entrepreneurs and residents.

Lastly, the Chamber will also be hosting a workshop series called the “Livable Neighborhoods Training Program.” These workshops will provide knowledge necessary for community members to participate in neighborhood planning, including the current Flushing West redevelopment process.

For more information, visit the Queens Courier.

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