Chamber honors businesses stepping up during outbreak

With New York State on pause, many Queens businesses have been forced to close their doors, but that doesn’t mean that aren’t still hard at work serving the borough as it deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

From restaurants preparing meals for hospital and other essential workers to printers and fabricators shifting their operations to provide much-needed personal protective equipment, numerous Queens businesses have stepped up to aid in this time of crisis.

Every week, the Queens Chamber of Commerce has been highlighting five businesses who have heeded the call to duty. Here are just some of them making a difference in this time of need:


Bourbon Street in Bayside is a go-to place for a good time and good eats. They’ve also been known to support the community and local charities, and they’ve really upped their game during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Mark Boccia (partner/proprietor at Bourbon Street) created the “Food for the Fearless” Go Fund Me Page which has raised nearly $100,000 to date, using the money to deliver hundreds of meals to Queens hospital staff.

More info on Bourbon Street, including pick up and delivery options, can be found on their website.


Queensboro FC begins play in 2021 in the USL Championship, but before they play their first soccer match they’re already finding ways to help their community. They’ve teamed up with Bourbon Street for their “Food for the Fearless” campaign and have been sponsoring meals for those working on the frontlines of the pandemic for weeks.

For more info on Queensboro FC, visit their website.


United Public Adjusters and Appraisers maximizes claims by preparing, filing, documenting, appraising, estimating, negotiating and managing the payment of the claim. They work for you, not the insurance company.

They recently completed their second Community Comfort Mission by providing 56 meals and KN-95 masks to the NYPD’s 106th precinct in Southeast Queens. If you would like to donate to their efforts, click here.

More info on UPA can be found here.


Gerdie Rene Gordon, owner of the Beauty Boutique in Cambria Heights, may no longer be able to see clients in person, but she’s found innovative ways to continue to serve them.

She’s now selling customized “at-home care and maintenance kits” that include hair care products, as well as providing free online videos, called Tress Talks, to help with hairdressing technique.

Gordon’s message is “It’s more than just having the revenue, it’s being able to provide something that’s needed.”

Learn more here.


Dawn Kelly’s Nourish Spot in Jamaica is a neighborhood juice, smoothie, and salad bar. The last few weeks, Kelly and her team have gone the extra mile to keep supplies coming in and ensure those in her neighborhood have healthy options during this difficult time.

Order from Nourish Spot at (718) 526-2099 or check them out on GrubHub.


A longtime staple for dining and events in south Queens, Russo’s on the Bay is working hard to help their community during these difficult times. They’re providing meals to doctors, nurses, support staff, and members of the cleaning crew at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, as well as to those in need through Catholic Charities.

For more info on Russo’s and their same day curbside pickup and no-contact delivery options, visit their website.


Founded in 1930 in Forest Hills, Aigner Chocolates is one of the oldest chocolate and confectionery shops in New York City. To help spread some cheer during this difficult time, owners Mark Libertini and Rachel Kellner decided to drop off chocolates to elderly residents and hospital workers, including donating their traditional 25-pound Easter chocolate bunny to Elmhurst hospital.

Learn more here.


With over a million rental items, Prop & Spoon is a go-to rental spot for the film, television and event industry. They also house a full custom fabrication shop, which they’ve repurposed to manufacture hoods to help battle Covid-19.

Check out their efforts to help the community on their Facebook page or learn more about their rentals here.


When his machines were forced to stop by the coronavirus outbreak, Vinicio Guevara thought of ways to convert his card printer machines to aid in the crisis. Using his creativity, the Ecuadorian immigrant entrepreneur found a way to make 25 masks in one day and personally delivered them to Elmhurst Hospital.

After receiving orders for more, he gained permission to open as an essential business without firing his three employees. They report they now produce up to 1,500 reusable masks daily.

To learn more, visit their website.


Fastsigns in Glendale typically specializes in the production of signage and marketing materials, but is now using its equipment and expertise to produce face shields for hospital workers. Their first 100 masks were donated to Elmhurst Hospital.

For more information, visit their website.


For ten years, the Queens World Film Festival has brought world-class entertainment to Queens. They’ve continued to entertain the borough during the COVID19 Pandemic by streaming their 2020 festival and offering other online content, including family friendly films as a part of their e77 Remote Fridays.

For more info, click here.


QCC member Cerini & Associates is a leading audit, tax, and business advisory Firm serving both nonprofit and for-profit businesses. Since the pandemic hit, their firm has provided 24/7 support by answering questions, hosting webinars, creating easy to follow guides on the CARES ACT, and daily email updates.

Senior accountant Kayla Vigorito Aceto also arranged food donations and deliveries to four Long Island hospitals, while Ed McWilliams joined the Chamber’s “Your Finances During and After COVID” webinar.

All support resources can be found on their website.  


Vernon Grille is one of the newer spots in Long Island City and offers traditional high-end Greek specialties at affordable prices. They’re currently accepting donations to prepare meals for Mt. Sinai Queens, as well as donating free meals to the community through LIC relief.

Learn more about LIC Relief here, and visit Vernon Grille’s website.


The Queensboro in Jackson Heights is a neighborhood restaurant created by local residents and restaurant industry veterans Tony Liu, Michael Fuquay, and Dudley Stewart. They’re currently raising funds through Queens Together to raise money to feed healthcare workers and first responders.

Learn more about their relief effort and ordering, including special care packages and family meals, on their website.


Mendez printing in Ridgewood is known for making business cards, envelops, newsletters, posters, and more. They’ve recently shifted gears and have temporarily re-tooled their factory to manufacture PPE protective gear for health care workers in New York.

Learn more on their website, and help defray the cost of PPE production by buying one of their “New York Tough” themed items at

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