The Queens Chamber of Commerce launch of its official account — under the user name “QueensLife” — on the Chinese multi-purpose app WeChat in order to support Chinese-language businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.
With over 1 billion monthly active users across the globe, WeChat allows users to text, call, video chat, post news, send money, and order goods. It is the most popular app for Chinese people, businesses, and e-commerce.
The Chamber’s account will serve as a repository of information for businesses and employees, including descriptions of grants and loan programs, application guidelines, paid sick leave info, business checklists, rules and regulatory announcements, and health information.
The Queens Chamber had initially planned to use the WeChat account to promote Queens businesses and Chamber members to the Chinese-speaking community in Queens, as well as those visiting from China, but pivoted to provide crisis support to the Chinese-language business community in Queens once the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
The Queens Chamber expects to shift back to the account’s original purpose once the pandemic has ended.
“We are proud to be the most prominent U.S.-based Chamber to embrace WeChat,” said Chamber president and CEO Thomas Grech. “With its impressive scope of features, WeChat promises to be an incredible resource for connecting with the Chinese-language business community here in Queens, giving them the resources they need to navigate the challenges ahead.
“Once we are past this pandemic, we look forward to rolling out our WeChat account to support travel, trade and tourism between the Chinese-speaking world and Queens,” he added.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Queens Chamber has adapted its programs and resources, hosting online networking sessions and town hall webinars for business owners, and launching QueensBest.org, an easy-to-navigate site that identifies the best restaurants in Queens for takeout and delivery.
The WeChat initiative was made possible thanks to support from Chatly, New York’s Empire State Development (ESD), Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC), Flushing Chinese Business Association (FCBA) and Flushing BID.
“Chinese businesses in Queens have long maximized the potential of WeChat to promote and grow their business, and I am grateful that we have a Chamber of Commerce here in Queens that is taking advantage of this app’s enormous potential to connect people from around the world to business in Queens,” said Councilman Peter Koo.
“The Queens Chamber of Commerce has always been a tremendous supporter of the diverse business communities in every Queens neighborhood, including here in Flushing, where businesses have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Peter Tu, executive director of the Flushing Business Association (FCBA). “The Chamber’s new WeChat account will be a tremendous resource to Chinese-owned businesses, linking them to resources and programs that will help our neighborhood recover.”
To access the Queens Chamber WeChat account, sign into your personal WeChat account, and “Discover” it by scanning the QR code below: