The Queens Chamber of Commerce released a video paying tribute to the small businesses, essential workers and frontline heroes that served Queens residents during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and declared “Queens Stands Strong Together.”
The video, titled Queens Rising, was narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian Ray Romano. In addition to releasing the video, the Chamber announced a multi-pronged effort to get Queens’ businesses and economy back on track, including several new initiatives to support existing businesses in Queens and attract new businesses to the borough.
“The last few months have been incredibly difficult for Queens, but we got through it because Queens doesn’t quit. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the frontline heroes, essential workers and small businesses who continued to serve Queens residents in the face of this unprecedented pandemic,” said Thomas J. Grech, President and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce. “We are thankful to Ray Romano for his support of Queens’ small business community.”
“No matter where you are — Sunnyside, Astoria, my hometown Forest Hills, Jamaica, the Rockaways, let’s do what we all do best, what I know Queens does the best, and that’s support each other,” said Romano.
The initiatives announced by the Chamber include:
- Offering robust new Member Affinity Benefits to all Queens small businesses and nonprofits. Benefits include a Queens Chamber branded VISA credit card, telehealth program, energy saving programs, ID theft protection, drug prescription discounts, P.C. Richard & Son discounts, Microsoft Office 365 discount, SesameEats restaurant ordering app, MEAP 401k access and more.
- QueensCare, a day care program to support working parents and adult caregivers, that will allow employers to keep their talented employees on the job while keeping families intact.
- Adopt a Small Business, an initiative allowing corporations to sponsor local small businesses with a complimentary annual Introductory Membership to the Queens Chamber
- QueensShoring, an effort in collaboration with NYC Small Business Services and Empire State Development to bring manufacturing back to Queens County.
- QueensChamberBites, an effort to support Queens’ restaurant and food service industries by providing businesses with the tools to build multi-media marketing platforms.
- QueensChamberTech, a campaign to attract, retain and grow a tech-based ecosystem in strategic locations throughout the borough.
- Relocate to Queens, launched in February, this initiative will employ robust data technology to connect businesses to resources that will empower and allow them to be a part of Queens’ growth, with a focus on the borough’s 63 economic opportunity zones (EOZ’s).
- QueensChamberVolunteers, a program to connect talented volunteers with small businesses struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- QueensMentors, a program to connect Queens businesses to seasoned business professionals from across the state who can offer real world guidance on how their companies can grow and thrive.
- Queens Business and Higher Education Council, a joint effort of the Queens Chamber and the eight colleges and universities in Queens County to connect Queens businesses with institutions of higher learning to facilitate meaningful internships for students, post-graduation career placement and career training for those Queens residents displaced due to COVID.
“Now it’s time to get back to work, and we are excited to announce these new initiatives to help our local businesses rebuild our economy stronger than ever before,” Grech added.
The video was produced by Queens-native Emma Leavy, and features footage from a number of beloved local businesses including Bourbon Street in Bayside, Kimmy Ma Art Studio in Fresh Meadows, Great Bear Auto in Flushing, Martha’s Bakery in Bayside, Laundry Stop in Queens Village, Patel Brothers Supermarket in Jackson Heights, and New Golden Wine & Liquor in Bayside.