Maspeth Federal and Queens Chamber team up to help small businesses

“Adopt a Small Business” program will help shops affected by the pandemic

Maspeth Federal Savings has been helping the small business community navigate business loans and mortgages for decades. Now, during this critical time for many small businesses, the forward-thinking community bank is taking their support a step further. 

The community bank is spearheading a new initiative, in partnership with the Queens Chamber of Commerce, to help small businesses improve their marketing, networking, and access to resources.

Through the “Adopt a Small Business” program, Maspeth Federal Savings will cover the first-year Queens Chamber of Commerce membership dues of local small businesses; a $375 value. The small businesses then have access to resources such as incubator programs, workshops, networking, and assistance when applying to grants, including the Payroll Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

“We knew our resources and connections could provide much needed support to smaller businesses in our communities. We are proud to work together on this initiative, and we encourage other organizations to join this effort and become an advocate during this time of need,” said Christina Zanca, Vice President and Marketing Director of Maspeth Federal Savings.

Maspeth Federal Savings, a longtime member of the Queens Chamber, announced plans to sponsor 10 small businesses in the Queens neighborhoods of Maspeth, Ridgewood, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows and New Hyde Park.

“Impactful” and “innovative” were two words used by Queens Chamber President and CEO, Tom Grech, to describe this initiative. Grech was also excited to report that over 300 businesses have been “adopted” by other Queens Chamber members.

The first business to benefit from the new program is Continental Pastry on Grand Avenue in Maspeth; the longtime Maspeth bake shop known for their famous “everything pretzels” and “black and white” cookies. 

The ‘This Is Queensborough’ team visited Dean Fierek, owner of Continental Pastry, to discuss how his business has fared through the pandemic, and what this program means to him and his staff.

“Since our business is 90% wholesale, revenue has taken a major hit,” Fierek explained. “Since our inception in 1972, the large majority of our business has been with food service providers, events, schools, country clubs, and airlines,” Fierek said, who has a team of five employees at Continental Pastry.

Since Fierek’s business has never focused on retail, he realizes that it will be an uphill battle to develop a marketing plan to effectively connect with the local community. After finding out that Continental Pastry was going to be the first business in the Small Business Mentorship Program, Fierek was elated.

“Maspeth Federal has always been supporting the local business community and providing the help and guidance I need during this time means everything to our team here at Continental Pastry,” Fierek said.

Jill Nicolois, Assistant Vice President and Marketing Manager with Maspeth Federal, said the Queens Chamber’s resources will go a long way to help keep small businesses viable, especially during difficult times.

“It’s an investment in the community,” Nicolois added. “We’re introducing them to the Queens Chamber and hoping that they find the value and establish some relationships and connections that improve their ability to do business.” 

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