BY SARA KREVOY
Raquel Olivares, director of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District (WBID), was on Jamaica Avenue last month for a COVID-19 outreach event.
In partnership with the Queens Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Small Business Services (SBS), the WBID distributed face masks, hand sanitizer and literature on current COVID safety regulations to more than 50 small businesses along its corridor.
This is the second outreach event held by the WBID, and will likely not be the last.
“Since the pandemic, there are requirements that businesses need to meet, such as providing employees with PPE and taking the temperature of staff members as they come into work,” said Olivares. “These things cost money, and we know that small businesses are struggling right now.”
Olivares previously walked Jamaica Avenue with representatives from the Department of Transportation, visiting restaurants one-by-one in order to update owners on outdoor dining procedures.
“I noticed that businesses had so many questions,” she recalled. “We thought we would be in each location for 20 minutes, but instead we would spend nearly an hour in one business physically moving chairs and tables around. You could see they were really grateful we were trying to help.”
With indoor dining set to begin at 25 percent capacity at the end of the month, Olivares says many of the neighborhood’s eateries are concerned about the new rules and additional expenses related to compliance.
She plans to conduct webinars, as well as another walk through of the corridor, centered on indoor dining efforts.