March 25 E-newsletter: TOMORROW: TWO IMPORTANT TELE-TOWN HALLS FOR SE QUEENS
A(nother) Letter From our Executive Director
Last week I wrote a letter detailing how our organization is committed to doing our part to help Jamaica Avenue get through, and eventually recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis. If you missed that letter, you can access it here. Today, I would like to use this space to speak directly to those in our business community.
Businesses, if you haven’t already, I implore you to reach out to your local economic development organizations, whether that is a business improvement district (such as our very own Jamaica Center BID or our adjacent BIDs, the Sutphin Avenue BID or 165th Street BID.) You can also call your nearest chamber of commerce such as the Queens Chamber of Commerce, merchants association or a local development or local economic development organization like the Queens Economic Development Corporation. The types of organizations I just listed are all nonprofit organizations with the philanthropic/charitable mission to provide businesses with support.
Why is it particularly important to get in contact with your nearest BID, chamber, or merchants association right now? Well, two reasons. First, our profession is in full-gear tracking all of the federal, state, and city directives, along with the grants, loans and other business assistance packages being rolled out to help the business community. We have been studying and synthesizing it for hours on end and many of us have formed helpful resource guides such as our new COVID-19 resource webpage. We are an efficient way for businesses to get this critical information quickly and in one place.
Second, we also need businesses to communicate with us so that we can advocate for your needs now, and during the recovery period on a larger scale. We need to hear your reactions to small business support legislation being proposed by the local, state and federal representatives. We need to hear what types of grants or loans would be most helpful for your business to survive now, and rebuild later. It is our job as economic development professionals to synthesize all that we are hearing from a variety of businesses and report that back to elected officials and government agencies so that their eventual policies and programs reflect the true needs of the businesses we represent. But we can only advocate for businesses if they share their needs with us. That’s why I ask that you email or call our office and share information you think we need to know right now about how the Covid-crisis is affecting you.
I wish I could make promises that this will be over soon, or that the damage will be minimal. Unfortunately, we all understand that this Covid-19 tragedy is going to affect us for quite some time. One promise I can make to our business community, however, is that our team is here for you and we will work hard for you to help you weather this storm.