Businesses affected by the four-alarm fire that raged through a downtown Flushing building last month are being provided with some much-needed support and assistance.
On Wednesday, Jan. 25, firefighters spent hours battling the blaze at 135-42 Roosevelt Ave., near the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, which spread throughout a packed commercial strip. After putting out the fire, an investigation by the FDNY determined that the cause was accidental and cooking-related.
The commercial strip was home to a variety of small businesses including beauty and hair salons, an accounting firm, photo studio and driving school.
Eight of the businesses involved in the blaze were offered multi-language assistance on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at a workshop hosted by Councilman Peter Koo‘s office. Representatives from the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), the Flushing Business Improvement District and the Legal Aid Society were present to help business owners deal with insurance, commercial leasing, tenant rights and other legal issues.
“Since the fire occurred, the Department of Small Business Services has been on the ground helping small business owners recover,” an SBS spokesperson said. The city agency has offered several resources and services, including pro-bono legal assistance, as well as help navigating government resources and retrieving important government documents that may have been lost in the fire, the spokesperson added.
“Running a business in New York City is a difficult and complicated task that is made more challenging in the event of an emergency such as last month’s devastating fire,” Koo said. “Preparation is key to bouncing back after an emergency, and I’m grateful for the services our community has received from the City of New York, the Flushing BID and Legal Aid Society that will help address many of the problems facing our local businesses.”
Future workshops will be held by Koo’s office to help business owners understand commercial leases and plan for emergencies.