LIC Partnership calls for increased support for small business during coronavirus crisis

Courtesy Hunters Point Parks Conservancy

When Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order that will limit restaurants, bars and cafes to food take-out and delivery, the Long Island City Partnership swung into action updating and simplifying its promotion to encourage people to patronize local businesses during the coronavirus emergency.

“As New Yorkers heed safety guidance and new mandates, we are urging residents and essential workers in Long Island City to support their local businesses by ordering takeout and delivery from their favorite nearby cafes and restaurants, caterers, shops and wine stores,” LIC Partnership President Elizabeth Lusskin said. “Shopping local has never been more important and we hope our neighbors will join us in supporting the businesses that are the heart of our community.”

The LIC Partnership’s “Shop, Eat, Drink Campaign” encourages people to buy a gift card to local restaurants, hotels and stores. For a list of businesses, you can help support, visit the Partnership’s website at longislandcityqueens.com. 

Meanwhile, the Long Island City community is coming together to help those who are less fortunate during the coronavirus outbreak. Local civic, religious and business organizations “to alleviate specific needs in our neighborhood and surrounding areas” in western Queens.

Starting Monday, March 23, the LIC Community COVID-19 Relief Group will begin to distribute meals for students and families impacted by the ongoing school closure. Meals will be in a “grab-and-go” format with no seating available.

“We are working on finalizing different locations in Hunters Point and Court Square but nothing has been finalized yet,” Hunters Point Parks Conservancy President Rob Basch said. “Everyone is welcome to join our work in progress as we try to keep people fed through this crisis and also help our local restaurants stay open.”

The coalition of organizations is currently collecting dry goods for distribution. Any products received will be disbursed to local food pantries with the highest needs.

Donations can be made at the New City Church office at 10-54 47th Ave.,the LIC Jewish Community Center at 10-29 48th Ave.

Kelly Craig, the co-vice-president of the P.S./I.S. 78Q PTA, got the effort started over the weekend.

“I was speaking to Patrick Thompson from New City Church NYC and we discussed how diverse Long Island City is and the economic disparity that you see when you get away from the luxury high-rises along the waterfront,” Craig said. “There are 780 children at my school and many of them do not get meals at home. I feel responsible for these kids, so I told Patrick, ‘We have to start getting in front of this. We’re asking for food donations as well as monetary donations that will all go to people that need help right now.”

She is enlisting the help of restaurants like Little Chef Little Cafe to prepare the “grab-and-go” meals.

“We have the boots on the ground but we desperately need funding to help as many people as we can,” Craig said. “The needs here will only intensify in the coming weeks.”

To volunteer, email Casey Chamberlain at casey@hunterspointpark.org and to donate, visit newcitychurch.churchcenter.com. Donations are processed through New City Church LIC, but separately accounted for.

For more information about financial donations email Kelly Craig at kelly@psis78pta.org. 

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