Queens Chamber of Commerce hosts virtual town hall to assist small businesses

Clipboard with small business loan application form and pen on desk
Photo via Getty Images

The Queens Chamber of Commerce hosted a virtual town hall meeting to connect business owners from around the borough with information and resources that may help them through the COVID-19 crisis.

The town hall, which ran from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., on Thursday, April 2, featured remarks from Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, as well as a presentation from the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS).

“How we respond will define us for the next few decades,” Hochul said. “My heart is with Queens. We will get through this.”

Deshaun Mars, the director of business outreach with SBS, shared his agency’s resources with the group, including a grant and loan program for businesses affected by the outbreak.

“The city is here as a resource,” Mars said. “SBS is here to support your business.”

Several business leaders through out the city also shared presentations during the town hall.

Will Bachman, a founding partner at the virtual management consulting firm Umbrex, presented tips on working from home in a way that promotes good mental health.

“It’s easy to expand your workday, but set some boundaries around it,” Bachman said. “It’s important to protect your mental health and physical well-being.”

The Queens Chamber of Commerce has created several new programs aimed at aiding local businesses in wake of the public health crisis.

The chamber launched QueensBest.org last month, a website that lists contact information for restaurants open for delivery and take-out.

“As the oldest and largest business organization in Queens, the Queens Chamber is dedicated to helping businesses through this crisis,” said Queens Chamber President Thomas Grech. “Small businesses are what makes our diverse, hard-working borough run, and we will continue to work as hard as we can to help them find the resources they need.”