Whitestone company creates and distributes ‘Open’ signs to help promote Queens businesses

Photo courtesy of Venture Promotions

Venture Promotions, a custom graphics, marketing and sign business based in Whitestone, is creating something unique and specifically tailored to their clients’ needs: a large red sign that reads “Open for business,” as restaurants, retail stores and offices reopen to the public.  

Venture Promotions is owned by Dice Garcia, who is the art director. Her husband Ralph is the sign specialist for their second business, Venture Promotions & Marketing Corp., creating billboards, banners and all types of unique custom signs.

Together, the couple is helping to give back to businesses in Queens.

Two months ago, while driving around Whitestone, Garcia and Ralph didn’t know what businesses were open or closed. That’s when they decided to create a sign that is universal for their neighborhood to identify and help businesses that are open. 

“We distributed about 50 signs and now when you drive around town, anyone with a red sign is open,” Garcia said. “The store owners were thrilled because we identified them. Everyone had 8 ½-by-11 white paper signs that they did on their own desktop and you had to get out of your car to read them.” 

This was the beginning of Venture Promotion’s initiative. 

Photo courtesy of Venture Promotions

“When everyone was sheltered in place and no one knew where to go, we started to really pay attention to what we can do and how we can help,” Garcia said. 

After distributing 50 signs free of charge to business owners in Whitestone and Beechhurst, Garcia and Ralph reached out to the Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID) to offer some assistance to businesses. 

“We communicated with the BID and also agreed that the red signs were the way to go,” Garcia said. “They purchased 90 signs from us for a very reduced cost to help. We believe that Bay Terrace, Bayside and Whitestone, are all connected. We give each other business. Our communities need to be strong and move forward.” 

Garcia then reached out to other BIDS in Forest Hills, Jamaica, Sunnyside and Douglaston. Additionally, the company donated a sign to the Queens Chamber of Commerce that reads “Queens Strong.”

Photo courtesy of Venture Promotions

Another sign was donated to the Fire Department in Whitestone that says “America Strong.” On July 4, a sign was placed on Clintonville Street that reads,“Whitestone Strong and America Strong,” signifying unity.  

In total, Venture Promotions has distributed approximately 175 signs. The company is also modifying signs for professionals such as physicians and dentists, who would need a sign to display for appointments. 

“Business owners have to realize that people are not going to spend a lot of time trying to figure out if they’re open or not,” Garcia said. “We are also modifying signs for professional physicians and dentists because it’s by appointment. It’s not a regular open for business, but call for appointments sign.”

Following the successful distribution of their signs, Garcia began creating “No Mask, No Entry” static cling decals at no cost for local businesses. 

Photo courtesy of Venture Promotions

“These are the hottest things right now to do,” Garcia said. “The sign business is in a booming state right now, and we are going to keep evolving taking the pulse of what’s next trying to figure out how to help the businesses and patrons.”

Three months ago, Garcia also began creating one-of-a-kind custom made washable and reusable “selfie masks” for the cost of $25.  

Photo courtesy of Venture Promotions

“When you send a selfie, I create a mask with the bottom half of your face and it looks like you’re not wearing a mask,” said Garcia, who is also the creator of the original selfmask.com. “When people see these masks, they love it. I always recommend everyone should have a smile on their face. We’re in a tough time and I want to bring a little happiness to help people feel more normal and connected.”

According to Garcia, this is an opportunity for businesses to thrive and become better.

“At this point in time, businesses have the opportunity to grow and stand out in the crowd,” Garcia said. “The sky is basically the limit right now and to just look forward and be thankful that we are living in a world that we can show who we are, what we do, and grow.”