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Citing safety concerns, Flushing BID announces free self-defense classes for business owners

Mar. 28, 2024 By Athena Dawson

With many Flushing business owners and workers feeling unsafe, the Flushing Business Improvement District (BID) has launched a program offering them free self-defense classes.

From Wednesday Apr. 3 through June 5, business owners and employees within the zip codes 11354 and 11355 can sign up for free weekly classes on the Flushing BID website. Participants are required to sign a waiver to take the classes.

Attendees will be taught by a professional martial artist who specializes in Taekwondo. All classes will be held at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel Ballroom, located at 135-20 39th Ave. 

During the self- defense classes, participants will learn how to handle various real-life situations and will focus on kicking, grabbing and de-escalating techniques. 

According to the BID, the new initiative will help to combat rising commercial retail theft and homeless disturbances. The organization added that many shop owners feel less safe due to the rising uptick in crime and are concerned about police response times.

Dian Song Yu, executive director of the Flushing BID, emphasized the importance of equipping small business owners with self-defense skills. 

“We hope these classes might bring some comfort to participants, that they can use the skills they’ve learned to protect themselves, if necessary,” Yu said. “Not all shops are equal. Some larger stores can afford security guards, but smaller ones may not have the means to do so. We hope with this program, all businesses feel a bit more safe and secure in downtown Flushing.”

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