Aug. 18, 2023 By Bill Parry
Congresswoman Grace Meng joined members of the Queens Chamber of Commerce at Queens College on Thursday, Aug. 17, to announce the opening of The Small Business Legal Desk, a program to connect small businesses to consultants with expertise in human resources, finance and accounting, and legal issues such as contracts and leases.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy in Queens, and as the daughter of small business owners in the borough, I know first-hand the important role they play in our communities,” Meng said. “We must do all we can to help small businesses thrive, especially as many continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and this latest round of funding that I secured will go a long way towards providing crucial resources needed by our local entrepreneurs. From finance to legal issues, the Small Business Legal Desk will be a great asset to small businesses and our workforce, and that includes the diverse small business community that I represent.”
The Congresswoman presented a check for $1 million in federal funding she appropriated to Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Grech for the initiative that will link the small business community in her district to services in Mandarin, Korean, Bengali, Russian and Spanish.
“Queens has a vibrant, diverse small business community that creates jobs and opportunity, and contributes so much to the unique character of our neighborhoods,” Grech said. “We are thankful to our Congresswoman Grace Meng for the opportunity to connect small businesses in her district to vital services that will allow them to grow and better serve their customers and community. Congresswoman Meng has been a fierce advocate for Queens’ businesses and we are grateful for her leadership.”
Representatives from several organizations attended the ceremony, including The Flushing Business Improvement District, the Bayside Business Improvement District, Queens Together, the Chinese Business Association of New York, the Sino-American Commerce Association, the Fuzhou Association, the Zhe Jiang Wenzhou Association of Industry and Commerce, the Henan Association and the Chinese Wenchow Association.
“We were delighted to serve as a site for today’s press conference about news that’s important not only for the Queens Chamber of Commerce, but also for everyone who lives or works in Queens, because the business community is the lifeblood of our borough,” said Queens College President Frank H. Wu. “In recent years, Congresswoman Meng has allocated funding for our multilingual Small Business Development Center; our Wastewater Epidemiology Training Laboratory, or WETLAB; the renovation of Colden Auditorium; and a program that helps the Queens College Business School build partnerships with local small businesses. Her support has helped our students and faculty thrive in the post-pandemic era. Thank you, Congresswoman Meng, for everything you do for Queens College and our borough.”
Through the Small Business Legal Desk, participating businesses will be connected to multilingual, pro-bono professional support through one-on-one consultations. The program will also host webinars on a monthly basis, and refer businesses to other resources available through the Chamber.
“We are proud of the continued success of the Small Business Development Center,” LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams said. “Since we launched the satellite office at Queens College in 2019, the center has served thousands of immigrant entrepreneurs and other small business owners from Queens.”
Interested businesses are encouraged to contact Suzan King at the Queens Chamber of Commerce via email at [email protected].