The Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce named a new president last week whose main focus is on recruiting new members as a means to boost local business.
Rebecca Barker, a financial advisor with MetLife Financial, was elected to lead the Chamber last week at a time when the association has 138 members, the highest it’s ever been. She succeeded Ira Greenberg, a local attorney.
Barker said that her goal was to increase membership and to let residents know that they too can join. “Individual members (residents) add new vibrant ideas,” Barker said.
Individuals are able to join the chamber for $25 per year and be listed on the Chamber website. She said that they, like the business owners (who pay $125 yearly), would be able to tap into the association’s resources. Individual members may be active participants in all the business meetings, such as when experts speak or when networking events occur.
To join, individuals/businesses should go the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce website and sign up.
Barker said that the chamber, a volunteer association which is primarily funded by membership dues and fundraisers, has several plans in the pipeline. They include:
- Historical tours of the Sunnyside and Woodside district
- Hosting a street fair on Skillman Avenue on Sept. 23
- Holding a restaurant/food sample night on Sept.13
- Sponsor local art events
- Erecting holiday lights on Skillman Avenue
The group is also trying to reach out to commercial landlords to discuss the toll that high rents are having on the local businesses.
However, she said it is difficult to reach many of the building owners, since they often have large real estate holdings that are left in the hands of management companies.
In the short term, however, Barker said, “the most helpful and immediate action a local resident can take is to go to http://www.zagat.com/vote and vote for their favorite local restaurants before May 7.”
Write in your favorite neighborhood restaurants on Zagat’s, which is what you do every year. By naming your favorite five restaurants you will receive a free guide for free as soon as it is printed. If enough people write in a restaurant, the Zagat people actually come for a visit or two and that’s how new establishments get included.
To answer Marilyn’s question about how to vote on zagat’s. when i went in there, the restaurants i wanted to vote for in queens did not show up. so i found out that we have to sign up and write a review for the restaurant we want to vote for. after zagat’s get enough of these reviews, it comes up on their restaurant lists.
i did vote for the 5 i want, 2 of which are in manhattan and already listed, 1 in queens which is listed, but had to enter the 2 other queens places myself. they still are not coming up, so to SUPPORT OUR GOOD PLACES, write a review for them, vote for them, and after enough reviews, our restaurants will come up. of course, it is hard to compete with manhattan and brooklyn zagat voters, and more sophisticated viral voting campaigns among diners. zagat is only going to even put our places up to vote on if we get them on their listings. it took at lot to get the restaurants now up there from queens.
Tony, great question.
To join, Rebecca Barker said that individuals/businesses should go http://www.sunnysidechamber.org/ and sign up.
I have included it in the story. Thanks
Marilyn, thanks for the heads up. How is that with all the restaruans in our area the only ones with a zagat rating is bistra and quaint. What does it take to be rated?
And how does an individual go about joining?
Tried to vote on Zagat, but with Bliss Bistro gone, the only restaurant directly in our neighborhood available to vote on was Quaint.
Angus Grieve-Smith , thanks for answering me. With my lack of information what if you are too busy running a co. and you have no time to reach out and newtwork with other members how would you beneifit from being a member . Sorry for being so vague..
As a Chamber member, I can say that $125 is very low for annual membership dues, and well worth it. I get much more than $125 in profit every year from contacts I have made through the Chamber. I know Becky will be a great Chamber president, continuing the progress we’ve made under Ira and previous presidents.
Looks like Rebecca Barker wants to compete with the bid in sunnyside which would be a great idea since the entire sunnyside and woodside area does not get proper identification in the bid and not incuded in the bid we need our whole town in the group go New Presidents Rebecca Barker
Lets wish Rebecca Barker the best of luck as our new Chamber Presidet. I like her her new ideas that we need very badly. But I would add some races and a pupet show to the street fair to get more peple to oiur street fairs. Plus some incubators for our new businesses.
what does the chanber do for new business to get business.What are they doing for their 125 dollars. Why not waive that fee and show the business that they can help them and them have them pay the 2nd years what do you think?
Love this blog but have a question: I just noticed that the comments show what time they were posted but not the date it was left. Also, it’s really hard to read when using a mobile device. Do you have any plans to make it mobile friendly? I know blog platforms like WordPress automatically render for mobile versions.
I see Ms. Nolan is looking very bored these days.