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Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce unveils 5-year strategic plan

Politicians, Business Leaders Gather to Celebrate All Things Brooklyn

October 6, 2016 By Andy Katz Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors poses at Gargiulos. Eagle photos by Andy Katz
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As another season in the sand and sun draws to a close, business and political leaders from all around New York City’s largest borough gathered in Coney Island on Wednesday to extol everything Brooklyn.

“Forget modesty!” Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Carlo Scissura declared in the banquet hall of the nearly century-old Gargiulo’s on West 15th Street. “This is not the place to be modest.”

Indeed, it was not. The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting opened on a high note and remained in clarion tones while Scissura took the occasion to outline the Chamber’s five-year strategic plan, the keystone of which consists of a comprehensive “one-stop” business center that would include meeting and conference rooms, business incubators, visitors’ information kiosks and, per the chamber’s website, a store focused on selling made-in-Brooklyn products.

As the Chamber looked toward its centennial, much of the evening’s focus was on the coming year’s fundraising efforts for the center, which are key components in the strategic plan.

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“We are going to make it happen,” Scissura said, “because of everybody in this room.”

There was a stellar cast on hand, including U.S. Reps. Dan Donovan and Jerrold Nadler; City Councilmember Mark Treyger; Assemblymembers Pamela Harris, Jaime Williams and Peter Abbate; state Sen. Roxanne Persaud; Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia; and Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop.

Leaders of both the Greenpoint Chamber of Commerce and the Coney Island Alliance were also present.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, the event’s keynote speaker, opened his remarks with a display of silverware before delving into recent crime, economic growth and secondary-school graduation statistics, all of which have been positive for the city at large, and Brooklyn in particular.

“The spirit of Brooklyn is for everyone!” the mayor concluded.

Throughout the evening, emphasis was placed repeatedly on the Brooklyn brand and its increasing currency in business and marketing environments both in the United States and on an international level.  Scissura alluded to the growing number of products designed and produced entirely in Brooklyn, many of which had been on hand prior to the dinner during the chamber’s annual trade show.

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1918 to aid area businesses in their development. The Chamber’s allied corporation to promote economic development, The Brooklyn Alliance, came along in 1967.  The Alliance provides additional services to local businesses such as guiding employers through the intricacies of enrollment in the Affordable Care Act.

A recent Chamber of Commerce initiative was helping to create “Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector,” Mayor de Blasio’s streetcar proposed earlier this year to connect Queens and Brooklyn along the East River waterfront.

“I like to think big!” Scissura told the audience.


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