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Floral Park Chamber Of Commerce Working To Build Progressive Business Community

Green initiatives, website expand online presence for members

Running any business in the digital age has its challenges and its perks. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of board members, the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce is continuing to build a progressive and thriving business community through its newly revamped website and networking events.

As an organization of business leaders who work to improve their community and the area’s business climate, the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce comprises a volunteer board of directors. It is one of the main resources for small and medium-sized firms doing business in Floral Park and is poised to help upwards of 200 members and associates deal with the changing business climate in the town, city and state.   

As of January 2012, Theresa Whalen, owner of the Sterling Sign Company, was installed as the new president, a role she is familiar with. The 33-year Floral Park resident has been a longtime member and past president in 2001. In her upcoming term, she says she hopes to better intertwine the village and the school community with local businesses to create one complete community.

As the organization celebrates its 60th anniversary next year, Whalen has also set forth online and green initiatives, which she feels are essential to its long-term success. In the coming year, she plans to grow the membership and to have the members network with one another to expand their businesses.

“We are pretty much going digital. We do a handful of mailings for the entire year,” Whalen explains.

In order to best achieve these goals, the chamber’s vice president Tom Clifford, of TC & Company, has redesigned the chamber website to help businesses connect with one another and the local community. One of the newest components is the introduction of modular technology, which allows members to log in and interact with its multifunctions for online registrations, payments and donations.

Clifford maintains that allowing multiple administrative users gives the individual chamber member a chance to be an administrator and change the way the community views their profile.

“What we’ve done is create a website that is completely modular now…for membership and events,” Clifford asserted. “It’s pretty cool; it’s very advanced, state-of-the-art.”

In 2005, the business profile of the month was first debuted on the website as free space to members. It has grown in popularity and the spot has become a paid feature that profiles a business, providing direct links to members’ websites via Constant Contact emails with member thumbnails for an entire month.

“The idea is the more and more people see you, the more possible chances that they will do business,” Clifford added.

The immediate results can be seen in increased chamber memberships and attendance at meeting events, Clifford said. “Last year before we were doing this, we used to have 20 members come to a meeting. Now we’re getting 40, 60 members.”

The next chamber of commerce meeting is held on May 3, from noon to 2 p.m. at Trinity Restaurant in Floral Park. The event will feature guest speakers Dr. Ralph Ferrie, Sewanhaka Central HS District superintendent; and Dr. Lynn Pombonyo, Floral Park Bellerose School District superintendent, who will share information about the 2012-13 school budgets.

Floral Park Chamber of Commerce membership is open to all businesses, individuals or associates that maintain voluntary annual dues. The chamber is a private organization and is not a government agency and receives no tax dollars.

For more information on the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce, visit www.floral parkchamber.org.

News

At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, residents and community members joined with the Floral Park American Legion to honor veterans at the annual Veteran’s Day ceremonies at Memorial Park, following a march down Tulip Avenue to the park with the members of the veterans of the Legion post, American Legion Auxiliary members, Sons of the American Legion, Boy and Cub Scouts from Troops 482 and 678 and local officials.

During the ceremony, a plaque was dedicated in memory of General Kazimierz Pulaski and others of Polish heritage who have served in the U.S. military. The plaque dedication was led by members of the Polish American Congress, Long Island Division, President Grzegorz Worma and Honorary President Richard Brzozowski. An invocation was delivered by Father Peter Rozek of St. Hedwig Church, followed by a POW-MIA ceremony by Post 334 Vice Commander Matthew Cacciatore.

While parking around Long Island Rail Road train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town.

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


Calendar

Floral Park Memorial PTSA Fall Fest Fundraiser

Friday, November 21

Buy A Meal, Wag A Tail

Saturday, November 22

Hanging of the Greens and Potluck Luncheon

Sunday, November 23



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