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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

County sponsors Narcan training at high school

Long Island communities are waging a war against prescription drug abuse and a rampant heroin epidemic. The county launched a free public training program in 2012 to teach ordinary citizens the signs of an overdose and how to reverse its effects using a drug called Narcan.

Garden City High School hosted one of these training events on Oct. 9 as a packed auditorium of parents and community members gathered to learn the skills needed to potentially save a life. Floral Park will host the event in December.

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.


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