2004-09-17 / Columnists

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By Joanie Omeste, Executive Director, Rockaway Chamber of Commerce


Joanie Omeste
Joanie Omeste The Chamber of Commerce was notified recently that it is the recipient of a $20,000 grant from the Department of Small Business Services. The Department of Small Business Services is the division of New York City government that contracts Business Improvement Districts (BID) to operate. This administration is extremely pro-BID and this Department is going above and beyond anything that’s been done in the past to organize neighborhoods to start a BID expeditiously. Once a BID is started SBS is there to guide the community through the proper channels to find the best programs and resources to better the neighborhood. This particular grant is to be used as seed money to actually get a business improvement district off the ground. Part of that process is to take surveys, hold public meetings, and rally the business and property owners to participate in the process. It’s both challenging and exciting and holds great vision for the future of this neighborhood. The Chamber looks forward to working with the community to make this a reality, and we will keep you updated as to our activities and how you can participate.

The Chamber’s Annual Dinner Dance will be held on November 17 at Russo’s on the Bay. Receiving the “Merchant of the Year” award is La Vida Jervis of Bridal Creations by La Vida. La Vida was born in Guyana where she received many Motivational Awards for her work with the YWCA and as a high school adult education teacher. Her success continued when she moved to New York with her three daughters and opened La Vida Bridal in Brooklyn. In 2002, she wanted a change of pace and moved to Far Rockaway. After noticing the demand for a bridal shop in the immediate area, she opened Bridal Creations by La Vida on Beach 20th Street. During her past year of business, Ms. Jervis has grown to love the area and its people. She has taken a special interest in the talent, education and beauty of the youth in the community. Ms. Jervis has hosted many successful fashion shows, which not only showcase the fashions in her store but also unites the local youth by their participation as featured models. During the 2004 prom season, she donated dresses to girls from the area high school. Most recently she has sponsored three young ladies from the community in a state pageant. The community is better for her presence and she hopes to be around for many years to come.

A quick note on Tribute Park. We are currently working to complete the revetment in order to prohibit erosion to the Park even before it gets built. Many people donated their time and services to this one very important aspect and the Chamber would like to thank Dan Mundy, our contractor Dennis Maloney, Giovanni Lamanna of AGGTech, Inc. for the boulder stones, Carl Adler of Quadrozzi for transportation and Matthew Briet of Breit Enterprises, Inc. for organizing the supply and delivery of the boulder stones.

Just a reminder, September 30 is the cut-off date for New York City’s Small Business Awards and the New York City Commission on Women’s Issues. The application can be obtained by going to www.nyc.gov and clicking on Department of Small Business Services. If you need any help in completing the application, please don’t hesitate to call me at the Chamber Office.

Barbara Morris, a member of the Chamber’s Board and Executive Committee was featured in Sunday, September 5’s Newsday as an “Everyday Hero,” if you ‘d like a copy of the article, please call the Chamber office.

Save the Date for the kiddies! The Annual Rockaway Halloween Parade will take place on Saturday, October 30 on Beach 116 Street from Rockaway Beach Boulevard to the Beach. The Chamber is working with Councilman Joe Addabbo, Jr. to create a fun-filled lively parade, and costumed kids of all ages are encouraged to participate. Prizes will be given to…oh, what the hey…..prizes will be given to everyone! It’s not a competition it’s a good time. Currently, we are seeking kind-hearted, community-minded, do-the-right-thing, feel-good sponsors who will surely go to heaven (I’ve checked, but when the time comes, if you can’t get in, just let me know and I’ll make a phone call). The Parade’s step-off time will be determined shortly. For more information please call the Chamber office or Sandee at Councilman Addabbo’s office. Now, for the important question…what should I wear?

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Chamber, please call us for an application (718) 634-1300.

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