The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce hosted its 2014 Annual Membership Meeting & Trade Show on Wednesday night at Gargiulo’s Restaurant in Coney Island, featuring New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer as the keynote speaker.
“It is an honor to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Annual Membership Meeting of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce,” said Comptroller Stringer. “The Chamber is a strong and effective advocate for Brooklyn businesses, and the support they offer local firms plays a crucial role in the economic life of this borough and our City. Thriving businesses elevate neighborhoods across New York. My office is always open to the thousands of small business owners who contribute so much to our City’s fiscal health and future economic success”.
The event drew roughly 500 attendees, and also included the Chamber’s Year in Review, Board Elections, and the 2nd Annual “Brooklyn Made” Awards.
During the meeting, the Brooklyn Chamber announced that it provided $8.3 million in financing to small businesses across the borough in the past 12 months, including re-launching 33 Sandy-affected businesses by awarding over $5.7 million through the Hurricane Sandy Business Loan and Grant Program – which accounts for roughly half of the entire city’s totals through this program.
The Chamber also insured the lives of 3,241 people as the Kings County Navigator for the Affordable Care Act and through its Brooklyn Healthworks Program, and has visited with over 240 businesses in nine different neighborhoods via its Chamber on the Go Program.
“The Brooklyn Chamber is not only the largest Chamber of Commerce in New York State, but we’re the most active as well,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “Whether it’s financing 300 small businesses, helping to fill over 600 employment positions, providing health insurance for over 3,000 lives, or taking all our great services on the road with Chamber on the Go, we never stop working for Brooklyn’s businesses. Brooklyn and our businesses are the best in the world, so they deserve the best services too!”
“The largest accomplishment of 2014 has been the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s achievement of representing all of Brooklyn,” said Chamber Board Chair Denise Arbesu. “Great efforts were made this year in working and assisting local BIDs and Chambers into the Brooklyn Chamber family, in particular, in historically under represented areas such as East New York, Bushwick and Bed-Stuy. It is gratifying to see the power of one Brooklyn fulfilled, so we are now of and for the entire Borough of Brooklyn.”
Along with the 2nd Annual “Brooklyn Made” Awards, the Brooklyn Chamber announced the creation of the “Brooklyn Made” Certification Program, designed to recognize products made in Brooklyn, with Brooklyn materials, and by Brooklynites. In only five months, nearly 130 business have already been certified as “Brooklyn Made.”
The “Brooklyn Made” Awards concluded the evening, and honored the top Brooklyn products of 2014 in the categories of food, beverage, design, fashion, technology and MWBE. This year’s winners – which were chosen by an independent jury – are:
Food:Michael’s of Brooklyn – Family owned and operated since 1964, Michael’s of Brooklyn offers three generations of pride and excellence at their restaurant in Coney Island. Loyal customers visit from near and far to enjoy generations-old family recipes, lovingly handed down as a legacy of Italian tradition. Aside from the restaurant, they manufacture premium pasta sauces.
Beverage:Brooklyn Winery – Boutique urban winery set in the heart of Williamsburg. Winemaker Conor McCormack produces premium, small-batch wines, combining the quality of tradition with the freedom of innovation.
Tech:Brooklyn Research – Brooklyn Research was founded in 2012 as a co-research space for independent and privately funded researchers building new technologies in Brooklyn.
Fashion:DerDau Boots – Established over 50 years ago in New York by Jose Der, Der Dau is passionately dedicated to its legacy of producing the finest handmade riding boots
Design:Uhuru Design – Uhuru Design is a multidisciplinary design firm based in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
M/WBE:Brooklyn Flavors – Bottling Brooklyn’s historical neighborhoods and streets with a fragrance of their own, and selling handmade beauty and skincare products.