Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce Launches Second SBA Chapter in Queens
By: Shimmy Blum
The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce launched its second chapter of its new “Small Business Alliance” (SBA) division in Queens. The first SBA chapter was recently launched in Lakewood, with chapters in various other neighborhoods set to follow.
The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce, headquartered on Wall Street, is a global umbrella of businesses of all sizes, bridging the highest echelons of the business and governmental worlds with grassroots entrepreneurs and professionals. The Small Business Alliance (SBA) is an exciting new community based resource, where local businesses can network with others who have similar concerns and receive professional guidance.
Each SBA chapter is led by a committee that includes influential local business owners, community leaders and activists. In addition to Duvi Honig, Founder and CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce, the Queens SBA committee includes Queens residents Mrs. Odeleya Jacobs, the Chamber’s VP of Economic Development and Public Policy; Yaniv Meirov of Chazaq; Avraham Kesherim; Shimmy Pelman; Yaakov Serle; and Bernie Shafran.
The kickoff event for the Queens SBA chapter was held on Monday, May 1st, at Carlos and Gabby’s in Kew Garden Hills. Mr. Honig commenced the event bystressing the power of words and things as seemingly minor as the “right tip.” Mrs. Jacobs reminded us that while Hashem gives us our parnasah, He also gives us the tools to strengthen our networks – and the SBA is designed to utilize them.
The main presenter at the event was David Rosen, former multi-unit licensee and Director of Operations at Starbucks, and current manager at the Four Corners Kosher Bagel & Cafe chain in Lakewood. Mr. Rosen was a legend at Starbucks for the unique successes of the branches he managed. He shared his secrets in private meetings with CEO Howard Schultz as well as various presentations to other Starbucks executives and managers. Some of Mr. Rosen’s successful tactics were relatively simple, such as selling bananas at the counter and writing customers’ names on cups. Yet, these were enormously effective and have been incorporated at Starbucks brands across the country.
Mr. Rosen shared these experiences at the Queens event, along with various other practical business management tips. In particular, Mr. Rosen urged the small business owners present to empower and properly train their staff and remember that it is their staff that represents them.
Highlighting the spirit of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce and the SBA, Mr. Rosen stressed, “We need to rely on each other to build one another up, not to bring one another down.” He spoke about the unique camaraderie between Jewish community businesses. Mr. Rosen gave a real example of how, when his bagel store ran out of lox, a competitor bagel shop provided him with lox.
Attendees took this message to heart. Ann Crane of Ping Mobile remarked, “Networking is always about reciprocity; I am not only here to see what I can get, but what services I can give to others.” ShlomoSteiman, a tax lawyer specializing in elder law, echoed this sentiment. “I am here to meet potential contacts and to see how I can help other people.”
“There is so much that business owners in a community have to offer each other,” says Mr. Honig.“The Chamber and the SBA have proven once again to be effective vehicles to bring this to the fore.”
Business owners and professionals are encouraged to register in the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce (at no cost) in order to be automatically registered in their local SBA chapter and receive information and invitations to all Chamber and Small Business Alliance events. Visit ojchamber.com/join.