The Brooklyn Chamber’s annual trade show
A decade after the home of Hip Hop, the South Bronx, was burning, the hip hop-philosopher KRS One by 1987 debuted in his celebrated album Criminal Minded, the famed rap song South Bronx as a timely response to Queens legendary rap artist MC Shan’s The Bridge.
Not to be outdone by the powerful lyrical prose of borough pride coming out of the Bronx and Queens, talented rapper Cutmaster D.C released Brooklyn Rocks the Best in 1986 at around the same time the South Bronx was being recorded and later released.
Culturally, in terms of hip hop, some New Yorkers will insist that if the Bronx was burning, Brooklyn was sizzling.
However, aside from rap music and in terms of economics, other New Yorkers will contend that the South Bronx is still burning given its economic immobility, while Brooklyn is still sizzling, and rocking given its current economic versatility. One such New Yorker who affirms that Brooklyn rocks the best given its economic versatility, but not necessarily and deliberately at the expense of other boroughs, is Randy Peers, the president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. At the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Trade Show, in a jam-packed room on Wednesday, October 23rd at Gargiulo’s Restaurant in Coney Island, Peers delivered his address: “Brooklyn Chamber Vision 2020 and Beyond.”
After being introduced by Kathryn Wylde, the president and CEO of Partnership for New York City, in his address to an audience of over 400 of Brooklyn’s top business, political and community leaders, Peers stated: “It’s my sincere pledge that we will strengthen the borough’s business community and build the best Brooklyn we can build. That starts with promoting our businesses, pushing back on anti-small business policies, and producing new initiatives that support job creation and economic development in the borough.”
Among Peers’s new initiatives are:
• Becoming a Community Development Financial Institution (CFDI) and offering micro loans to Brooklyn small businesses that typically do not qualify for commercial bank loans.
• Establishing the Brooklyn Free Enterprise Political Action Committee, a fund to elect and support pro-growth and pro-business political candidates.
• Unveiling Leadership Brooklyn, a dedicated program in partnership with a Brooklyn educational institution designed to foster professional growth and increase volunteerism.
• Launching The Brooklyn App, the Chamber’s yet-to-be released signature app, which was introduced in a video played for all in attendance to witness (Instagram: @TheBrooklynAppp).
• Publishing Brooklyn Onward, the Chamber’s new print magazine.
For Ana Oliveira, Board Chair of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, “Brooklyn’s economy and its business community deserve a strong pro-growth voice,” and “Randy has staked his position as someone who will lead on shaping public opinion and policies that affect the city’s future and continued growth.”
For Peers and the prominent Brooklynites who were in attendance that evening, Brooklyn rocks. However, there is still room for economic growth and expansion in the other boroughs. Case in point: The Bronx can be on fire, while Brooklyn sizzles as we build better boroughs by producing and promoting pro-business advocacy entities that foster fair market competition, equitable distribution of local commercial contracts concerning Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), and solidify our support for local businesses.
By building better boroughs while encouraging economic stimulation throughout New York City, we can successfully improve our standards of living without increasing the cost of living which will ultimately advance our quality of life, so all of us can benefit as each borough in New York City rocks the best!
Patrick Delices is Contributing Editor at Black Star News.