BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) and the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce (GFCC) announced the launch last week of a new three-year marketing campaign to support Flushing’s small businesses.
The move follows on the heels of the city Department of Small Business Services’ (SBS) Neighborhood 360 investment of $1.55 million earlier this year.
“As Flushing grows, it’s important to sustain the small business that started the neighborhood’s job-creating economic engine,” said Christopher Kui, executive director of the AAFE. “This new marketing campaign will boost their bottom lines by helping the Flushing first-time and veteran shoppers alike find something in the neighborhood they’re sure to love and keep them coming back for more.”
AAFE conducted research—including surveys—that found the neighborhood’s challenges were competition from national retail chains, language and culture barriers, perceptions of inaccessibility and quality-of-life concerns. The campaign’s objectives include highlighting Flushing’s unique character and redefining the neighborhood as an attractive destination, promoting merchants, supporting business growth and improving the area’s quality of life through community activities.
The marketing campaign—branded “Flushing Fantastic”—will act as the “premier resource for businesses, residents and visitors to discover Flushing’s hidden historical [and] contemporary treasures.”
The campaign’s targeted audience includes families with strollers, long-time Queens residents, urban achievers, executives and millennials. It includes three concepts: “Flushing A-Z,” which will showcase the neighborhood’s diversity and unique landmarks; “The Real New York,” which will highlight the best of Flushing’s businesses; and “The Global Adventurer,” which will attract those looking to discover Flushing’s hidden gems.
“Our campaign seeks to sustain Flushing’s viability as a beacon for economic opportunity, mutual respect and solidarity for those who live and work here,” said GFCC president Taehoon Kim. “By empowering entrepreneurs and using the latest techniques to increase market share, we hope to support our beleaguered business community, which is suffering from escalating rents, targeted enforcement, inadequate infrastructure and competition from national chain stores.”
During the launch of the initiative last week, a video was presented of Helen You, a woman who was born and raised in China and learned to cook from her grandparents. After You moved to Flushing and recognized her love for dumplings, she decided to open her own business. Today, You owns two dumpling businesses—Tianjin Dumpling House and Dumpling Galaxy, which has been featured in several publications and named the best dumpling restaurant in New York City. The video’s aim was to show the personal story of a successful, local business owner in Flushing and tie it to the significance of revitalizing the community.
An online neighborhood portal is set to launch this year that will provide visitor information and itineraries for exploration as well as recommendations for places to visit, eat and stay in Flushing.
“Put simply, the Flushing Neighborhood 360 marketing plan is pure dynamite,” said Rob MacKay, the Queens Tourism Council’s director. “Business and cultural attractions are going to benefit tremendously, but so are tourists and local shoppers. It’s an effort that brings all the wonderful aspects of Flushing together and then helps promote the total package. It’s also a sign that Flushing is a major hub in New York City and the already-bustling neighborhood’s future is shining brightly.”
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org