On Thursday, April 2 the Economic Development Committee for Community Board 10 held its first meeting.
Longtime Throggs Neck business owner and philanthropist Jim McQuade was elected chairman. The group quickly got down to business by coming up with ways to join the commercial interests of CB 10 with its various civic organizations.
Some of the major concerns of the committee are harnessing the purchasing power of the community together, and creating jobs and attracting business from outside of the area.
“We are here for the economic development of our whole board,” McQuade said. “By forming this committee, we can bring the merchants and community together. We will merge the community, civic, and business groups together. We will list the resources available for merchants and serve as a liaison between the merchants and other agencies.”
Bernadette Nation, the director of the business outreach team for the New York City Department of Small Services addressed the first meeting. Nation spoke of the need for business’ preparation for disasters. These included natural disasters like hurricanes and tornados, and business-ending disasters such as fire.
Michael Nixon from the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation also addressed the group of merchants and community board members and pledged support for the committee.
Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns said that he was excited about the board harnessing the forces of government to help merchants. He believes that the board can be of assistance in variety of different ways.
“In creating this committee, we wanted to bring together the resources government has to offer the merchants,” Kearns said at the meeting.
Kearns said that the community board could provide much assistance. This would include serving as bully pulpit, referral service, or a meeting place at the board office.
Kearns also said that he was glad the committee members elected Jim McQuade chairman. McQuade is the longtime owner of Schyler Hill Funeral Home at 3535 E. Tremont Avenue.
“Jim McQuade is an historic figure in the neighborhood in providing grant funds long before other businesses [made those funds available],” Kearns said.
McQuade said that he was interested in keeping all of the merchants actively engaged in the committee.
“Tobe chairman for one year, and have one-year terms so everyone could get a chance to lead, that would be fine,” McQuade said.