We are an independent, self-governing, local organization, founded in 1947, dedicated to promote and advocate for the well being of local small businesses, professionals, and organizations to enhance and preserve the professional, ethical, cultural and cultural climate that makes this area a wonderful place to live and work.
The longstanding slogan of Sunnyside Chamber, “Small Town in the Big City,” expresses well the friendly culture we strive to keep where businesses can thrive and grow and families and singles can appreciate the proximity of the big city, but live or work in our shared small town.
The Chamber holds four business card exchanges a year in locations aiming to get more traffic over their thresholds, with wine supplied by Lowery Liquors, a neighborhood business since 1937. There are monthly Showcase Luncheons the public is invited for a reasonable lunch and interesting speaker. Coming speakers include social networking, web design, history slide show, and marketing for dummies!
At all all functions, you are encouraged to bring your organization’s card and promote! Come network, meet local people, make friends, and be a part of your “small town in the big city!”
The Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce was organized when Sunnyside was an area with open fields, and where weeds and wild flowers grew beneath the elevated train tracks. Bob Hoffman, Manager of Manufacturers Hanover Bank, was the Chamber’s first president and one of its main organizers.
May 18, 1949 – Borough President James A. Burke heads the notables at the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce Dinner. Rear, L-R: Joseph Sabba, Managing Editor of the Woodside Herald, Co-Chairman; “Bill” Erdey, VP; Edward J. Riley, Secretary; Louis Lodati, VP and and Co-Chairman (Lodati’s son Anthony still runs Lowery Liquors today); Stephen Sipos, Co-Chairman. Front from left to right, Joseph M. Busch; James A. Lundy, former President of the Queens Chamber, Commissioner John M. Christensen, Dinner Chairman; Honorable James A. Burke, Borough President of Queens, and “Bob” Hoffman, President.
Bob Hoffman later appeared in newspapers throughout the United States an unwilling accomplice to a bank heist at Manufacturers Trust Company, lead by the notorious bank robber Willie “The Actor” Sutton in March of 1950. Sutton and his corroborators got away with $63,933.09.
SUNNYSIDE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TODAY
Guided by its voluntary Board of Directors and Members alike, the Chamber believes there is a direct correlation between a healthy community and thriving local businesses. By providing resources to the local small business and a forum for all, we promote an increase in business, friendship, safety, historical preservation, and overall quality of life in our neighborhood.
Encouraging patronage of Sunnyside businesses keeps this neighborhood the welcoming, vibrant community that it is, and the Chamber continues to be an organization built around assisting and helping local business and professionals.
For members and non-members alike, the Chamber hosts a monthly networking luncheon, every fourth Wednesday of the month, at 12:30pm at a different restaurant for ten months a year (check event calendar for location) to showcase the best food in New York City! All are welcome to attend the multi-course event, generally for a prix fixe of $22, which includes tax and gratuities. Recently, we had had excellent Irish fare at the Copper Kettle, Japanese at Ariyoshi, Indian at Saffron Garden, Romanian at Bucharest, and Peruvian at I Love Paraguay.
The key advantage to the Chamber of Commerce is that membership is inexpensive and open to all, no matter where your organization is located. We are able to speak independently on matters of concern, and we meet at least monthly to network and get to know each other.
To be added to the Chamber mailing list and receive notices of luncheons and exchanges, email SunnysideChamberofCommerce@gmail.com or come to a lunch and see for yourself! Anyone can become a member of the chamber, businesses, organizations, and residents. Corporate membership is $250, Full regular membership $125 per year. Individual non-voting memberships are $25. Corporate and regular memberships able to run, hold and vote for office and in all matters before the general membership.
The accomplishments of the Chamber include the Sunnyside Post Office, the formation of Sunnyside Shines Business Development District or BID, parking under the elevated, public parks, sidewalk cafe Skillman rezoning, cleaner air statutes, holiday light on Queens Boulevard, Greenpoint and Skillman Avenues, and hundreds of achievements taken for granted locally. Come join the Chamber and work on your vision with the help of Sunnyside and Woodside’s best and brightest!