Businesspeople from across the borough got together last week to celebrate a year of rebirth at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Winter Gala and Annual Meeting.
Held on Dec. 15 at the El Caribe Country Club in Mill Basin, this year’s gala was attended by over 550 people representing each and every neighborhood in Kings County.
Chamber President and CEO Randy Peers delivered the evening’s annual President’s Report, in which he boasted Brooklyn’s post-pandemic recovery — and looked ahead to an even bigger and better 2023.
“We are focused on a recovery and a return to normalcy in the coming year,” Peers said during the Dec. 15 event, hosted by the borough’s business-boosting arm. “Several factors are still impacting the success of businesses in the borough, including rent arrears, a soft labor market, supply chain issues and crime and public safety. In 2023, we are restarting the Real Estate and Development Committees, bringing back the Building Brooklyn Awards, launching the Brooklyn Entrepreneurs Academy for [Black, Indigenous, and people of color] businesses and leading foreign trade missions.”
Peers also used his platform to remind guests about the Chamber’s latest initiative — the “Brooklyn Made” holiday pop-up, featuring goods from more than 45 local vendors. The pop-up is open Thursday through Sunday, until the end of the year, at Industry City.
Other speakers included Hope Knight, commissioner and CEO of the New York State Development Corporation; Ingrid Lewis Martin, chief advisor to the mayor; and Margaret Anadu, senior partner at The Vistria Group.
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Peers was also presented with a special recognition by Misha Migda, president of the Ukrainian American Chamber of Commerce, for his work aiding Ukrainian relief efforts and supporting Ukrainian small business owners in Brooklyn throughout 2022.
Ahead of the event, a trade expo took place, featuring an array of vendors, including Fiserv/Clover, Investors Bank, Industry City, Meta/Facebook, National Grid, Con Edison, Spectrum, Mirimus, One Brooklyn Health, Nine Muses Travel, Mercedes Benz/RR BK, Medrite, Brooklyn Chamber, Per Scholas, Fort Hamilton Distillery, Schneps Media, Green Wave, Brooklyn Cyclones, Michael Butler 3D screens, MAC NY, SUN Brooklyn, Lishawn’s Cupcakes, Prudential, and The ICA Group.
The event served not only as an opportunity to celebrate the successes of the borough, but also as a means to recognize the difficulties and hardships that Brooklyn has faced in its ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Brooklyn is leading the city’s economic recovery and job growth, and the borough is an engine of economic prosperity. But, the recovery hasn’t been easy. The Chamber continues to be an unparalleled partner as they act as a resource for small business owners struggling with rent and labor market issues,” Lewis-Martin said. “Our administration is proud to partner with the Chamber to uplift small business owners here, as we spearhead a just and equitable economic recovery for every borough across the city.”