Three cheers for the new head of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce!
Randy Peers will take the reigns of the chamber on Sept. 9, bringing along decades of experience as he helms the business advocacy organization.
“Successful chambers do three things well on behalf of our businesses — promotion, support, and advocacy,” he said. “We really need to make sure that we’re present, working on behalf of the business community in Brooklyn.”
Peers’ ascendancy as the top small business booster in the borough marks a homecoming for the native Brooklynite, who previously served as the chamber’s vice president for economic development and chaired the local Community Board Seven before heading out of town for two-year stint as an economic guru in Berks County, Pa.
“Brooklyn’s in my heart. I’m happy to be coming back,” said Peers. “I learned some new things while I was gone, and hopefully I’m bringing back some creative ideas.”
Peers is hoping to use his wealth of experience to build the chamber into a heavy-weight powerhouse influencing the future direction of the borough.
“The Brooklyn Chamber has always had a wealth of technical assistance programs to help small businesses — whether on financing, marketing, or on business planning,” he said. “Where the chamber needs to do some work, though, is getting back at the table and really be involved in the high-level discussions about economic development… That’s the job of the chamber president.”
Peers is fortunate enough to take the reigns during a time of economic growth, he said, praising two industries he sees as the drivers of Brooklyn’s recent economic success.
“Tech and real estate are our highest growth industries. Those have been big drivers of the transformation in Brooklyn over the last couple of decades,” he said. “I want to make sure that we are doing well to support those two growing industries.”
If the chamber can grow large enough, Peers believes they can be successful advocates for small businesses which face similar hurdles across the borough’s vibrant industrial sectors.
“A lot of those issues have to do with regulation, or interacting with government agencies. And, a lot of it has to do with the high costs of doing business in New York,” he said. “It’s our job to leverage our influence and try and solve some of those challenges.”
Peers replaces Samara Karasyk, who has served as interim president of the Chamber since June.
Standing O! congratulates Randy Peers on the new role, and wishes him luck in the future!