We are a city of new beginnings, fresh opportunities, the American dream. In Astoria, small business has long been at the heart of that dream—and our neighborhood character and local economy are founded on it. But in recent years, the cost of doing ‘small business’ in New York City has become too great a burden for many of our independent businesses to bear, and for those in the food and beverage service industry, the obstacles can be staggering. The constant threat of fines. Deep commissions charged by the big ‘apps’. Rents that increase at a drastically faster pace than profits. The list goes on.
We started Astoria Together because we knew that our local food and beverage businesses needed a decisive helping hand—-services, advocacy, and community. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the fragility of our small business economy — but it also accelerated our plan into action.
Months from now, when we are in recovery from this incredibly challenging time, Astoria Together will be much more than it is today. But for now, we are working around the clock to make sure our Astoria businesses have the critical information they need about mandates and business aid, the high-level advocacy they deserve, and the marketing assistance that will ensure our community wraps its arms around these institutions to keep them well into the future. But in our beautiful, diverse, multilingual, global little neighborhood, we can’t do it without the cultural competence of dedicated volunteers. Please join us in this mission of making sure tomorrow’s Astoria is vibrant with the small businesses that support us.
Jaime-Faye Bean and Jonathan Forgash
Founders, Astoria Together