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Flushing biz district marks 5 model years

The Flushing Business Improvement District celebrated its fifth year of existence last Thursday a half decade after New York City Small Business Commissioner Rob Walsh told its members the group served as a model for similar groups citywide.

Walsh was the event's keynote speaker, at which the BID also held its annual elections. Walsh, appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2002, certified the Flushing BID the next year and said he clearly recalls the moment the business collective was going to become a reality.

"It was the first time I met [City Councilman] John Liu [D-Flushing]. We were on the steps of City Hall and he walked right up to me and said, 'You're the guy I need to talk to about creating a Business Improvement District in Flushing,' " Walsh said.

Walsh said when he returned to Flushing's Main Street last week, the difference was clear.

"We walked a number of the streets and I was just amazed," he said. "So I came out to say thank you."

Liu said the BID has taken long strides in making Flushing a more habitable and viable place for business by constantly cleaning the streets, marketing the area and adding subtle improvements like new street lamps and benches. Flushing BID Chairman Jim Gerson said the BID is proud of its work.

"In its fifth year of service, the BID has accomplished much and continues to charge forward to promote Flushing," Gerson said. "We are excited to make further improvements to the district in the coming year."

BID members also voted in a new board of directors at the meeting. Louis Chang of Tai Pan Bakery, Raymond Chen of Maxin Bakery, Timothy Chuang of New York Tong Ren Tang Inc., James Eng of Macy's, Frank Fan of Flushing Roosevelt Associates, Fred Fu of Park Regent Condo, James D. Gerson of Gerson Properties, Peter Koo of Starside Pharmacy, Anita Lai of Jessica Holding Inc., Tina Lee of Cooper Investors Inc., Stan Markowitz of Muss Development and Michael Meyer of F&T Group were all elected as voting members of the board of directors.

Additionally, in accordance with city law, Bloomberg, City Comptroller William Thompson, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Liu will also serve on the board.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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