“We need to create an economic master plan for the borough of Queens” Katz said.
Two major issues in Queens are jobs and transportation, she said. In today’s tough economy, small businesses need help and she assured everyone that her staff will be there to assist anyone that has questions. Additionally, large companies should want to be in Queens and hire Queens residents as well, she said.
Katz announced the creation of an Economic Advisory Council and introduced her staff, which includes former Councilman Leroy Comrie and Jay Bond, who was Katz’s policy advisor during her City Council tenure.
“We need to make sure that we have a small business community that thrives,” she said.
Transportation is a major issue throughout the borough, Katz said. She called for a permanent ferry service in and out of the Rockaways, and noted the lack of buses in Douglaston and Bayside and the overcrowded subways in Jamaica and Flushing, which both cause many people to get to work late.
And tourists that visit Manhattan should know there is much more to New York City.
“You haven’t seen the city until you’ve seen the 160 ethnic-style restaurants that we have in our borough,” she said. “The diversity that we have is a gem and it needs to be polished.”
Michael Butler, president of the Richmond Hill East Business Persons, supports Katz and the businesses in Queens, but questioned the economic state of the borough. Continuing to limit parking and installing more meters does not benefit the people, he said.
“Nobody is coming to me and asking what can I do for you,” Butler said. “We need to take care of people that are in Queens first.”