by Gary Axelbank and Samuel Allan
April 15, 2019
The energy at the the Bronx Chamber of Commerce Gala held on Thursday, at Marina Del Rey was unmistakble. On paper, the ballroom packed with Bronx businessmen and women were there to honor AAL Construction Services, a woman-owned construction business; Bronx Native, a clothing store and art collective devoted to maintaining the Bronx’s unique artistic voice; Urban Health Plan, a network of community health centers; and Ritecheck, a non-predatory money service. But ultimately it became a celebration of a Bronx business community coalescing under the notion of responsible commerce all in the name of building a better Bronx.
The hopeful uptick in support and enthusiasm for Bronx development and businesses can be at least partially attributed to Lisa Sorin, the dynamic new Bronx Chamber of Commerce president whose approach in just three-months of work has helped fuel a new optimism.
“There are so many great things happening on every corner of the Bronx,” former NYC Commissioner of Small Business Services and current Chamber of Commerce member Rob Walsh told thisistheBronX. “The opportunity is to get people together for a common cause. If the Bronx Chamber of Commerce can be a strong, powerful organization, which I believe it is on the road to becoming, everyone will benefit.”
Kevin Plunkett, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Simone Development sees a bright future for the borough’s economy.
“I think the Bronx is the hottest borough right now,” he said. “There’s a workforce here in the Bronx, there are healthcare networks here in the Bronx and there are educational institutions here in the Bronx. And when you put that all together, it sets a vibrancy for the companies that want to come here, create economic development, and create jobs.”
The event was hosted by WABC-TV newsman Joe Torres and recently elected Public Advocate Jumaane Williams gave the keynote speech.
“The Bronx businesses are coming together as one voice,” said Sorin. “We are proud to be able to host them here.”