Peter Koo

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Peter Koo is a New York Republican politician.

Advisory Council

In January 208 Peter Koo served on the Advisory Council of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce.

Flushing Business Retention Loan Program

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In June 2011, Renaissance launched the Downtown Flushing Business Retention Loan Program to provide financial assistance to small businesses impacted by the planned mixed use development of a Downtown Flushing, Queens municipal parking lot. The program provides small business loans of up to $50,000 at an interest rate of 3% for terms of up to 5 years.

Since launching the program, Renaissance has made ten loans for over $270,000, with additional applications pending.

To spread the good news about this program to the community, Renaissance hosted a press conference to launch the program, which was attended by various Korean, Chinese, and English media and by representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Ronald Goldstein and Man-Li Kuo Lin, as well as Grace Ku of New York State Assembly Member Grace Meng’s office. Also in attendance were City Council Member Peter Koo, and Christopher Kui and Kevin Kong, Renaissance’s Chair and Managing Director, respectively, as well as Richard Lee from Asian Americans for Equality.[1]

Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce

In 2014 John Choe was named executive director of the newly formed Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. Two years in the making, "the chamber will serve as a resource for economic guidance and technical assistance for small businesses in Flushing".

The chamber was formally announced at a launch event on Dec. 11 at Flushing Town Hall. Area politicians and community leaders attended and recruited small business owners in the area.

Choe's One Flushing was expected to continue to work with the new chamber.

The previous chamber of commerce closed in 2012. Choe and his associates have spent the past two years organizing, admittedly longer than he expected. But he’s optimistic and excited about the new chamber.

Choe said that most chambers merely serve as networking tools for businesses, but the new Flushing one will offer tech support and other services.

Choe named Peter Tu from the Flushing Chinese Business Association, Ikhwam Rim from the Union Street Small Business Association, Executive Director of Asian Americans for Equality Christopher Kui, and Managing Principal at Gerson Properties LLC Simon Gerson as other major players.

According to Choe, several officials including Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing), Assemblymembers Ron Kim (D-Flushing) and Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) and Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) are backing the chamber of commerce. [2]

Asian American Federation

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As part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Asian American Federation hosted a citywide Asian Pacific American policy roundtable at the Queens Public Library in Flushing on May 30 2014. The discussion highlighted ways Asian-Pacific Americans could leverage their purchasing power to educate and influence corporations and discussed programs that work with entrepreneurs to launch new businesses, the challenges of owning a small business and what elected leaders can do to help small businesses overcome economic downturns in order to flourish and thrive.

The panel began with a welcome by Jo-Ann Yoo, the federation's interim executive director, and keynote remarks by Chinese-American US Congresswoman Grace Meng. New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim and Chinese-American New York City council member Peter Koo also addressed the audience.

The Panelists were Betty Lo, vice-president of community alliances and consumer engagement at Nielson; John Choe, One Flushing director and founder; Agha Muhammad Saleh,founder of the Asian American Merchants and Neighborhood Alliance; and moderator Howard Shih of the Asian American Federation.

"Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders continue to enrich our nation and make tremendous contributions to virtually every facet of our society. But as we celebrate the accomplishments, we must also address the ongoing needs and concerns of the AAPI community," Meng said.

By improving education, immigration reform, assisting small businesses, providing opportunities for economic success and tackling quality of life matters and other important issues, the Asian American and Pacific Islander community can be further strengthened, Meng said.

Council member Koo echoed similar ideas. "We need to put our buying power to use to ensure that those who wish to succeed commercially in our community do so by being respectful to our culture and our linguistic diversity," he said.

Koo described his personal experiences coming to America. "Forty years ago I came to the US to study pharmacy," said Koo. "I went to the pharmacy and said 'Where are our people?' "

Koo also expressed the need for Asian Americans to have equal entitlement in education, work, and business. One-sixth of Asian Americans live below the poverty line, he said. "Just because we are doctors, lawyers, engineers they think we are model citizens and don't need the help of the government, but we share the same burden of disease and poverty," he said.

Choe said up to 30 percent of Asian Americans who live in Queens are poor and suffer from lack of housing and food. "Stereotypes and perceptions portrayed on TV of Asians are not accurate," he said. "We have to get new information out." Ten percent of Asian Americans are jobless and Flushing has one of the greatest concentrations of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese businessmen, according to Choe . "We need to provide services to help them become even more confident business owners and be able to express themselves linguistically," said Choe, stressing that One Flushing was ready to help develop better narratives for Asian Americans to the American public.

Choe also talked about how Queens is currently celebrating the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the World's Fair in Queens, but in the commemoration there was no mention of Asian Americans. "We need to better brand and package our community," said Choe.

Assemblyman Ed Bronstein also talked about passing the dream act as a way to help Asian Americans.[3]

World Journal

Grace Meng December 12, 2015:

Celebrating 40th anniversary of World Journal newspaper at the publication's gala in Flushing. Also attending: State Senators Toby Stavisky and Marty Golden, Councilman Peter Koo, and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz.

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A 2001 report on Chinese media censorship by the Jamestown Foundation cited the World Journal as one of four major overseas Chinese newspapers directly or indirectly controlled by Beijing.

"The dominant Chinese media vehicle in America is the newspaper," wrote the report's lead author Mei Duzhe. "Four major Chinese newspapers are found in the U.S.—World Journal, Sing Tao Daily, Ming Pao Daily News, and The China Press. Of these four, three are either directly or indirectly controlled by the government of Mainland China, while the fourth (run out of Taiwan) has recently begun bowing to pressure from the Beijing government."

The report outlined World Journal's efforts to develop business ties with Mainland China by self-censoring their own content. For example, Chinese Consulates in both New York and San Francisco have pressured World Journal's local offices to not publish ads related to Falun Gong–a meditation practice persecuted in China. The New York office acquiesced in full and did not publish the ads, while the San Francisco office kowtowed in part by burying the ads among the paper's least viewed pages, the report said.

“A New Beginning”

According to CEO John Choe — Community leaders announced that, “A New Beginning,” the first anniversary celebration of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce will take place Thursday, October 29 2015, 6–9pm, at historic Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing NY 11354.

The Chamber’s anniversary celebration is led by an honorary host committee of community leaders, including Borough President Melinda Katz, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Assemblyman Ron Kim, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, Councilman Peter Koo, the Reverend Richard McEachern, Simon Gerson, Christopher Kui, Don Capalbi, Mike Cheng, Taehoon Kim, Ellen Kodadek, Michael Lam, Alfred Rankins, Maureen Regan, Leo Zhang, Al Harris, Perka Chan, Carmen M. Colon, Alice Lee, Edna Rutledge, Haide Chen, Alfonso Quiroz, Regina Im, Lloyd Cambridge, and John Choe.

The Flushing Chamber is a multicultural membership association of entrepreneurs, business owners, and civic leaders representing the most diverse community in New York.

"We've had an amazing year of community service and invite you to come celebrate our achievements as well as honor those who have provided leadership in bringing us together," stated Simon Gerson, President of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. "A united community is the only way we can fulfill our potential as the center of small business growth in New York. With thousands of entrepreneurs from around the world, we are the new face of America."

The Flushing Chamber represents the fastest growing and most dynamic business community in the United States. Attracting firms from around the world – two dozen languages are spoken here – we are already an international trade hub and the fourth largest commercial district in New York. As the center of small business activity in the metropolitan region – 90% of our 6,000 firms have less than 10 workers – we are also the new face of American entrepreneurship.

The Chamber will be honoring: Dr. Felix V. Matos Rodriguez of Queens College, Phil Andrews of the African American Chamber, James Chen of FlushingFood.com, and Dr. Uma Mysorekar of the Hindu Temple Society of North America. The keynote speaker will be Comptroller Scott Stringer, New York City’s Chief Financial Officer.[4]

$1.55 million initiative

Asian Americans for Equality kicked off a new $1.55 million initiative March 31, 2017 to support small businesses in Flushing, Queens. The project is being made possible through a Neighborhood 360° grant from New York City’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS). AAFE is the coordinating organization, partnering with the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce (GFCC) and the Flushing Business Improvement District (Flushing BID)

As part of this important initiative, AAFE also announced the formation of a local steering committee made up of community leaders, businesses, local stakeholders, cultural institutions and city agencies. Its purpose if to develop a plan for promoting and supporting Flushing’s vibrant business and cultural community.

AAFE Executive Director Christopher Kui said, “Local small businesses have transformed Flushing into a vibrant economic hub for New York City, providing a retail economy of well over a billion dollars a year. Now is the time to re-invest in Flushing and support the small business owners that have worked so hard to get us here. I’m excited to work with our neighborhood partners—the Chamber and the BID—and SBS to give businesses the necessary tools to succeed and thrive in this exciting new time for Flushing.”

“We are grateful to the Department of Small Business Services for investing in our community,” said Simon Gerson, President of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce.

Dian Yu, executive director of the Flushing Business Improvement District said, “The Flushing BID is a nonprofit that works for the small businesses within the Downtown Flushing area, and we truly understand our immigrant community’s needs. We believe that the Neighborhood 360° grant will have the ability to make a direct impact on small businesses’ bottom line.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng said, “It is essential that we do all we can to help small businesses grow and thrive, and this ambitious initiative will go a long way towards promoting the many vibrant businesses in Flushing. As the daughter of small business owners, I know firsthand the important role that small businesses play in driving our economy, and this plan will help ensure that Flushing entrepreneurs have the help and support they need to succeed.”

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said, “A program like the Neighborhood 360º Program is important – it will support the local area and help it keep pace with the many new developments and investments that are growing up around us. Special thanks to Asian American for Equality, Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, Flushing Business Improvement District and NYC Small Business Services for working to strengthen and revitalize the community through the infusion of $1.55 million and the implementation of this program.”

Councilmember Peter Koo said, “The small business community in downtown Flushing is what first put our community on the map, so we must be sure to protect and serve their best interests. [5]

References