Milestone with a difference

New CACCI Headquarters in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Photo by Lin-Jay Harry-Voglezon
Photo by Lin-Jay Harry-Voglezon

During the evening of Aug. 22, 2013, the Brooklyn Borough Hall would be occupied with activities marking the 28th anniversary of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., which was founded by its President and CEO, Dr. Roy A. Hastick (snr.). The scheduled membership and business networking celebration will be hosted by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Deputy Borough President Sandra Chapman and NYC Councilmember Mathieu Eugene.

City Council Speaker and Mayoral Candidate, Christine Quinn, is scheduled to announce additional funding from the NY City Council for the rehabilitation of the Erasmus Hall Academy, a landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places, which CACCI is converting into its headquarters and the Caribbean American Trade and Culture Center. This means that for the first time, the people of the Caribbean would be having a properly established center in the U.S. for Caribbean trade and business networking. Erasmus was founded in 1786 as a private institution of higher learning and named after Desiderius Erasmus, a Dutch Renaissance humanist, scholar, and Catholic Christian theologian. It was the first secondary school chartered by the New York State Regents and came under the public school system in 1896. But the building, which for some time had only been used as “a museum exhibiting the school’s long and colorful history” has for more than 10 years been closed and unused.

CACCI and major partners will declare their partnership and joint ventures aimed at making the project successful, in addition to promoting small business services, creating jobs and skills development programs for the community.

Dr. Hastick acknowledges that CACCI would have failed without the support of the “board of directors, elected officials, CACCI members and partners, other supporters and well-wishers” over the years. Specifically he identified, “The Mayor of the City of New York Michael Bloomberg; Chancellor Dennis Walcott; Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz; the NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Councilmember Mathieu Eugene and other members of the NYC Council Brooklyn delegation; Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke; NYS Senators Hon. John Sampson, Hon. Kevin Parker and Hon. Eric Adams; NYS Assembly members Hon. Nick Perry, Hon. Karim Camara, Hon. Helen Weinstein, and Hon. Annette Robinson.”

CACCI’s record includes facilitating more than 700 business development networking seminars and meetings, which attracted thousands of entrepreneurs, in collaboration with the NYC Department Business Services (DSBS) provides access to small business financing and other resources, job development, financial literacy, and MWBE Certification preparation. Over the recent nine years, CACCI is the managing agent for the Flatbush Caton Market, a 9,000 sq. ft. indoor micro enterprise business space with more than 40 vendors who market a variety of Caribbean and African products and services. A weekly Farmers Market is housed in the Court Yard.

“Throughout the years, CACCI has engaged an array of distinguished speakers and resource persons from the public and private sectors, and in partnership with Service Corps of Retired Business Executive (SCORE), CACCI provides weekly free small business counseling services to CACCI members and the small business community. CACCI’s international contributions include: trade and investment missions to the Caribbean, hosting numerous Caribbean heads of state on their visits to New York, and mobilizing many emergency disaster relief efforts,” said Hastick

Over the years, the organization has been recognized and applauded for its record of service, and CACCI’s president has received countless awards and citations for his unwavering commitment and service to small businesses, and for his efforts to address intractable economic disparity issues while promoting unity among diverse ethnic and cultural groups in New York and in the Caribbean Diaspora.

For further information on the 28th Anniversary Membership Business Networking Celebration, CACCI membership, small business services, vending opportunities at the Flatbush Caton Market, or to request an appointment for small business confidential counseling services contact CACCI: Tel.: (718) 834-4544 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (718) 834-4544 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting. E-mail: [email protected]com.

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