6 SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Small businesses in Queens deal with new hurdles
BY ANGÉLICA ACEVEDO
Small business owners in Queens
either spent Wednesday night, Sept.
1, navigating rapidly fl ooding basements
or woke up Thursday morning,
Sept. 2, to calls of devastating damage to
their shops, as remnants of Hurricane
Ida brought unprecedented and deadly
rainfall to New York City.
The storm — which brought a recordsetting
7.13 inches of rain in the city on
Wednesday, according to the National
Weather Service — left at least 10 people
dead in Queens, nine of whom were
stranded in basements, according to
authorities. While streets and subways
fl ooded, businesses and their owners also
suff ered the brunt of the damage.
Lois Christie, owner of Christie & Co.
Salon in Bay Terrace, said she woke up
at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday to calls from
the cleaning crew, alerting her that her
marble-fl oored salon was fl ooded and
covered in mud.
Christie said that while there were
loose cars fl oating along the large Bay Terrace
Shopping Center’s parking lot, she
was disheartened by what she said was
a lack of communication and assistance
from her landlord.
“We’ve never had a fl ood, not this kind,
in years,” Christie said. “I haven’t seen one
police offi cer or anybody else come. It’s
Christie acted fast to cancel hundreds
of appointments as they cleaned the large
space equipped with hair, nail and spa
services, but managed to open by noon
with services cut at 30 percent. Their
computers and phone lines were down
until the early aft ernoon.
Christie said it’ll take several hundreds
of thousands of dollars to fully fi x the
space, but it will take several days to assess
the full scope of the damage, she said.
“To walk in and see this is heartbreaking.
We’re all still trying to regroup from
COVID and now this,” Christie said. “The
impact of this to small businesses is going
to be catastrophic and expensive.”
Queens Chamber of Commerce President
Tom Grech said Queens businesses
“need our help and support” aft er more
than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic. He
encouraged business owners to report
storm damages using the Damage Assessment
Tool provided by NYC Emergency
“We appreciate the eff orts of our elected
officials, including Governor Hochul,
Mayor de Blasio, Borough President
Richards, Congress member Meeks
and the team at New York City’s Department
of Small Business Services, who
immediately sprang into action to help
families, communities and businesses
in Queens and throughout New York
recover,” Grech said. “We encourage all
Queens-based businesses with questions
or concerns to reach out to the chamber.
We are here to assist you.”
Residents and business owners reported
major fl ooding and cars left stranded
Christie and Co. Salon, located at 2364 Bell Blvd., was fl ooded with stormwater following remnants of
Hurricane Ida. Photo courtesy of Lois Christie
on the highway in northeastern Queens,
as well as the western end of the borough.
In Ridgewood, the roof of a cleaners
business collapsed Wednesday night, but
no one was injured, according to reports.
Just a street away on Myrtle Avenue,
chef Kevin Lenis, owner of Cantina 33,
was thankful that his fairly new restaurant
fared just fi ne, as did his nearby
“We didn’t get any fl ooding at all,” Lenis
The same couldn’t be said in Sunnyside,
where dozens of businesses reported
basement fl ooding and other damages.
Jamie-Faye Bean, executive director
of Sunnyside Shines BID, said she heard
from multiple business owners from
Skillman Avenue to 48th Avenue who’ve
sustained serious damage aft er the storm,
particularly involving sewer backup.
“It’s a long, systemic issue in the neighborhood,”
said Bean, who’s advising businesses
on how to fi le insurance claims and
conduct proper cleanups.
Bean added that some business owners
say they haven’t seen damage on this scale
“Some merchants have said this is
worse than Sandy, in terms of western
Queens,” Bean said.
Cynthia Iglesias, who owns La Adelita
on Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside with
her mother, Maria, was still trying to
mitigate the devastating disruption the
storm caused as of Thursday aft ernoon.
Their restaurant’s basement fl ooded
with sewer water Wednesday night as
Christie and Co. Salon was fl ooded with stormwater following remnants
of Hurricane Ida. Photo courtesy of Lois Christie