“All the reasons that Amazon chose to come to Queens still exist,” Grech said. “Now it is just a matter of making sure the rest of the world knows.”
The council will meet regularly to discuss marketing plans and other initiatives, such as skills training, to bring more technology companies to the borough, he said.
A newly launched website, relocatetoqueens.org, highlights the borough’s diverse, well-educated population, cheaper office costs than Manhattan and tax credits available for creating jobs.
As of 2018, the year Amazon selected Long Island City for part of its expansion plans, Queens had 148 startup companies, compared with 12,000 in Manhattan and 1,200 in Brooklyn, according to an analysis by the Center for an Urban Future.
The attention from Amazon helped put Queens on the map for technology companies, but Grech said there are still hurdles to building a hub for the industry. Finding early investment can be hard, for one.
“Manhattan is a few miles away but can feel like 100 miles away if you are a startup in Queens in need of basic seed capital,” he said.
According to Grech, the Chamber of Commerce is considering how to launch a Queens-focused angel investment group, as well as a new incubator for young companies. The borough is already home to a technology incubator at Queens College and an annual startup competition run by the Queens Economic Development Corp.
Amazon has steadily expanded its presence in Queens through warehouses and distribution facilities, most recently leasing a 20,000-square-foot industrial space for a delivery station in Long Island City. Facebook and Google have contained their offices to Manhattan to this point.
In a statement released by the chamber, Carley Graham Garcia, head of external affairs for Amazon in New York, said the council “provides a tremendous opportunity for us to help ensure the borough benefits fully and equitably from economic growth and digital innovation.”
Representatives from Cornell Tech, technology training program Pursuit, the Long Island City Partnership and telecom installer Crowne Castle are expected to serve on the technology council.
Website of source
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