Did you know? If Queens were an independent city, it would also be the nation's fourth most populous city, after Los Angeles, Chicago, and Brooklyn.
Why start a business in Queens, New York?
Queens has the second-largest and most diversified economy of all the five boroughs of New York City, with evenly spread jobs across the healthcare, retail trade, manufacturing, construction, transportation, film and television production sectors.
Small businesses act as an important part of the borough's economic vitality with two-thirds of all business employing between one to four people. Queens is home to two of the three major NYC area airports, JFK International, LaGuardia.
Modern Queens is one of the more affordable areas to live in New York City. It lacks the hipster scene of Brooklyn but makes up for it with a thriving art scene and an array of inexpensive, ethnically diverse places to eat. The food culture is representative of the borough as Queens is very ethnically diverse. Its many cultures include Jamaicans, Armenians, Asians along with native New Yorkers. Along with cosmopolitan culture, you will also get easy access to Midtown Manhattan via a 20-minute train ride.
In the last thirty years, Queen has witnessed a flood of newcomers from Central and South America, the Caribbean and Asian countries principally China, Korea, Japan, and India. The new arrivals have tended to settle in clusters in particular neighborhoods. Flushing is now predominately Asian; Jackson Heights and Woodside, Hispanic; Corona, Dominican; Elmhurst, Colombian. With Astoria heavily Greek; Forest Hills, Israeli Russian; St. Albans and South Jamaica, African American, Queens has become the most ethnically diverse county in the country.
Need more reasons to open shop at Queens, New York?
Immigrant-owned businesses are not only an important part of New York’s identity but also play a significant role in the city’s economy. While immigrants represent a sizeable portion of New York’s population, they also tend to be more entrepreneurial than nonimmigrants. The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, which tracks monthly business creation, found that nationally, immigrants were nearly twice as likely as nonimmigrants to start businesses nationwide. In New York City, immigrant New Yorkers represent a little over one-third (37 percent) of the city’s population but own almost half (47 percent) of all small businesses.
Now that you can grasp the business opportunities to open a business in Queens, let's know a little bit more about the history of Queens County.
Queens is New York City's easternmost borough with a history going back before its discovery by Europeans. Before the Europeans landed, the area that would come to be known as Queens was home to various native tribes. Among those tribes were the Jameco, Reckowacky and Mespat tribes. The geographic area of Queens offered plenty of sustenance for the Native peoples. The numerous bays and creeks around Queens provided finfish and shellfish while the forest supplied game and migratory fowl. Strawberries, grapes, chestnuts, and walnuts grew in the wild throughout the island.
Some of the places associated with these early inhabitants include Jamaica, named for the Jameco Indians, Rockaway, named after the Reckowacky Indians, and Maspeth, named for the Mespat Indians, who inhabited the headwaters of Newton Creek.
Colonization would be the next stage in the history of Queens. Adrien Block would become the first European to see the area. Block passed through the East River's Hell Gate in 1614 and built a fort on the Hudson. He would also build the New Amsterdam settlement on Manhattan that later became the seat of the colony. Governor Peter Stuyvesant started granting land to Dutchmen in 1637. Lands were also granted to English settlers from New England who swore allegiance to the Dutch government.
Tensions between the Dutch and the English arose, with the Quakers opposing the Dutch governor's laws banning their worship. The result of this uprising was the Flushing Remonstrance in 1657. This petition to the governor is viewed as a precursor to the Bill of Rights’ provision for freedom of religion.
The area would be captured by the English in 1664 and would be renamed to Yorkshire. In 1683, Queens would become a county and get its name in honor of Queen Catherine, wife of King Charles II. At this time, Queens consisted of what are now Queens and Nassau counties.
During the Revolutionary War, Queens would remain under British occupation and played a minor role in the Battle of Long Island. The area would remain agricultural throughout the 1800s. The New York City borough of Queens was formed in 1898. However, towns like North Hempstead and Oyster Bay were not included as a part of the borough but remained as a part of Queens County. Those towns would break off to become Nassau County in 1899.
New transportation routes and the widespread use of automobiles would result in the population of Queens rising to one million by 1930.
Queens was the site of the New York World's Fair in 1939 and in 1964-65. In 1971, the borough became famous across the country and the world as the home of TV’s Archie Bunker. In the 1980s, it would be associated with early hip-hop icons like Run DMC.