Latest Chamber Business After Hours Kicks Off the Summer – Sponsored by Empire State Bank

The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce kicked off the first day of summer with its latest Business After Hours networking mixer Thursday at Flagship Brewery in St. George.
The friendly event was sponsored by Empire State Bank ( and allowed them to present the group with more information about the bank’s services. 
“We’ve been Chamber members for about 8-9 years. We’ve been fully supportive and the Chamber fits our business model at the bank,” said Empire State Bank Chief Executive Officer Philip Guarnieri. “Our main primary focus is small businesses and that’s what the Chamber caters to.
“We handle transactions from business accounts to small business lending to real estate to SBA loans. We think we need to be part of the business community and the Chamber is the key anchor to that,” said Guarnieri, who informed the crowd about Empire State Bank’s upcoming expansion of two new locations (1698 Victory Blvd. and Brooklyn).   
The CEO – along with several attendees – said they were making their first visit to Flagship Brewery (, which served as a perfect example of how the Chamber gives exposure while linking new and existing businesses.
“We recently joined the Chamber of Commerce and we’re very excited to host the group (Thursday night) and show them what we’ve done in our first four years of business and show them our plans for the future,” said Flagship co-founder Matt McGinley. 
“We’ve grown a lot in our first four years and we are planning some expansion in the near future,” he continued. “We want to continue to grow on Staten Island and focus on being a very productive small business on Staten Island and contribute to the community. Really, we’re just about producing a product Staten Islanders can be proud of.”
As a new member, Pepper Jack Grill ( had a chance to showcase its menu to the membership by providing the food for the evening.
“It’s nice that they called and immediately used a new member. I just want to thank the Chamber for giving us the opportunity,” said owner Melissa O’Connell.
Make sure to mark your calendars for the next Business After Hours on Sept. 20 (rain date Sept. 27) at Staten Island FunPark. 

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