Roy Hastick, the motivational Caribbean immigrant who united storefront businesses and corporations to create the New York’s statewide Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, died Thursday, according to family members.
He was 69.
It was not immediately known how the Grenada-born Hastick, whose influence, clout and mentorship extended beyond the business community, died.
Among the chamber’s key local projects was the Flatbush Caton Market, a Brooklyn incubator space for local entrepreneurs, managed with the city’s Economic Development Corporation.
Just last year, the Flatbush Caton Market and Hastick’s longtime dream to create a Caribbean American Trade and Culture Center merged in the Flatbush Caton Flatsproject.
Construction began in 2019 on the new mixed-use development that will house the Flatbush Caton Market’s new home and a new headquarters for the chamber, now located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
“Dr. Roy Hastick’s smile lit up a room,” Mayor de Blasio tweeted yesterday. “His passion and work for our Caribbean communities and small businesses will be felt for generations to come. Our city has lost a giant and @NYCFirstLady and I have lost a friend.”
New York political figures like State Assembly members Walter Mosley (D-Brooklyn) and Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Brooklyn), State Senator Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn), City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn), City Councilmember Vanessa Gibson were among the hundreds paying tribute to Hastick.
On the late business leader’s legacy, City Councilman Robert Cornegy said: “Helping others reach their dreams is a magnificent gift to give to our community.”
Gregg Bishop, the city’s commissioner of Small Business Services, wrote that he was “heartbroken” over the loss of “a giant in the Caribbean community” and “a mentor and friend.” Bishop, like Hastick, was born in the Caribbean nation of Grenada.
After migrating to the U.S. in 1972, Hastick worked as a community advocate, entrepreneur and newspaper publisher, before starting the chamber in 1985 with 10 members. The Brooklyn-based chamber has grown to a membership of more than 1,800 businesses under Hastick’s leadership.
The chamber helps companies with counseling, job development, financial literacy courses, and offers prep courses to be certified as a minority and women-owned business.
The Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also been credited with introducing businesses to city, state and federal resources, and strongly advocating “two-way trade between the United States and the Caribbean region,” according to a chamber statement.
“As president and CEO of CACCI, Hastick is credited for his tireless efforts, which has resulted in the development of a structure that serves the small business community and fosters a climate of unity and harmony among diverse cultures,” the statement read.
“Dr. Hastick has given his ALL for the Caribbean community, may he rest in peace,” CACCI Board Chairman Edmund Sadio said.