Roslyn resident Fenella Kim said she got the idea about 10 years ago to start a company that would allow Asian-American business owners to accept credit cards, after finding out that the immigrant community faced a language barrier in accepting payment in forms other than cash,
“I saw that there was a gap in the Asian communities where Asian-American business owners were just accepting cash,” she said. “I found that these small ma and pa businesses were doing this because they didn’t understand how credit-card serving works because their English was limited.”
That’s when Kim founded and became the president of Reliance Star Payment Services, a credit-card processing company that works with immigrant business owners to accept credit cards in their stores
The business has been growing in size and reputation since its inception, Kim said.
Kim said that with the growth of her company over the past 10 years, she had to find a way to expand her offices and her workforce.
She said that’s what brought her to Great Neck where the company’s new headquarters are located at 475 Northern Blvd.
“Great Neck is a central location where we’re looking to grow our team,” Kim said. “People from Long Island can come to it and the people from Queens and the [Manhattan] can also come.”
The company, which was previously located in Bayside, officially opened their new headquarters on Tuesday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony that was attended by state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), Nassau County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum (D-Great Neck), Great Neck Chamber of Commerce President Hooshang Nematzadeh, Great Neck Chamber of Commerce First Vice-President Dennis Grossman and Nassau County Director of Business Development Nicholas Terzulli.
“We just wanted to share our story and our success as a woman and minority owned business,” Kim said of Tuesday’s ceremonies.
Kim said her company will create 40 jobs in Nassau County, in addition to the 20 employees moving from its Bayside office.
“We’re giving back and supporting local communities,” she said.
On Tuesday, local officials were given the opportunity to tour the company’s new facilities, which includes two 600-square-foot showrooms where employees can give product demonstrations and training sessions to businesses using Reliance’s services.
Martins and Birnbaum both thanked Kim for relocating to Great Neck.
“Anybody can open up a business anywhere,” Martins said. “But I thank you for relocating to Great Neck.”
In addition to celebrating the grand opening of the new office, Reliance celebrated its 10th anniversary.
“We’re proud to share our progress,” said John Kim, Fenella Kim’s husband.
The company on Tuesday also donated $1,000 to the Ronald McDonald House charity, a New Hyde Park-based not-for-profit that seeks to provide a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children undergoing critical medical treatment in area hospitals.
“We’re looking forward to having a strong relationship with Ronald McDonald House,” Fenella Kim said.