Celebrating Long Island Businesses and Embracing Opportunities

One of HIA-LI’s primary missions, as most of you know, is to advocate for the growth and sustainability of the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IHP), formerly the Hauppauge Industrial Park.

With the Park in mind, I’m pleased to share this upbeat progress report.

Some context: The Park’s enormous economic potential

The HIA-LI cooperated with the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency, the Regional Plan Association, Stony Brook University, and the Town of Smithtown to produce a 160-page “Economic Impact Study and Opportunity Analysis” that reported on the Park’s remarkable magnitude and impact and set forth a vision for further growth.

With 1,300 companies employing 55,000 people, LI-IPH is, amazingly, America’s second-largest industrial park. Delivering $4 billion in annual payroll and $14 billion in overall economic output, the Park accounts for one in twenty Long Island jobs.

58 percent of park tenants fall into the essential “tradeable” category: their exports and services bring new net dollars into the region. This figure contrasts with only 23 percent Island-wide and 36 percent nationally. LI-IPH’s wisest strategy is to help nurture and build out these competitive tradeable industries.

HIA-LI is advancing strategies for attracting the necessary facilities, amenities, talent pool, and knowledge base for further firm clustering – and we’re working to elevate the Park’s brand as Long Island’s premier hub for growing businesses.

Sign up for upcoming virtual events

To help shine a spotlight on the businesses at the LI-IPH, HIA-LI is hosting several virtual events. During these difficult times, we’ve waived attendance fees for these events:

  • Tradable Sectors and How They Impact the Long Island Economy
    Monday, September 14. 9:00am – 10:30am. Click here to register
  • Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge Update: Current and Future Growth
    Tuesday, September 22. 9:00am – 10:30am. Click here to register
  • HIA-LI Business Achievement Awards
    Tuesday, September 29. Networking at 11:00am. Event at 12:00pm. Click here to register
  • HIA-LI Annual Trade Show & Conference
    Wednesday, October 7 and Thursday, October 8. Attendees can click on virtual exhibit booths to schedule live appointments, “walk” the floor, and more.  Click here to register 

Workforce housing is coming to the Park  

To attract a competitive workforce, communities must offer housing for young professionals. To help fulfill the vision set forth in the “Opportunity Analysis” cited above, the Town of Smithtown recently and laudably voted to create a “zoning overlay” district within the Park, allowing for multi-use development, including workforce housing. The Town acted in response to advocacy by HIA-LI and other business and civic interests.

Providing health and safety education for the Park’s workforce 

As you may be aware, many production workers employed in the Park come from communities experiencing high rates of COVID-19. In many instances, workers would benefit by obtaining disease prevention information in their places of work. 

To make this happen, HIA-LI is coordinating with the Suffolk County Department of Labor to introduce workplace-based, COVID-focused health education programming. To learn more, contact: Angela.Ramos@suffolkcountyny.gov

We’re working to help create a workforce training center

In conjunction with the Long Island Regional Planning Council and the Suffolk IDA, HIA-LI is pursuing creation of a regional workforce training center to help businesses at the LI-IPH and elsewhere fill skills gaps among their employees. While the center’s location and syllabus are yet to be determined, its establishment stands to help boost the profitability of LI-IPH firms.

HIA-LI won an international marketing award

A 30-second video promoting the LIIPH has won an internationally recognized Telly Award, which honors achievement in the non-broadcast video industry. Watch the video at www.LI-IPH.org

HIA-LI delivers masks for member businesses

HIA-LI recently teamed up with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to distribute thousands of reusable masks for use by employees of firms at the LI-IPH and elsewhere across Long Island.  

Become a member

If your company isn’t currently an HIA-LI member, we’d love you to join! We offer vital, real-time information to help your business through this recovery – and to let the business community know you’re open for business. Contact Anthony Forgione at (631) 543-5355 or aforgione@hia-li.org to learn more.

During these unprecedented times, it’s more critical than ever to celebrate Long Island business – and to embrace opportunities to help us connect and do business.

Please join us!

By Creating Jobs, Suffolk IDA Gets the Job Done

Suffolk-IDA-logo-2Everyone knows the importance of teamwork when it comes to getting things done. In this spirit, I’d like to devote this blog to recognizing one of HIA-LI’s most valued partners, the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (IDA).  

Across the state, IDAs support business growth, relocation, and expansion by lowering the cost of capital investment. They offer tax incentives – and provide access to various business resources and technical assistance opportunities.

And we’re fortunate to have one of the state’s highest-performing IDA’s right here in Suffolk County.

According to Newsday’s report on an analysis by the State Comptroller, tax incentives provided through Long Island’s industrial development agencies – for four years running – had helped to create more jobs as of 2018 than IDAs in any of the state’s nine other regions.

And here on the Island, the largest number of new jobs – 12,881 – were created by 137 projects supported by the Suffolk County IDA.

HIA-LI regularly works cooperatively with the Suffolk IDA to help fortify the regional economy and trigger employment growth. For example, we collaborated with the Suffolk IDA in April 2019 on a 160-page Opportunity Analysis that helped us identify ways to better link the future success of the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IPH) to Long Island’s long-term economic revitalization.

In the Opportunity Analysis, James Lima Planning + Development and the Regional Plan Association concluded that the Park’s future success would be maximized by nurturing the growth and agglomeration of competitive, tradeable industries.

Among other projects, we’ve also joined forces with the Suffolk County IDA and the Long Island Regional Planning Council to advocate for creation of a new, regional workforce development center, possibly situated within the LI-IPH. The center would match its training curricula to the specific workforce needs of our region’s fastest-growing businesses.

The public sector and the private sector need to work cooperatively to help maintain the strength of our local economy. Along these lines, HIA-LI is proud of the successful, long-term partnership we’ve enjoyed with the Suffolk County IDA.

Under the leadership of Chairperson Natalie Wright and Executive Director Anthony Catapano, the Suffolk IDA has been a steadfast partner in promoting job growth and business growth on Long Island. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the unwavering efforts of the Suffolk IDA’s Deputy Executive Director Kelly Morris and former Associate Director John McNally who, with their hard work and dedication, helped to make it all happen.

I hope you’ll stand with me in applauding the Suffolk IDA on its many accomplishments. We look forward to working with them on future joint initiatives.

Federal Funds Needed to Stimulate Economy and Close Covid-19 Counties Budget Gap

With great enthusiasm, HIA-LI has supported and thanked the thousands of valiant healthcare workers who do so much to maintain our health. But, as a business organization, our primary focus is on the pandemic’s economic impact.

ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE text with notepad, keyboard, decorative vase, fountain pen, calculator and banknotes currency on wooden background

The COVID-19 pandemic pulls at Long Islanders in two major ways: it affects our health, and it affects our economy.

That’s why we need the federal government to step up – to be a true partner in our economic recovery. Here’s how Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone describes the potential economic impact:

“It’s the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane striking us here. Except, in this case, the hurricane stays for months, instead of passing in 24 hours.”

He was characterizing the concerning data found in an economic analysis titled “2020 Nassau + Suffolk Covid-19 Economic Impact” co-sponsored by the Nassau County IDA and Suffolk County IDA with input from HIA-LI, Hofstra University, and the Association for a Better Long Island. It was written by the strategic advisory firm, HR&A.

The report concluded that Long Island could lose up to 28 percent of our region’s jobs by year’s end because of the coronavirus and subsequent economic shutdown.

As Newsday reported, “the estimated net loss of up to 375,000 jobs stems from businesses never reopening, and from many of those that do reopen not being able to recall all the workers…laid off or furloughed.”

And that’s why HIA-LI has joined forces with Mr. Bellone, his Nassau County counterpart, Laura Curran, and other influential business leaders to call upon our federal representatives to request $2 billion in direct funding to Nassau and Suffolk counties in the next federal relief bill.

With severe losses in tax revenues associated with the spread of COVID-19, the two counties together face a near $3 billion budget gap. That’s just a fraction of the $61 billion dip in economic business activity the report cites.

For Long Island businesses to stay strong and continue to work hard to reshape and reinvent our organizations, local government needs to have the resources to continue to support our efforts.

The business sector knows that many vital services depend upon our economic health. Sales taxes, for example, fund first responders, police officers, and public health nurses. Hotel taxes help fund our tourism promotion agency, Discover Long Island, an essential player in our region’s economic recovery. Only by working together – hand-in-hand with fiscally stable and strong county governments – can we position ourselves for a true recovery.

HIA-LI urges you to contact your Senators and House Members right away. Tell them that Nassau and Suffolk counties need federal disaster assistance in order to help the business community recover from this pandemic.

Name

Phone

Send a Message

Sen. Charles Schumer

(202) 224-6542

https://www.schumer.senate.gov/contact/email-chuck

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

(202) 224-4451

https://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/email-me

Rep. Lee Zeldin

(202) 225-3826

https://zeldin.house.gov/contact/

Rep. Peter King

(202) 225-7896

https://peteking.house.gov/contact

Rep. Thomas Suozzi

(202) 225-3335

https://suozzi.house.gov/contact

Rep. Kathleen Rice

(202) 225-5516

https://kathleenrice.house.gov/contact

Rep. Gregory Meeks

(202) 225-3461

https://meeks.house.gov/contact

Mixed Use is the Best Use

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

This blog post is an “Action Alert” to members and friends of HIA-LI. There is something very simple that you can do to help secure the long-term future of the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge.

Between now and June 11, the Town of Smithtown is seeking comments on a proposal to create “overlay zoning” that would permit mixed-use development in a portion of the Park. Approval of this plan is essential to the success of our Park. But it has encountered resistance from some local residents.

So we’re calling upon businesses and citizens to send an email to members of the Smithtown Town Council favoring the change. While messages from Town residents and businesses are best, anyone can comment.

You must send your email by June 11 to be made a part of the public record. Council members’ email addresses appear below.

You can mention all or some of these points:

  • The change would provide young professionals with the opportunity to enjoy the Park for living, working, and recreation.
  • A study by Suffolk County IDA and the Regional Plan Association found an urgent need on Long Island for housing for young professionals. It’s key to attracting and retaining a talented and competitive workforce.
  • A survey of the Park’s business owners found that a number-one concern is attracting and retaining a skilled workforce.
  • A survey showed that 68 percent of our area’s young people are contemplating leaving this area within the next five years. They’d leave behind an aging population incapable of filling local jobs.
  • Rental units are sorely needed on Long Island. The Nassau-Suffolk rental housing market represents just 21 percent of households, compared to nearby suburban regions such as Westchester (35 percent) and Northern New Jersey (37 percent).
  • In the Town of Smithtown, the situation is further exacerbated – only 6.7 percent of households are renter-occupied.
  • The Park’s success is vital to the community’s future. The Park delivers $19.6 million in assessed value to the Town, and provides more than $44 million to the Hauppauge School District. New tax revenue would fully offset any added demands for local services.
  • Some claim the development would burden local schools. That’s inaccurate: it would generate no more than 90 students over a decade. Yet the district lost 110 students within this past year alone.
  • That’s because the apartments would mostly be studio and one-bedroom units geared to singles or couples without children.
  • Added traffic would be sustainable, with only a moderate increase on weekends
  • We urge you to approve an overlay district to allow creation of mixed-use development within the Innovation Park

To help us keep track of support for this zone change, it would be very helpful if you would send a copy of any emails to me at talessi@hia-li.org.

This is important initiative, so please take action today. Thank you!

Please send messages to:
Hon. Ed Wehrheim, Smithtown Supervisor, supervisor@smithtownny.gov
Hon. Tom McCarthy, Smithtown Deputy Supervisor, tmccarthy@smithtownny.gov
Hon. Lynne Nowick, Smithtown Councilperson, lnowick@smithtownny.gov
Hon. Lisa Inzerillo, Smithtown Councilperson, linzerillo@smithtownny.gov
Hon. Tom Lohmann, Snithtown Councilperson, twlohmann@smithtownny.gov

Businesses Battle to Beat COVID-19

Goodbye COVID-19 - CopyThe Long Island business community – many of them HIA-LI members – have rapidly mobilized to help the region fortify its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. As a leading voice in the bi-county business community, we’d like to highlight sixteen companies that have acted rapidly to reformat their operations to address the Coronavirus crisis.

This is not meant to be a complete list; we know dozens more companies have pivoted their operations to produce PPE, medical equipment, and other essential items such as hand sanitizer.  They are all heroes in the fight to defeat COVID-19.

Four of the companies we’d like to spotlight are:

  • East/West Industries, Inc., is an engineering firm in Ronkonkoma that makes aircraft products designed to protect aircrew members. The company modified its operations to produce washable, cloth face masks suitable for use by the Suffolk County Police Department and other first responders.
  • Chembio Diagnostic Systems, Inc., a leader in the development, manufacture, and commercialization of diagnostic solutions based in Hauppauge, is developing a COVID-19 antibody blood test that was approved by the FDA.
  • 71 Visuals, a branding, design consulting and graphic design firm, pivoted its manufacturing facility in Hauppauge, which normally produces signage, to turn out thousands of face shields daily.
  • Harlan Health Products, Inc., a manufacturer of healthcare products, has modified a factory that normally makes hospital curtains. It now produces washable, cloth face masks.

Our regional business sector is rising to the challenge posed by COVID-19.  These companies are among the many HIA-LI members that are inspiring us all by standing up to protect the health and safety of Long Islanders.

In addition to the four cited above, here are twelve additional companies that have reformatted their operations to help Long Island address COVID-19:

  • BridgeTech LLC, a product development firm located in Huntington Station.
  • Henry Schein, Inc. of Melville, an international distributor of healthcare products.
  • Ignite LI, a regional manufacturing consortium based in Hauppauge.
  • Meglio Corp. a Brentwood-based environment development company specializing in architectural products and design.
  • Restoration 1 of LI, a water damage restoration company with locations in Long Beach, Lindenhurst, and Water Mill.

During the COVID-19 crisis, HIA-LI is serving as a clearinghouse for Coronavirus-related business assistance information for its members, and has partnered with numerous governmental, institutional, and private entities that focus on alleviating the pandemic’s impact on the region.

Rising to the Challenges Ahead

Courage Vs. Fear Bowling Ball Strike Pins BraveryDuring this period of public crisis, HIA-LI recognizes its responsibility to serve as a resource to the Long Island business community. We’ll share vital information that will help all of us weather the difficulties we face – and help keep communications pathways open.

Here are several business-focused resources that are prepared to help your organization get through these difficult times:

The Suffolk County COVID-19 Business Response Task Force

HIA-LI is partnering with the Suffolk County COVID-19 Business Response Task Force, which has asked us to serve as a communication conduit to area firms. In this role, we’ll be passing along useful information related to the virus and its impact on your business. Here are three ways they can assist:

Disaster Relief Lending through the Small Business Administration

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest working capital loans of up to $2 million to small businesses situated in states suffering substantial economic damage arising from COVID-19. You can contact SBA’s disaster assistance customer service center at 800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339) or email  disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The SBA’s Long Island Branch Office is in Hauppauge at 631-454-0750. They’re standing by to help our area’s small business sector. This office also houses Long Island’s SCORE Chapter #694 at 631-454-0771 (longisland.score.org).

We also encourage small business owners to contact our area’s two local SBA Resource Partners:

Coronavirus Webinars

HIA-LI will inform the business community of upcoming webinar updates hosted by Northwell Health. We’ll also be directing you to a comprehensive infographics kit of COVID-19 information that’s now under preparation.

And, of course, businesses can contact HIA-LI at 631-543-5355 if you have questions or need assistance.  While we are working remotely, we working as a team and are still here for you!

Let’s be prepared to rise to the challenges ahead. Tap these resources. Stay informed. Stay determined.

And together, we’ll get through this.

Despite Slip, AVZ Survey Says Long Island Economy Is Still Strong

AVZ Economic Summit
Moderator Robert Quarte, Managing Partner, AVZ & Company, P.C., and panelists, from left: Jim Coughlan, Principal, TRITEC Real Estate Co., Inc.; Janine Logan, Sr. Director, Communications & Population Health, Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council; Rich Humann, President and CEO, H2M Architects + Engineers; Dr. John Nader, President, Farmingdale State College; and, Kevin O’Connor, President and CEO, BNB Bank.

Long Island business executives feel optimistic about the region’s economic future, as we explored at HIA-LI’s 26th Annual Economic Summit on February 12 at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge. HIA-LI sees this event as critical to helping our members interpret what’s going on here on Long Island.

Based on the annual survey conducted by AVZ & Company, one of Long Island’s largest accounting firms, confidence in the regional economy – which reached a survey record high of 7.2 in 2018 – stood at a healthy 6.8 by the end of 2019. Yet forty-six percent of respondents added employees last year, and 43 percent had “no problem” finding skilled workers.

With AVZ managing partner Bob Quarte keeping the discussion lively and interesting in his role as moderator, a five-member panel sustained the attention of over 250 guests as they delved into issues shaping our region’s economic future.

Jim Coughlan, principal of TRITEC Real Estate, praised IDAs for their powerful contributions to the success of large business development projects. But if State lawmakers begin requiring IDA-supported projects to pay “prevailing wages,” he cautioned, IDAs would lose much of their ability to promote growth.

Rich Humann, president and CEO of H2M Architects + Engineers, praised HIA-LI’s work in building bridges between the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IPH) and regional universities.

Looking big picture, Kevin O’Connor, president and CEO of BNB Bank, said there’s been an evolution in deal structures over the past fifteen years that should lessen the incidence of “crash and burn” economic cycles.

Janine Logan, Senior Director for Communications and Population Health with the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, seemed unsurprised that the AVZ survey had ranked healthcare as the regional industry with the greatest growth potential.

Why? Well, nearly one-fifth of our population is age 65 or older, she said, and the top, predisposing factor for chronic disease is age.

Dr. John Nader, president of Farmingdale State College, told attendees that many people burdened with college debt had never received diplomas. Instead of two- or four-year degrees, he said that many jobs now call only for “micro-credentials” and certifications. That’s something for us to keep in mind as we develop a proposed LI-IPH workforce development center.

This year’s Economic Summit was stimulating and upbeat and once again served as a very important discussion on the pulse and future trends on Long Island.

Our Solar Task Force Achieves a Clean Energy Milestone

LI Cares Solar Press Conference 1-31-20
Pictured, from left: Scott Maskin, CEO, SUNation Solar Systems; Hon. Thomas Lohman, Councilman, Town of Smithtown; Lisa Broughton, Energy Director, County of Suffolk; Hon. John Flanagan, State Senator and Senate Minority Leader; Joe Campolo, Managing Partner, Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP and Chairman, HIA-LI Board of Directors; Robert Boerner, Manager, Renewable Programs, PSEG-Long Island; Terri Alessi-Miceli, President and CEO, HIA-LI; Thomas Falcone, CEO, Long Island Power Authority; and, Paule Pachter, CEO, Long Island Cares.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to lead a company or an organization, you know that your success heavily depends upon the initiative demonstrated by the people around you.

That’s surely the case here within HIA-LI, where we’re fortunate to have forward-looking individuals like Scott Maskin, CEO of SUNation Solar Systems, and Jack Kulka, President of Kulka, LLC, on our team.

Scott and Jack stepped forward a few years ago to launch the HIA-LI Solar Task Force. And with the help of Task Force members Edgewise EnergyEntersolarHarvest PowerEmpower SolarTop Cat ConsultingH2M Engineering, and Greenstreet Power Partners, they set the ambitious goal of transforming the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IPH) into a business park that will be 100-percent powered by clean and renewable energy by 2040.

And on January 31 – with the encouragement of HIA-LI Board of Directors chairman Joe Campolo – the Task Force achieved a big milestone when they announced completion of a solar installation atop the 35,000 square-foot roof of Long Island Cares, one of our region’s premiere charitable institutions.

Joining us at the press event were Smithtown Councilman Thomas Lohman; County of Suffolk Energy Director Lisa Broughton; State Senator John Flanagan; PSEG-Long Island Renewable Programs Manager Robert Boerner; and, Long Island Power Authority CEO Thomas Falcone.

Based on PSEG Long Island data, we’ll reap major environmental benefits thanks to the 350,000 kilowatt hours produced annually by Long Island Cares’ 852 solar panels.

By replacing fossil fuel energy with clean and renewable power, we’ll reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 84 metric tons per year. That’s equivalent to Long Islanders’ driving 191,975 fewer miles per year – and it generates the same benefits as planting 560 trees per year.

But chief executive Paule Pachter and his team at Long Island Cares didn’t stop there. By structuring their project as a “Community Solar” enterprise, the electricity is being offloaded to the homes of 50 food-insecure families at a discounted rate that is 25 percent less than regular utility bills.

Scott Maskin and Jack Kulka keep reminding us that there are 1,300 companies and a potential 20 million square feet of flat rooftop space available for solar at LI-IPH.

So let’s follow the lead of Long Island Cares – and keep turning our business park into Long Island’s great solar power oasis!

Working with Government from a Regional Perspective

Annual Meeting and Legislative Reception 1-17-20
From left: Joe Campolo, Managing Partner, Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP and Chairman, HIA-LI Board of Directors; Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim; Islip Town IDA Executive Director Bill Mannix; Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick; State Senator John Flanagan; County Executive Steve Bellone; and, Congressman Lee Zeldin.

To maintain Long Island’s economic competitiveness for the long run, the public sector needs to maintain a rich dialogue with the private sector.

That’s why HIA-LI takes pride in hosting forums where business and government come together to exchange ideas and to highlight the region’s centers of economic development opportunity.

A classic example was the 42nd HIA-LI Annual Meeting and Legislative Breakfast held January 17 at the Radisson Hotel in Hauppauge.

Attended by more than 350 representatives of Long Island’s business community, our high-octane panel of public officials included Congressman Lee Zeldin, State Senator John Flanagan, Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Smithtown Town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim, and Bill Mannix, Executive Director of the Islip Town IDA.

Moderator Joe Campolo, Managing Partner of Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP and Chairman of HIA-LI’s Board of Directors, emphasized the large percentage of businesses at the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge engaged in value-added “tradeable” sectors exporting goods and services out of the region.

The Park’s “tradeability” ratio ranks “20 percent above the national average” for similar business clusters.

Congressman Zeldin praised Brookhaven National Lab for securing a $2-billion federal award to build an Electron Ion Collider, a project will “inject billions of dollars and an extensive number of jobs into Long Island’s economy.”

Senator Flanagan said his focus in Albany this year would be to “maximize education funding, capital investments such as roads and bridges, and increase funding for the LIRR via the MTA.”

State government must do more to relieve fiscal burdens on localities, said Assemblyman Fitzpatrick, by curtailing its “cost-shifting” practices.

County Executive Bellone highlighted the Nicolls Road Corridor’s role as a platform for the revitalization of Patchogue, the forthcoming Ronkonkoma Hub, new growth at Long Island MacArthur Airport, and the ever-expanding Stony Brook University.

The Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge is on a multi-track growth trajectory, said Supervisor Wehrheim, because state, county, and town governments have “put politics aside” and built consensus on success strategies for the Park.

Sewer expansion is key to Suffolk County’s economic growth, said Bill Mannix, citing a recent $10-million state grant to the Town of Islip to extend sewer lines into downtown communities.

As HIA-LI members spend each day focused on growing our own individual enterprises, we also understand the importance of viewing our work within a regional perspective. As evidenced by our Legislative Breakfast, Long Island is fortunate to be represented by elected officials who also understand the value of long-term regional growth.