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

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.