Despite Challenges, the Long Island and National Economies Are Set to Grow

It was wonderful to be back in person at the HIA-LI Economic Summit. On March 25, business leaders, colleagues, and friends joined us at the Radisson in Hauppauge for our 28th Annual Summit, where a panel of experts offered their economic predictions for Long Island and the country.

Dr. Don Levy, Director at Sienna College Research Institute, summarized the results of the PKF O’Connor Davies 2022 Economic Survey. Among the 270 CEOs who participated, 59 percent said that the economy on Long Island was better than it was a year ago, and 61 percent expected improvement during 2022. Within their industries, 50 percent described conditions as more favorable than they were last year, and 56 percent anticipated an upswing in 2022. Normalized against historic data, these four results indicate a confidence rating of 6.8 out of 10, up from 6.5 a year ago.

Challenges include the continuing impact of COVID (cited by 55 percent of CEOs), inflation (53 percent), and rising supplier costs (43 percent). Worker supply is another: “Only one out of five say that they can find the people they need to step in and make a fruitful contribution right away,” remarked Levy.

Bob Quarte, a Partner at PKF O’Connor Davies who is also HIA-LI Board Treasurer, moderated the panel discussion. Noting the challenges that have arisen since the completion of the survey in early January — the war in Ukraine, a stock market correction, rising interest rates, and spiraling gas prices — he asked the panelists to describe their confidence in the economy and in their business sectors.

“As businesses get busier, healthcare gets busier,” stated Dr. Patrick O’Shaughnessy, President and CEO of Catholic Health Services. “I don’t just mean sick care. I mean well care, and that includes important screenings, keeping you healthy, getting ahead of you having a problem that causes more of an impact. I believe we’re moving forward in the right direction. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to have blips along the way, but I’m optimistic.”

Rich Humann, President and CEO of H2M Architects + Engineers and HIA-LI Board Chair, said that despite the national energy strategy that “continues to tip on a scale,” he is also optimistic. “As we recover, the commitment to infrastructure, the commitment to dollars, is coming from the federal government. Although there’s clearly an inflationary effect of that, nothing moves us in a strong economic direction more than a really robust investment in infrastructure.”

The national economy will do well in the long term, predicted Kevin O’Connor, CEO of Dime Community Bank and HIA-LI Board Secretary, but it will experience blips in the short term. “The Fed’s ability to navigate a soft landing does not have a lot of historical success. We may feel some pain that might be necessary to end some of the inflationary pressures.”

Dr. Edward Bonahue, President of Suffolk County Community College and an HIA-LI Board Member, declared that he’s “remarkably optimistic” despite the difficulties created by the pandemic. “We know that our ability to engage students, to provide hands-on workforce training that replicates the conditions that students are going to find when they’re on the job, is going to be supported by the continuing economic recovery, and the continuing recovery from COVID.”

“Things go in cycles,” added Quarte, summing up the panelists’ perspectives. “We might be in a difficult cycle right now, but we’ve proved we’ve always pulled through it.”

Download a copy of the survey here.

Women to Talk Business at Friday’s Executive Leadership Event

Women are steadily increasing their ranks among business leaders overall.

Yet despite growing numbers, female entrepreneurs still face challenges in the corporate workplace.

They confront hurdles in striking the right work-life balance. They often need to look harder to obtain the right kind of mentoring. And the pandemic further complicated women’s pathways to business success.

What are the solutions? What best practices can we point to? And how does this all play out on Long Island?

This Friday morning, November 19, we’ll have an opportunity to get some answers.

A panel of high-achieving Long Island businesswomen will talk through issues like this at HIA-LI’s 11th Annual “Women Leading the Way” executive leadership event. It takes place at the LGBT Network at 125 Kennedy Drive, Suite 100 in Hauppauge. 

The panel, running from 8:00 am to 10:00 am, will be moderated by Domenique Camacho-Moran, a Partner with Farrell Fritz PC. Panelists include Lisa Mirabile, President and CEO of Vertigo Media Group; Karen Boorshtein, President and CEO of Family Service League; Lauren Nichols, President of 3G Warehouse, Inc.; and Natalie Wright, Suffolk County’s Commissioner of Economic Development and Planning.

Happily, the numbers for women executives are encouraging. Looking at census bureau data, the number of women-owned businesses nationwide increased 21 percent between 2014 and 2019, while all businesses increased nine percent. More than ten million women-owned firms generated $1.9 trillion in sales and employed 13 million people.

The idea that HIA-LI should host an annual forum to tackle woman-centered business issues was originally suggested by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in 2010.

“Women Leading the Way” also features a craft fair.

Attendees may take part in person or via Zoom. The registration fee is $50 for in-person attendance, and $25 for virtual participation.

Vendors wishing to exhibit at the craft fair should contact HIA-LI at 631-543-5355.

The event is sponsored by Farrell Fritz, PC; People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union; Campolo, Middleton McCormick, LLP; Brookhaven National Laboratory; the LGBT Network; Signwave; City National Bank; LITimes.org; Mark Grossman Public Relations; WSHU Public Radio; and IHOP. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Anthony Forgione at aforgione@hia-li.org.

Per CDC guidelines, those not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a face mask.

To register, go to https://www.hia-li.org/events/hia-lis-11th-annual-womens-leadership-program/ or call 631-543-5355. I look forward to seeing you then!

Action By HIA-LI Members Helps Secure Long Island’s Future

Amid the doldrums of the COVID-19 pandemic, HIA-LI members have good reason to pat themselves on the back this year.

Why? Because our organization’s members played a central role in advocating for a public policy victory that will serve, according to Newsday, as a “building block for our region’s future.”

That victory occurred in August, when the Smithtown Town Board voted unanimously to greenlight a “zoning overlay” allowing mixed-used development at the 1,650-acre Long Island Innovation Park in Hauppauge (LI-IPH), formerly known as Hauppauge Industrial Park. The idea for a “zoning overlay” had arisen from a 160-page strategic analysis issued in April 2019. The analysis, commissioned by HIA-LI in cooperation with the Suffolk IDA and others, had enumerated ways to strengthen the Park’s future.

The Town’s decision came in the aftermath of an organized campaign – undertaken by HIA-LI members and many others – to help educate Board members regarding the merits of the change.

Thanks to new development opportunities made possible through the revised zoning rules­­­, one of Long Island’s most respected real estate developers, TRITEC of East Setauket, stepped forward in November and proposed to build a $125-million, mixed-use building with 335 apartments in the Park. The venue would be a development parcel at 49 Wireless Boulevard that TRITEC owns through a subsidiary. The “zoning overlay” opens the door for similar mixed-use projects at twelve other Park sites.

Long Island municipalities like the Town of Smithtown are recognizing the need to take bold steps to promote regional economic development and to help stem the hemorrhaging of young workers from Nassau and Suffolk. 

The Town – under the leadership of Supervisor Ed Wehrheim – understands that mixed-use development like this represents a “building block” for creating a better tomorrow for our area. Such measures boost our economic competitiveness by supporting workforce attraction and retention. In July 2019, a Rauch Foundation survey conducted for Newsday found that 67 percent of Long Islanders aged 18 to 34 years planned to leave the region within five years.

Can you imagine? Such an exodus would seriously disable the Long Island economy and make it highly difficult for Park employers to hire and keep a skilled workforce.

In a November 29 editorial, Newsday called the new Smithtown policy “a prime example of what’s possible” when Long Island municipalities act creatively to re-envision our region’s future.

So, bravo to the members of HIA-LI for helping to create a new model for fortifying Long Island’s long-term competitiveness.  And a special thanks to our LI-IPH Task Force, headed by HIA-LI Board Chair Joe Campolo, Managing Partner at Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP.

Read the complete Newsday editorial here.

HONORING THE BEST IN BUSINESS

Every fall, HIA-LI takes a moment to recognize our region’s truly outstanding businesses.

We’ve done it for 26 years by honoring “the best in the business” on Long Island through our “Business Achievement Awards” program – and HIA-LI presented our most-recent set of awards again on September 29.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to conduct our awards event virtually – but the pandemic also required awardees and finalists to work harder at many levels this year. They’ve had to dig in, be creative, and do more to inspire their workforce. Being at the top of your game in a year like 2020 requires something special!

The honors, awarded competitively, cover four categories. Nominees were evaluated based on the quality of their employee relations, regional business engagement, profitability, and vision for their future. Other considerations included recent accomplishments, innovative processes, market growth, industry leadership, and their ability to overcome adversity.

Let’s look at the recipients:

The “Large Business” awardee was Hauppauge-based American Diagnostic Corporation, one of America’s largest, privately held manufacturers of diagnostic medical equipment. Other category finalists included: Citrin Cooperman of Melville; Custom Computer Specialists in Hauppauge; Mazars USA, LLP of Woodbury; and The Tiffen Company of Hauppauge. The three Hauppauge-based firms are located in the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IPH).

The “Small Business” honoree was Central Business Systems, a Melville provider of document imaging and other IT-related services. Other “Small Business” finalists included Valley Stream-based LMN Printing Company, Inc.; Summit Safety & Efficiency Solutions in Miller Place; Techworks Consulting Inc. in Ronkonkoma; and Terwilliger & Bartone Properties of Farmingdale.

Selected as “Rookie of the Year” – for firms in business for less than five years – was Hauppauge-based Connections4Hire, an LI-IPH company that provides business development and marketing-related services. Category finalists included 4G Professionals in Nesconset; and BLUZAP UV Disinfection Company of Northport.   

The “Not-for-Profit” honoree was the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind located in Smithtown. Category finalists included Blessings in a Backpack of Yaphank; Family and Children’s Association in Mineola; Islandia-based Pal-O-Mine Equestrian; and Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk of Middle Island.

HIA-LI also presented a special “Industry Leadership Award” to Northwell Health, the state’s largest private employer. We recognized the U.S. Small Business Administration with an “Industry Partnership Award” for providing over a half-billion dollars in emergency financial relief to American businesses during the pandemic. We also honored Amneal Pharmaceuticals, one of America’s leading generic pharmacological companies and “Major Sponsor” of the overall HIA-LI Business Achievement Award program.

Leadership and business excellence shine through during tough times like this. These winners deserve credit for setting such great examples in the midst of a national pandemic.

Please join me – and Joe Campolo, Board Chair of HIA-LI – in congratulating them!

# # #

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

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.

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.

Bi-Partisan Public-Private Cooperation Propels Long Island’s Economic Growth

2019 Leg Recep Collage

On October 29th the HIA-LI once again gathered for our Annual Board Legislative Breakfast with the goal of reviewing our current initiatives and asking for continued support from our officials.

“Long Island is not only a national treasure, but we’re also a national model for how business and government should partner.”

When HIA-LI Chair Joe Campolo said this to the gathering his words rang true for me – and I think for just about every business executive and government official in the room.

Yes, there’s always going to be some disagreement between public officials and businesspeople. We won’t always see eye-to-eye.

But in Nassau and Suffolk counties, the relationship has been supported by a spirit of cooperation. Indeed, our own Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IPH) could never have become America’s second-largest innovation park – trailing only Silicon Valley itself – without the kind of cooperation we are talking about.

We were privileged to be joined by Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim and Councilman Tom Lohmann; Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter; Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory; Suffolk County Legislators Robert Calarco, Sarah Anker, Bill Lindsay, Susan Berland and Rob Trotta; State Senator John Flanagan; State Assembly Members Michael Fitzpatrick and Steve Stern; and Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri. Their presence helped to reinforce the symbiosis shared by the private and public sectors on Long Island.

All of LI-IPH’s past milestones – the childcare center, extra police protection, the exit off the Northern State Parkway, sewage improvements, and increases in permissible building height – required bi-partisan public sector cooperation.

Joe Campolo – Managing Partner at Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP – praised the Suffolk County IDA for helping scores of our members firms expand – and for underwriting the LI-IPH’s 160-page “Opportunity Analysis” that charts a long-term economic revitalization strategy by fostering the growth of competitive, tradeable industries.

Rita DiStefano, HR Consulting Director with Portnoy Messinger Pearl & Associates – who chairs HIA-LI’s Small Business Task Force – told attendees that she recognizes government’s role in supporting small firms, which constitute four-fifths of our membership. Public sector engagement is critical in such areas as financial assistance for business, and workforce training and development.

And Scott Maskin – the CEO of SUNation and Co-Chair of HIA-LI’s Hauppauge Industrial Power Project with HIA-LI Lifetime Board Member Jack Kulka told attendees about the goal of placing solar installations on park rooftops by the end of 2020, helping to meet the Governor’s NY-SUN target of 100 percent renewables by 2040.

HIA-LI proudly facilitates public-private cooperation at all levels with the help of HIA-LI Board Members carrying out our initiatives. It’s a partnership that’s essential to Long Island’s future.