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

LI MacArthur Airport and Tourism: Economic Generators for Long Island

It was a full-house at the March 22 event at Long Island MacArthur Airport, “Taking Business and Tourism to New Heights.”

It’s hard to beat tourism as a business booster.

Economic development professionals will always tell you that one of the best ways for any community to attract incoming dollars is through tourism.

Similar to the benefit enjoyed when customers outside your area purchase your exported products, a dollar spent by a visiting tourist represents the introduction of new, net wealth into your locality.

It’s a pure win, because it’s fresh, outside money coming in.

And the good news is that Long Island business and government leaders know and appreciate this fact. Moreover, they take concrete action to promote and support tourism as a means of enriching the Nassau and Suffolk economies.

To further sharpen our business community’s understanding of the symbiosis uniting tourism and business, HIA-LI hosted more than 200 members of the regional business community at a breakfast panel at Long Island MacArthur Airport on Friday, March 22. The event was called “Taking Business and Tourism to New Heights.”

The panel highlighted Long Island MacArthur Airport, which is owned and operated by  the Town of Islip, and Discover Long Island, the agency formally designated to promote Long Island as a destination for tourism, meetings, conventions, and sporting events.

Speakers included Kristen Jarnagin, President and CEO of Discover Long Island; Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter; Airport Commissioner Shelley LaRose-Arken.

Ms. Jarnagin helped to crystallize the theme of the event with the following economic development proverb:

“If you build a place where people want to visit, you will build a place where people want to live,” she said. “And if you build a place where people want to live, you will build a place where people want to work. And if you build a place where people want to work, you will build a place where business will want to be. And if businesses want to be there, you will build a place where people will want to visit.”

Thanks to Discover Long Island data, attendees learned that travelers spent an eye-opening $5.9 billion on Long Island in 2017.

And on the fiscal side, tourism in Long Island generated $722 million in state and local taxes in 2017. And sales, property, and hotel bed taxes contributed to nearly $400 million in local taxes.

By fortifying Long Island’s tax base, the tourism industry enhances the region’s ability to attract and retain private companies.

As most readers know, MacArthur Airport is an indispensable hub of our area’s tourism sector. The airport sees more than 5,000 people fly in and out every day.

And under the leadership of Supervisor Carpenter, herself a former businesswoman, the 1,300-acre airport has systematically maintained strong ties to our area’s business community.

Airport Commissioner LaRose-Arken told attendees that MacArthur ranked as America’s fastest-growing, medium- to large-sized airport, as measured by domestic seats.

She also noted that both Southwest and American Airlines had recently responded to growing demand by introducing larger aircraft, and that Frontier Airlines had expanded its list of destinations reachable from the airport.

“We try to operate our airport like a business,” said the Commissioner. “And over the last four years, the airport has run a surplus.”

Underscoring our business community’s commitment to tourism, several private-sector players recently helped underwrite a Discover Long Island survey designed to help inform future strategies for the industry’s growth.

HIA-LI, National Grid, and the Manufacturing Consortium of Long Island – which also goes by the name of Ignite Long Island – joined forces with Long Island University and Long Island MacArthur Airport to sponsor the project.

As reported by Newsday, the Discover Long Island analysis found that when travelers are told about “the Island’s beaches and parks, museums, restaurants, and other attractions, the likelihood they will visit rose to 65 percent compared with 47 percent when they knew little about the region.”

To further bolster region-wide tourism, Discover Long Island in 2017 initiated its first-ever co-marketing partnership with New York City’s tourism agency, NYC & Co. The joint program positions Long Island as “a great addition to New York City trips” and as the city’s “beachfront backyard.”

During a question-and-answer session, Ms. Jarnagin urged event attendees to always remember to speak positively about Long island.

“Please think about the way you’re speaking about your home and where you live,” she said. “Because when you put something online, people see it all over the world. If everyone hears something negative, why would anyone want to come here?”

Supervisor Carpenter also urged business leaders to make their presence felt at public hearings and speak up in support of development initiatives “because the naysayers are always going to be there.”

We need to work collaboratively with institutions and government entities.  For example, HIA-LI had provided assistance to MacArthur Airport in assessing travel patterns and passenger needs when the air facility had been scoping out growth strategies.

We simply can’t underestimate the value of this airport and tourism in strengthening the economic foundation of Nassau and Suffolk counties.  The deeper the commitment we make to tourism, the more tourism delivers to our business community.