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.

Public Officials Talk Business Growth

From left: HIA-LI Board Chairman Joe Campolo; State Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, Smithtown Town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim; Suffolk Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory; HIA-LI President & CEO Terri Alessi-Miceli; Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter; and, Congressman Lee Zeldin.

Public policy has a major impact upon whether our businesses become profitable and whether our organizations succeed. That’s why HIA-LI regularly brings our members face-to-face with elected officials to discuss issues of concern to the Long Island business sector.

In this spirit, the HIA-LI convened our Annual Meeting and Legislative Breakfast on Friday, January 18 at the Hamlet Golf & Country Club in Commack.

Moderated by Board Chair Joe Campolo – Managing Partner at Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP – the discussion focused on business climate issues, housing, taxes, and other topics.

Panelists included Congressman Lee Zeldin, Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter, Smithtown Town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim, and Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory.

Congressman Zeldin and Legislator Gregory cited higher education’s role in sustaining economic growth. “Unemployment is at an all-time low,” the Congressman said, “but a skills gap still exists.” He said Long Island needs a “technical training route” for non-college-bound students.

Presiding Officer Gregory praised Suffolk County Community College for “helping companies fill the skills gap.” He advocated for greater emphasis on STEM learning (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to help ensure the competitiveness of our regional workforce.

Supervisor Carpenter praised the Town’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA), noting its high level of accountability because the Town Board also functions as the IDA Board. She pinpointed Castella Imports of Brentwood as a big IDA success story in the Town.

Assemblyman Fitzpatrick said that high taxes – elevated by public sector pensions – have triggered out-migration from Long Island. “If government were smaller,” he said, “and pension costs were lower, we’d have a lower tax burden.”

As an economic development strategy in the Town of Smithtown, Supervisor Wehrheim reported that the Town is now situating workforce housing within business districts. Last summer, site plans were approved for such developments in Smithtown and Commack totaling 154 new units.

In today’s intensely competitive marketplace, the public and private sectors must collaborate and cooperate. Our Annual Legislative Breakfasts help bolster this essential, symbiotic relationship.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this breakfast event a success!