Starting the year off was an immediate focus seeing through the rebuilding efforts resulting from Super Storm Sandy of many south shore small businesses who we assisted with emergency sales tax relief. Our small businesses, like our residents, demonstrated strong resolve in rebuilding their storefronts, restaurants, marinas and catering facilities. The IDA was an integral part of the “ReVive FI Campaign” where our agency, along with county executive Steve Bellone, Ocean Beach mayor Jim Mallott, Islip and Babylon officials, joined with businesses to announce Fire Island IS open for business after their successful post-Sandy rebuild.
The IDA approved 25 deals retaining and growing thousands in our workforce. These incentives will provide our companies with a needed edge given their out of state competitors operate in dramatically lower cost environment. There were many deals that had unique aspects worth sharing; one was another example of the agency working with a company, in this case Autronics Plastics, to bring out of state manufacturing back home. Another of note was our effort to bring the county’s first high tech accelerator space in a down town community with dozens of new tech jobs and companies projected to be launched in Huntington Village. The agency took it a step further embracing the start-up community by co-branding the IDA in the accelerator space to be on the ground floor with the county’s budding entrepreneurs.
Working in partnership with the county’s commissioner of economic development Joanne Minieri innovation and action continues to be spurred in Suffolk. Bridging the gap between companies in industries centered on science, technology, engineering, math and manufacturing and their workforce needs the agency launched a new site, jobs.kellym80.sg-host.com. This new website fills a void between hiring qualified workers and the companies in a hyper-focused environment. Adding new transparency companies receiving IDA incentives are now required to post job openings on the agency’s website.
We hold companies accountable to live up to their obligations when receiving tax incentives. After OSI Pharmaceuticals announced the shuttering of their local office the agency was successful in recouping over $700,000 in benefits which is being returned to the taxpayers of New York State and Suffolk County.
The IDA rolled out an advertising campaign, case study centric, with radio, print and interactive ads to market the agency and our incentives. This was the first advertising initiative of this scale at the agency with the goal to further the brand awareness to area companies.
The county’s economic development landscape from a macro-perspective continued to gain momentum. County executive Bellone and Babylon supervisor Rich Schaffer successfully broke ground on Wyandanch Village, governor Cuomo’s “Start-Up New York” was launched aimed at spurring new job growth around our universities and our regional economic development council headed by Kevin Law and Stuart Rabinowitz continued to oversee the flow of millions of dollars in incentives for companies in our region to grow.
The IDA’s outlook for 2014 is centered on optimism that our pro-growth strategies will continue to drive our business climate forward.
Anthony Manetta is the CEO and executive director at the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), Hauppauge, N.Y.