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County Executive Levy, Suffolk Economic Leaders Unveil Ambitious, 10-Point Action Plan Actions Geared toward Enhancing Business-Friendly Environment

County Executive Steve Levy

The office of Steve Levy issued this release today:

Joined by leading members of his Economic Development Consortium, Suffolk Executive Steve Levy has unveiled an ambitious, 10-point action plan to encourage existing and emerging industries alike to take root and grow in Suffolk County.

Levy said his goal in creating the consortium one year ago was “to continue listening to the needs of the business community and to develop creative approaches that will sustain and grow Suffolk’s diverse economic base.” At a September 23 meeting, Levy and chairpersons of consortium committees zeroed in on a number of short- and long-term initiatives:

  • Streamlining the building permit application process at various government levels by creating of a unified Web portal;
  • Connecting businesses that seek funding with venture capitalists who seek promising investment opportunities;
  • Conducting seminars to enlighten area businesses about prospective funding;
  • Rolling out a database to provide information to businesses about grants that are available;
  • Advertising success stories to highlight Suffolk County business retention and attraction efforts;
  • Developing a fact sheet for efficiently meeting Department of Health Services permit requirements;
  • Organizing targeted letter-writing campaigns to promote key programs and legislation;
  • Identifying crucial skills needs for area firms and working with colleges, universities and vocational schools to provide associated training, including upcoming forums with the presidents of Suffolk universities and colleges;
  • Marketing all of Suffolk County’s programs and assets through an identifiable theme: “Suffolk County: Better for Business, Better for Life,” and
  • Creating a Small Business Advisory Council as a platform for a multitude of programs and services.

The plan to streamline the building permit application process is seen as among the most significant of these components. Already, a number of officials at municipalities across the county have agreed to contribute to development of the “Suffolk Unified Permit Portal” (SUPP). The approach would establish an inter-municipal cooperative whereby the county, town and villages would post a step-by-step permit process matrix on their respective websites. Businesses viewing the Suffolk County website would be able to connect to town sites, for example, to view the parallel application process that is underway.

Levy was joined at the meeting by Chief Deputy County Executive Chris Kent and Suffolk Economic Development & Workforce Housing Commissioner Yves Michel and Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator Carolyn Fahey, along with prominent representatives from the business community: Gloria Glowacki of the New York State Small Business Development Center at Stony Brook University; Peter Goldsmith of the Long Island Software Technology Network; Mitchell Pally of the Weber Law Group; Ray Donnelly of the Long Island Forum for Technology; Deborah Herman of Building Long Island publications; Michael Watt of the Long Island Business Institute; James Di Liberto of the Workforce Investment Board, and Dr. Ann Marie Scheidt from SUNY Stony Brook.

The contingent announced that several components of the 10-point plan are currently being rolled out. For example, the fact sheet for Department of Health Services permit requirements has been created and is posted at www.suffolkcountyny.gov/departments/healthservices/business.aspx . Also, the Suffolk County theme, ‘Better for Business, Better for Life,” has been incorporated within various marketing and communications materials. In addition, business success stories are being touted via a recently launched newsletter that is being developed and distributed by the Suffolk Department of Economic Development & Workforce Housing. Furthermore, business opportunities can be secured by calling a toll-free telephone number established by the department at 1-800-762-GROW (4769).

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