The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency recently passed a revised Long Island First Policy. This policy, which is the only one of its kind in the region, aims to increase local business participation in IDA-approved projects to maximize each project’s cumulative economic impact.
“The Suffolk IDA’s Long Island First Policy has been on the books for quite some time, but these revisions will create enhanced opportunities for local businesses when investments are being made in the region with IDA assistance,” said Natalie Wright, Commissioner and Chairperson of the Suffolk IDA. “The IDA’s mission is economic development and job creation. This policy will go a long way in ensuring investments being made by IDA Applicants provide the opportunity for local businesses and local workers to benefit, creating a waterfall effect of economic gains within our region.”
The revised Long Island First Policy, which was developed with input from a range of stakeholders including representatives from construction, real estate development, labor, and business, requires applicants to make best faith efforts to utilize Long Island Based Providers. The Long Island First policy includes construction or renovation phases of a project, along with day-to-day business operations expenses such as employees, services, equipment, and supplies. The spending by IDA clients locally creates direct employment opportunities for residents, which spend money locally, and indirect economic benefits via new business opportunities and income to local companies.
“The Building Trades Council recognizes there was great effort made by the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency to address concerns raised by Labor and I am encouraged by the results of these meetings,” said Matty Aracich, President of the Long Island Building Trades Council. “We recognize that consideration was given to expand the level of transparency and compliance of the Long Island First Policy. It is clear that we have all worked in unison and succeeded in finding ways to make this policy fair while tempering expectations.”
“The leadership of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and the tireless efforts of the IDA Board and Staff have brought the residents of Suffolk County a Long Island First Policy they can be proud of,” said Ryan Stanton, Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO Political Director. “It will help advance sound investments and support high road economic development. Our labor movement has long understood that the IDA bares a tremendous responsibility in their mission to advance the job opportunities, health, general prosperity and economic welfare of the people of Suffolk County. The adoption of the new and improved Long Island First Policy today positions the Suffolk County IDA to deliver on those goals and demonstrates their commitment to delivering for our region.”
If an IDA client or any of its subcontractors cannot comply with the policy, they must provide the IDA with detailed documentation showing their best efforts to meet the policy’s goals. If they cannot provide an explanation for why they have elected to hire entities outside of Long Island, they will run the risk of reducing, losing or recapturing of IDA benefits.
“The Long Island Builders Institute greatly appreciates the opportunity to participate with the IDA and our labor partners in providing a policy which increases the transparency of such benefits and the Long Island jobs to be created,” said Mitchell Pally, Chief Executive Officer of the Long Island Builders Institute.
“Any effort to encourage more Long Island companies to compete for work will only bolster our economy,” said Kyle Strober, Executive Director, Association for a Better Long Island. “Additionally, tracking potential construction industry deficiencies in our region will only serve to provide our construction sector with a strategic vision of potential opportunities that further expands job creation.”
Since 2012, when the initial Long Island First policy was created, IDA clients submit annual reports to the IDA that include the total dollar amount of all direct expenditures made to local Long Island businesses, such as vendors and suppliers, along with the names of the businesses included in the annual direct expenditure total. This information submitted each year provides the IDA with a better understanding of the contributions IDA projects make to both the local and regional economies.