Some of the 1,500 people who work in Islip Town for Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. joined Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and other officials Monday to celebrate the company's decision to stay here.
The Broadridge employees knew the distributor of annual reports, proxy statements and other documents to investors had been courted by a dozen states to move. Some saw the governors of Virginia and Florida tour Broadridge's huge factories and warehouses in Edgewood and Brentwood earlier this year.
However, the workers hoped New York State, Suffolk County and Islip would offer sufficient tax breaks and utility bill reductions to keep the local operation competitive. They said they knew Broadridge executives didn't want to leave.
"Today's announcement avoids a very difficult decision for me," said Steven J. Kelly, 47, print operations vice president at Broadridge. "I'm a lifelong Long Islander. My entire family lives here and it would be difficult to leave."
The Hauppauge resident said publicly traded companies like Broadridge "are under a lot of pressure" to boost profits. The company reported a profit of $123.6 million for the fiscal year ended in June on sales of $2.3 billion. The profit was down from the previous year, while sales were up.
Under a deal announced Thursday, Broadridge agreed to maintain its payroll and make improvements to its Edgewood and Brentwood facilities, including $75 million in new equipment and $2 million in renovations.
In return, Empire State Development Corp. will fulfill a commitment to provide $20 million in state tax credits between 2007 and 2017. In addition, the state Power Authority and Long Island Power Authority will reduce Broadridge's $5 million-per-year electric bill by $6 million over seven years.
Jackie Colon, 37, left Brooklyn for Long Island when she joined Broadridge about 10 years ago. The Central Islip resident, who runs the vote audit department, said Monday she was "very happy" that the decision was to stay.
Eve Kossmann, 48, of Northport, senior director of process engineering and a 15-year employee, agreed, saying the decision was "consistent with senior management's commitment to the [employees] . . . but they also have a responsibility to shareholders."
The skills of employees such as Kelly, Colon and Kossmann were critical to keeping Broadridge in Islip Town. Chief executive Richard J. Daly said, "My goal is the retention of that talent on Long Island and to grow it over time."