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BusinessCoronavirus

LI tries to woo city businesses to the suburbs amid COVID-19 fears

A prototype of the cover page of a

A prototype of the cover page of a promotional insert for Site Selection Magazine's September/October issue. Credit: Site Selection Magazine

Economic developers on Long Island will launch an advertising campaign next month aimed at luring companies to the suburbs that don’t want to be in cities with large numbers of coronavirus cases, officials said this week.

The Island’s eight industrial development agencies and the tourism promotions agency Discover Long Island are organizing an insert for Site Selection Magazine’s September/October issue. With a monthly circulation of about 48,000, the magazine is read by CEOs across the globe and the real estate consultants they hire to find the best locations for offices, factories, laboratories and warehouses.

The insert, called the Long Island Intelligence Report, will be written by Site Selection journalists but paid for with advertising, the officials said. 

Among those purchasing ads are the local IDAs, Hofstra University, real estate developers RXR Realty and Tritec Real Estate, Brookhaven National Laboratory, National Grid and the Long Island Association business group.

The magazine insert will outline the Island’s attributes, such as the skilled workforce, colleges and research institutions, quality of life and key industries. It will direct readers to a new website with economic statistics, testimonials from local executives and other information, said Kristen Jarnagin, CEO of Discover Long Island, adding her staff will direct inquires to the appropriate IDA.

“There is strong name recognition of Long Island, but people don’t know anything about it,” she said. “We want them to know that we’re a business-friendly place."

Jarnagin and others said the coronavirus pandemic has created an opportunity for the suburbs, where office buildings aren’t on top of each other and rarely are more than a couple of floors.

“Every single business is rethinking their strategy, their location and how they’re going to function. Long Island could be an option for them if they know about it,” Jarnagin said.

Nassau County IDA chairman Richard Kessel agreed, saying the county’s proximity to Manhattan could lead businesses there to set up satellite operations.

The Nassau IDA board approved this week spending $6,000 for an ad in the magazine insert.

“With all of the negativity going on around the country, especially in some big cities — what a perfect time to get some businesses to look at Nassau County, to look at Long Island,” Kessel said.

With that in mind, he said, the IDA provided tax breaks earlier this year to refurbish 1 Old Country Rd. in Carle Place, which was the county’s largest office complex in 1970. The building could attract tenants from New York City if it had modern amenities, he said.

Suffolk County IDA is buying an $8,000 ad in the magazine insert.

Executive director Anthony J. Catapano said the insert offers “an opportunity for the region as we chart a course through this ever-evolving landscape” due to COVID-19.

Besides Long Island, other states and regions that have used Site Selection Magazine inserts to promote themselves include California, Illinois, Kansas, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona.

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