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Suffolk IDA OKs tax breaks to keep small manufacturer in county

Socratis and Kathy Stavropoulos of Cove Long Island

Socratis and Kathy Stavropoulos of Cove Long Island on Thursday at the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency meeting. Credit: James T. Madore

A small manufacturer of pail handles, hooks, hinge pins and other wire products will stay in Suffolk County instead of moving to New Jersey because of county tax breaks, officials said Thursday.

Cove Long Island Inc. plans to buy a 28,373-square-foot building at 165 Oval Dr. in Islandia for $3.2 million. It will replace 22,800 square feet of rented space in South Farmingdale that the company must vacate by April 30.

The project won $287,400 in tax breaks on Thursday from the county’s Industrial Development Agency, during its monthly meeting in Hauppauge. The largest saving is a $257,645 reduction in property taxes, or 27.5 percent, over 10 years.

At the meeting, Kathy Stavropoulos, who owns Cove with her husband, Socratis, said, "We are already running on tight [profit] margins in the manufacturing business, so in order to stay healthy and to continue to grow, to invest in our employees, we really need your assistance.  There are other states that provide similar incentives. ... But we really love Long Island and want to stay on Long Island."

She told the IDA's board of directors that Cove has explored moving to New Jersey.

In return for Suffolk’s help, the company has promised to add four employees to the current payroll of 11. Records show employees earn, on average, $34,000 per year.

Socratis Stavropoulos said in an interview, "The larger space will enable us to add more equipment and inventory and hire more people."

The Islandia building has been home to a tile contractor. Cove has been operating from 170 Allen Blvd. in South Farmingdale.

Cove’s wire products are used in industries including agriculture, construction, food processing, garments and packaging throughout North America and the Caribbean.

Kathy Stavropoulos said she and her husband started Cove in 2012 "to broaden our product niche" beyond what is offered by a second business they both own, Island Industries in Coram. Island Industries, which opened in 1997, makes wire grids and store racks. It has seven employees, she said. 

IDA Executive Director Anthony J. Catapano said Cove is among thousands of small manufacturers that IDAs seek to help. He said the tax breaks would allow Cove "to move forward with their expansion, to hire more employees and to compete in the national marketplace."

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