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LI applications for state business aid fall 30 percent

Cara Longworth of the Long Island Regional Economic

Cara Longworth of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, shown here on Feb. 23, 2015, says this year the group received applications for state business aid from "a cross-section of Long Island's dynamic community." Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Applications from Long Island for state business aid fell 30 percent this year from 2015, officials said.

Companies, local governments and nonprofit organizations submitted 178 completed applications to the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council by the July 29 deadline. The council received 254 completed forms last year.

This year’s crop of applications was the fewest since Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo created the local council, along with nine others across the state, in 2011.

Jonah Bruno, a spokesman for Empire State Development, which administers the councils, said, “Long Island saw a large number of applicants last year and a strong showing this year. Additionally, this year there were fewer programs through which to apply for funding than there were last year.”

Statewide, 2,159 completed applications were submitted this year for the annual Regional Economic Development Councils competition. That’s a 43 percent drop from last year, when 3,770 forms were completed.

The councils will review the applications and make recommendations to the state agencies that provide funding. To determine winners of the aid, each council can award up to 20 points on a 100-point scale, while the state agency has up to 80 points to assign.

The winners are expected to be announced by Cuomo in the fall.

Last year, Long Island secured $98.3 million in state business aid for 121 projects. It has been a big winner in four of the last five contests.

The peak number of completed applications in Nassau and Suffolk counties, 295, was received in both 2012 and 2013.

Long Island council executive director Cara Longworth said, “the applications we received this year represent a cross-section of Long Island’s dynamic community.”


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