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LI state-aid recipients fare well on jobs

Broadridge Financial Solutions reported increased sales and profits

Broadridge Financial Solutions reported increased sales and profits in the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2012. This is a picture of the Edgewood plant. (May 9, 2012) Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

For the second year in a row, local recipients of state economic development aid did a better job of keeping their promises to maintain and add jobs than did companies elsewhere in New York.

An audit released Thursday shows Long Island had a 100 percent compliance rate in 2011 among 22 projects receiving state grants or loans. The Adirondacks had the worst rate: 78 percent for 27 projects. New York City's compliance was 91 percent among 22 projects.

Locally, the hiring leader was Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc., which has added 266 people in the past few years. The Lake Success-based processor of shareholder documents for public companies had a payroll of 1,872 last year, far above the 1,756 people it pledged to employ in return for $1 million from the state.

Another top job generator was mattress retailer Sleepy's, which has added 211 workers in recent years. The Hicksville-based chain received $1.5 million in state help in exchange for promising to employ 551 people locally; its payroll totaled 612 last year.

Of the 22 local companies receiving state assistance, 19 exceeded employment requirements, according to the audit conducted by Empire State Development Corp. Three businesses did not meet their targets but were within 15 percent, which state officials said was allowable.

Together, the companies got $7.2 million in grants and loans for pledging to employ 6,064 people. Their payrolls totaled 6,462 in 2011, including 1,013 new jobs. The average cost of each job, preserved or created, is $1,119, or less than half the statewide average of $3,189 per job.

The one local company found to have missed its employment target in 2010, Bonsal American Inc., exceeded it last year by hiring five people. The company now has 15 workers, two more than required.

The statewide compliance rate was up from 2010 "because of the improving economy," said Robert Kwon, an assistant vice president at Empire State Development. He told the agency's board of directors Thursday that nine companies out of 355 had been penalized for failing to keep job promises. The penalties totaled $324,128, he said.

Kenneth Adams, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's economic development czar, added that state officials would examine the struggling businesses "for lessons learned and how we should proceed in the future."

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