Proximity to top executives' families is the main reason manufacturing...

Proximity to top executives' families is the main reason manufacturing and distribution companies keep their headquarters in the metropolitan area, according to a poll released on Nov. 5, 2014. This photo is from 2002. Credit: Newsday / Bill Davis

Proximity to top executives' families is the main reason manufacturing and distribution companies keep their headquarters in the metropolitan area, according to a poll released Wednesday.

More than 100 executives, 75 percent of whom are from Nassau and Suffolk counties, were asked why they maintain their corporate office in the New York area. Fifty-five percent said because of family.

Skilled workers came in second, cited by 47 percent of the respondents. Less than 5 percent said they stay because of tax incentives.

The results, released at a Garden City conference organized by Grassi & Co. accountants, come as state and local economic development officials report aggressive attempts by the Carolinas, Florida, New Jersey and other states to lure local businesses with tax incentives, low-cost electricity and employee-training grants.

Thirty-four percent of the executives polled by Jericho-based Grassi said they had been "approached about relocating their headquarters."

More than 40 percent said they "were not aware" of tax breaks available from Empire State Development, New York State's primary business-aid agency, or local county and town industrial development agencies.

The executives polled lead factories and warehouse companies, with 22 percent in the defense industry, 15 percent in building supplies and 13 percent in food and beverages. Many have 100 or fewer employees and yearly revenue of under $50 million.Other poll highlights:

72 percent of companies derive more than 75 percent of their sales from U.S. customers. Those that export sell primarily to Canada and Mexico.

80 percent expect 2015 sales to be higher than this year's.

57 percent plan to hire workers next year.

72 percent have no formal succession plan.

The survey, in its second year, was sponsored by Bethpage-based Long Island Forum for Technology, Aerospace and Defense Diversification Alliance in Peacetime Transition in Hauppauge, and Manhattan-based Industrial + Technology Assistance Corp.

East Hampton battery storage … June inflation on LI … FeedMe: Ice cream and gelato Credit: Newsday

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