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More LI businesses apply for state aid as 'success breeds success,' official says

State officials and members of the Long Island

State officials and members of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council at last year's state aid awards ceremony in Albany. Credit: Tim Roske

Applications from Long Island for state business aid rose 4 percent this year over last year, officials said.

Businesses, local governments and nonprofit organizations submitted 239 completed Consolidated Funding Applications to the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council by the July 27 deadline, according to Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency.

The council received 230 completed forms last year. The peak number, 295, occurred in 2012 and again in 2013.

Council co-vice chairman Kevin Law said on Monday that the increase in aid applications during 2017 is due in part to the council’s track record since 2011, when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo established the regional councils’ system to distribute state tax credits and grants.

The local council has secured $571 million for 688 projects over the past seven years, the second most of the state's 10 regions.

“Success breeds success and because the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council has been successful in winning hundreds of millions of dollars for our region, more and more companies and organizations are learning about the process and participating,” said Law, who also is president of the Long Island Association business group.

He leads the council with co-vice chairman Stuart Rabinowitz, Hofstra University president. Other members are union leaders, business executives and nonprofit officials.

Statewide, 2,433 completed applications were submitted this year in the annual Regional Economic Development Councils competition. That’s a 4 percent drop from last year, when 2,543 forms were completed.

The local council, along with nine others across the state, will now review the applications and make recommendations to the state agencies that provide up to $750 million in 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.

Winners across the state are expected to be announced by Cuomo in the fall.

Last year, Long Island again came out a big winner, taking home $84.3 million for 98 projects. The region has been a big winner in five years of the seven-year-old competiton.

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