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14 LI businesses recommended for $15M in aid

Owner Susan Axelrod with treats at her Freeport-based

Owner Susan Axelrod with treats at her Freeport-based Love and Quiches. The bakery would hire 42 workers with a $2.3-million investment. (April 4, 2011) Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Muffin purveyor Uncle Wally's, guitar string producer D'Addario & Co. and bakery Love and Quiches Desserts are among 14 expanding businesses recommended by local leaders for $15 million in state aid.

In a report submitted to state officials Monday, the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council identified the building plans of companies that are worthy of immediate help from Albany. Together, the projects would create about 3,800 jobs and more than $200 million in investment.

The report, in the works since July, will compete with nine others from across New York for one of four allotments of $40 million each. An allotment consists of $15 million in state tax credits and $25 million in grants.

The reports are meant to be five-year plans to boost the economies of specific regions. They are part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's drive to remake the state's economic development programs.

The projects endorsed by the local council for tax credits include G4 Synergetics of Setauket, which is proposing a $42-million expansion that would create about 2,500 jobs. G4 specializes in bipolar rechargeable batteries.

Another large project from BlueGreen Farms Llc calls for $67.1 million in investment and 364 new jobs. The company has proposed building a tilapia fish farm in Port Jefferson Station, though local officials have expressed reservations.

Uncle Wally's, based in Shirley, wants to add 55 people to its payroll with a $13-million expansion. A $9-million project by D'Addario in Farmingdale would create 50 jobs, while Freeport's Love and Quiches would hire 42 people with a $2.3-million investment.

Council co-vice chairman Stuart Rabinowitz said, "We believe the state should invest in our region. The state will get a good return on its investment."

Rabinowitz, who also serves as Hofstra University president, will present the local report on Nov. 28 to a review panel in Albany. Kevin Law, council co-vice chairman and Long Island Association president, will also speak.

Cuomo is expected to name the winning reports by Dec. 15.

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