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Babylon forms committee to help bolster town’s small businesses

Networking events, forums and presentations will be designed to encourage collaboration with local companies and offer guidance about expansion opportunities, funding sources.

Babylon Councilman Anthony Manetta said the committee could

Babylon Councilman Anthony Manetta said the committee could reveal opportunities for local businesses to work together instead of with others outside the community. Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

The Town of Babylon is creating a small-business committee to encourage collaboration between local companies and share information about resources available to them.

The committee, established by a 5-0 town board vote last Wednesday, will seek to support Babylon retail shops, manufacturers and everything in between through presentations, discussion forums and networking events, Babylon Councilman Anthony Manetta said.

“You never know where something can go once you start putting like-minded business individuals in a room together,” said Manetta, who will chair the group, which will not receive town funding.

Manetta, a former CEO of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency, said the committee could reveal opportunities for local businesses to work together instead of with others outside the community. And presentations by representatives of the Small Business Administration, public utilities and other groups could inform them of programs and funding aimed at helping small businesses save money and grow.

The committee, comprised of Manetta, downtown revitalization director Amy Pfeiffer and Planning Commissioner Tom Young, will hold its first event this fall, Manetta said.

Local business leaders praised the plan.

“It’s going to be very productive for small businesses to get together and talk about ways to improve the economic climate here,” said Jason Koch D’Ambrosio, Deer Park Chamber of Commerce president.

“When small-business owners isolate themselves, I don’t believe they’re as strong as when the business community comes together,” he said.

Sharon Fattoruso, president of the Copiague Chamber of Commerce, said the committee would be an asset to local shops.

“We need that help,” she said.

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