Three winners of the 2007 "40 Under 40" awards presented by
Long Island Business News - "the ones to watch," says the magazine - look
ahead at the local economy.
As a professional event planner whose success stems from my ability to network
throughout Long Island's various business circles, I am concerned that as the
economy tightens, small-business owners and managers will retrench like
frightened turtles into their shells. Too often I hear company decision makers
say they are cutting back on the number of networking events they attend or
host with other businesses because of cost-cutting or concerns about where the
economy is going. If anything, these people should do just the opposite: The
best way to counter declining sales is to widen one's potential customer base,
and the best way to do that is to get out and meet new people.
Of real concern to me as a 30-something business owner is the lack of
action by local elected officials to stem the loss of my contemporaries.
According to the Long Island Association, the number of residents between the
Long Island's municipalities need to create affordable housing as well as
nurture a social and cultural environment more attuned to the interests of
young adults. Thriving downtown nightlife with apartments over storefronts and
mixed-use residential-commercial complexes - along the lines of what they are
trying to create in Patchogue Village - should be the rule rather than the
After all, the brightest businessperson in the world producing the greatest
gizmo or service area cannot do it by herself. Small businesses and large
businesses alike need people to grow. Without growth there is a death, and if
Long Island keeps losing its young folk businesses both small and large are