After Hurricane Sandy devastated Long Beach in 2012, the dominant images of the city ranged from burned down
and gutted homes to the ripped up wooden boardwalk.
In time, though, those images started to give way to an ad campaign that included television commercials featuring
hometown celebrity Billy Crystal, who encouraged viewers to visit the city’s beaches, restaurants and shops as it
was on the path to rebuilding. The multimedia campaign was funded in part by a $300,000 state grant the city
received through the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC).
“What the marketing campaign really did was, number one, got the word out, but it also bought us the time to
rebuild,” said Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman. “Now we’re able to offer a better product than the city was
able to before. We have a brand new boardwalk, comfort stations, a food truck market, miniature golf, and all kinds
of things to do.”
Schnirman was one of several speakers at LIREDC’s presentation at Farmingdale State College on Wednesday,
following a bus tour of projects the state-created council has helped fund since its inception in 2011.
Hosted by LIREDC co-chairs Kevin Law, president of Long Island Association, and Stuart Rabinowitz, president of
Hofstra University, the tour and presentation were given to the New York State Strategic Implementation
Assessment Team (SIAT), a panel comprised of private industry experts and state government officials, including
Secretary of State Cesar Perales and Tax Commissioner Jerry Boone.
In addition to the state’s councils in 10 regions, SIAT members assists in judging and voting during the annual
application process. This year, application submission across the regions were up about 40 percent, following the
July 31 deadline, to 3,808 from 2,600 in 2014. On Long Island, applications were up to 255 from 196 last year,
although the most submissions received were 295 in 2012 and 2013.
This year, statewide applicants will compete for $750 million in state-credits and grants and private money, with the
Island getting a $105 million slice of that pie. Since the program started four years ago, Long Island has received
$326.2 million for 347 projects. Only the identity of the winning applicants are disclosed when the judges name
them this fall.
In 2011, Gov. Andrew Cuomo created the 10 regional councils, which consist of public officials and private
individuals from various industries and sectors, including business, academia, and nonprofit organizations, for the
purpose of promoting economic development and job creation across the state.
Among the other representatives of former grant recipients who presented on Wednesday were Daphne Gordon,
program administrator for the Entrepreneurial Assistance Center at Suffolk County Community College, which
received a $22,500 grant for a youth business summer camp, and Alan Jacobsen, chief research officer and director
at Winthrop University Research Institute, which received a $1 million grant to help build a bio-medical research
facility in Mineola.
The bus tour stopped at previously-funded projects that included robotics and big data labs at Hofstra University,
which received a $2 million grant for these projects, and the site of Wyandanch Rising, a housing development that
received a $14 million grant over four years, the most aid received by any applicant on the Island.
“I’ve been all over the state and I’m particularly pleased by what I saw here on Long Island,” Perales said following
Wednesday’s bus tour.