2020 4th Edition: April 27 - May 1
It’s Time to Fix What’s Broken and Focus on
Our Future Prosperity

During these challenging times as we creatively find new ways to conduct business in isolation, we must prepare for the next chapter post-isolation. Most of us are drafting plans and formulating a roadmap for moving forward with a new vision.   

Our state is in dire financial straits and the federal government is doling out money like never before. But, even with the next round of stimulus funding, it won’t be enough. So, since we know where the money is coming from now, how do we replace the billions in lost revenue? The changes that will need to occur will take the courage of our elected officials and all Americans.

For years, during a thriving economy, New York State business leaders and economic development professionals recognized that there were monumental roadblocks that kept us from advancing opportunity that prevent billions of dollars of capital investment and millions of jobs from coming to New York State. We fought hard together and lost important battles that would have saved money, brought more projects into the pipeline sooner and supported our economy. It’s time we fix what’s broken, roll up our sleeves, make sacrifices and focus on finding a path to our future prosperity.

 To name just a few ways we can turn things around, New York must:

  • Lower taxes including, income, sales, and unemployment insurance tax to competitively attract new business. 

  • Rather than writing grants to attract new business, create an environment where companies can thrive and won’t require monumental incentive packages to enter the New York market.

  • Streamline regulations to create a business-friendly environment.

  • Abolish the Scaffold Law.

  • Ramp up infrastructure investment. Infrastructure funding creates jobs, so when we spend it, new projects can be launched immediately.

  • Re-examine fracking and other forms of natural resources.

  • Reward municipalities and school districts for consolidation. (New York has the highest cost per pupil spending in the country).   

  • Create programs that support inter-municipal cooperation through the sharing of services.

  • Social programs must be restructured, earned and available only for essential needs.

  • Inheritance tax must be lowered to prevent millionaire flight.

  • Workforce/affordable housing and starter homes have to be available for our company workers to prevent youth (talent) flight.

  • Childcare regulations have made it impossible to keep up with demand. Pass reform measures to fix childcare issues facing employers and employees.

Some say the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are equal to the likes of the Great Depression. However, people were different during those times. People’s expectations were different. People didn’t expect to eat three robust meals a day, live in homes and drive cars they cannot afford and wait for the government to bail them out. 

An article in today’s newsletter entitled NY Budget Department Report Predicts Recovery from COVID-19 Downturn Will Take Longer than ‘Great Recession’ demonstrates what we must prepare for moving forward. 

It’s always been “the people” who bring change. We can use our voices and influence to find solutions to reinvigorate our economy, make the necessary sacrifices and move forward. 

My very best,

Maureen Halahan

President & CEO
Orange County Partnership

From left, Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor, and Robert Mujica, New York State Budget Director.
NY Budget Department Report Predicts Recovery from COVID-19 Downturn Will Take Longer than ‘Great Recession’
ALBANY—The New York State Division of the Budget released a report earlier this month that estimates a $13.3-billion shortfall in revenue from the Fiscal Year 2021 Executive Budget Forecast released in January. 

The report estimates a $61-billion state revenue decline through Fiscal Year 2024 as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Cuomo to Reopen Economy after May 15; SUNY Orange's Young Named to Board to Help Restart Economy
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has established a 100-member NY Forward Reopening Advisory Board that will provide input on how, where and when the state will begin lifting COVID-19 business restrictions. 

Among the appointees announced by the governor earlier this week was SUNY Orange President Dr. Kristine M. Young.

"We've come up with a phased plan to re-open New York so every region in the state has the same opening template as we begin this process," Gov. Cuomo said. “We have to be smart about this—emotions can't drive our re-opening process—and we've come up with factual data points that each region must monitor as they begin to re-open. We've also created a New York Forward Re-Opening Advisory Board made up of business, academic, community and civic leaders from across the state to help guide this process and ensure businesses are following the necessary guidelines to preserve public health as we work towards a new normal.” 

Dr. Kristine M. Young
SUNY Orange President
17-Forward-86 Update: Rebuilding the Hudson Valley Region, its Workforce and its Future
During these uncertain times, the people of New York State have benefitted from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s steady leadership and that of the region’s federal, state and local officials while, once again, proving remarkable resilience when they work together. 

Bipartisan Harvard Study Offers Roadmap to Reopening US Economy
With the Trump Administration releasing criteria for state governments to reopen their economies, along with many governors, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, unveiling preliminary plans to restart their economies, a newly released bi-partisan report by Harvard University sheds some light on the avenues government leaders can take to effectively and safely begin the process of mobilizing and reopening the U.S. economy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience,” released by Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics with support from The Rockefeller Foundation on April 20, lays out how a massive scale-up of testing, paired with contact tracing and supported isolation, can rebuild trust in our personal safety and re-mobilize the U.S. economy.

Elisabeth Mansfield
President of Mansfield Commercial Real Estate
Pre-Coronavirus: Soft Office Market Conditions Will Persist in 2020
One of the most widely-read reports by Orange County real estate professionals is the annual analyses of the industrial and commercial office markets by veteran commercial real estate broker Elisabeth Mansfield, owner of Mansfield Commercial Real Estate in Goshen.

Ms. Mansfield recently released her 2019 report entitled “Overview of the Commercial Real Estate Market in Orange County, NY at Year-End 2019” that provided an extensive recap of market activity last year and her views of prevailing trends as the markets entered 2020.

The Changing Value of Economic Development and
Technology’s Role in Site Selection

To make intelligent decisions going forward, economic development officials, business leaders and lawmakers need to be informed of the latest trends and data.

With that in mind along with the rapidly changing business environment in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Orange County Partnership in its Resources and Results electronic newsletter seeks to present the latest and thought-provoking views by some of the industry’s leading national, regional and local players.

In this edition, the Partnership presents two columns by executives of Columbia, SC-based Strategic Development Group on the changes caused by the Coronavirus and new technologies that will help shape site selection post pandemic.
The Changing Value of Economic Development: What a Difference a Virus and 60 Days Can Make
Just 60 days ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had reached an all-time high, capping off the longest economic recovery in history: 127 months! 

At the apex of this economic growth, the nation had reached a point of near full employment. Economic developers and their mission to create sustainable jobs and capital investment were increasingly under fire from elements of the media, political factions and existing companies competing for employees. The question of why spend time and money recruiting new businesses when we are struggling to find qualified workers became an endless refrain for many economic developers across the US. 

Can Technology Change the Way We Do Site Selection?
Like many Americans, I have been working from a home office for the last four weeks. As a professional site selection consultant, whose job requires traveling around the country conducting site and community visits, it has been quite an adjustment. It has caused me to reflect on how I can continue to provide the high level of service and quality work my clients come to expect in this age of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc, numerous companies & local leaders have stepped up to assist our community. We'd like to recognize and keep you apprised of private businesses that are creatively supporting our community during these challenging times.

Milmar Food Group located in Goshen, donated 10,000 pounds of food to Orange County's Office for the Aging to benefit the county’s Senior Meals Program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Servpro of North Orange County , a restoration facility located in Middletown, has been utilizing their services by helping our local first responders stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak including disinfecting the City of Newburgh's patrol cars and sanitizing the Goodwill Fire House located in Newburgh at no cost. 

Moroney's Harley Davidson located in New Windsor, graciously donated head covers to local nurses, doctors and medical workers at Highland Rehab & Nursing Center in Middletown. 

Mount Saint Mary College in the City of Newburgh has donated more than 7,000 disposable gloves and hundreds of masks and gowns from its School of Nursing supplies to regional hospitals, retirement homes and even the temporary hospital at the Javits Center in Manhattan. The college sent about 5,000 gloves to Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, 1,500 to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern in Rockland County, and 500 to Four Winds Hospital in Cross River in Westchester County.

Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery , in partnership with their sister business, Black Dirt Distillery have produced hand sanitizer for local hospitals and nursing homes throughout the region.

The Castle Fun Center , a popular family entertainment center in Chester, N.Y., is helping keep front-line healthcare workers safe by using its 3-D printer to manufacture components for face shields, a type of personal protection equipment in short supply. So far, more than 100 have been created; it will produce 500 to 1,000 or more, depending on the ongoing need.

From their home or classroom, local educators from Pine Bush Central School District , Minisink Valley Central School District and Goshen Central School Districts are creating face shields using 3-D printers as personal protective equipment for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Aurochemicals: The internationally recognized manufacturer of natural aroma ingredients in the flavor and fragrance industry, based in Washingtonville, has provided tens of thousands of hard-to-find surgical masks to protect healthcare and first-responder teams in the community. The company recently supplied Orange County Government with 50,000 surgical masks and provided 42,000 masks to Orange Regional Medical Center. 

Bonura Hospitality Group:  The wildly successful company, which owns and operates restaurants, catering halls and a hotel, has had to lay off more than 400 of their 1,000 employees during the pandemic. The family-owned business is making meals out of an otherwise closed facility to care for not only their employees but their families, providing a hot meals every day for curbside pickup.  

Konica Minolta and Laborers’ Local 17 LECET/Hudson Valley Building & Construction Trades Council have donated a number of N-95 and N-99 masks to nursing homes and first responders throughout Orange County.

SUNY Orange: In response to requests from healthcare facilities in Orange County fighting COVID-19 on the front lines, the leaders of SUNY Orange Health Professions Programs recently delivered a donation of 4,505 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items to the Newburgh campus of Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital.

DNA Entertainment hosted a live stream dance party and raised more than $6,000 to supply meals for workers around Orange County’s medical centers, nursing homes and urgent care facilities.

Fidanza Family Properties: The property, food and beverage management group based in Middletown, announced a food donation program for businesses who want to help supply meals to essential employees while on the job. Business can make a donation by ordering food from one of their restaurants (Pizza E Birra and Planet Wings) and the company will match that donation, up to $1,500 worth of food. To date, $2,0000 worth of food has been donated to the staff at Orange Regional Medical Center. To participate email: franco@planetwings.com .

Construction Contractors Association , Danskammer , Boyce Excavating and Focus Media were all instrumental in securing and donating to the emergency need of N-95 masks to protect medical workers from the Coronavirus.

Medline Industries , the nation’s largest privately-held healthcare manufacturer and distributor, has worked tirelessly with local hospitals and healthcare facilities to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) and has donated an abundance of supplies to the Town of Montgomery and Orange County.

Orange County Distillery was creative in turning a 55-gallon barrel of extremely high-proof spirits into hand sanitizer, which they gave out to Orange County residents for FREE.

Please help us recognize private-business leaders who are creatively contributing to the health and well-being of our community. Please share stories by emailing our Marketing Director, Sarah Brosnan to be included in next week's newsletter:

We are all in this together, the best of people come out
in the worst of times.

Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Strong.
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