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Business Expansions and Contractions, Long Island Region

Business Expansions and Openings

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Melville (Suffolk County)-based natural and organic food and personal care products company Hain Celestial Group reportedly wants to move its headquarters into a larger building in Lake Success (Nassau County). The company has also considered moving to New Jersey or Colorado, where it has factories. At a meeting next month the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency will consider a $3.5 million sales tax exemption on construction materials and equipment as well as a reduction of property taxes as a way to persuade Hain to remain on Long Island. Officials also expect to be able to offer the company state tax credits in exchange for creating 122 jobs. The company employs 250 locally.   (Newsday/March 29, 2012))

Clothing retailer Nordstrom Rack will open a new store this fall at the Huntington Shopping Center in Huntington Station (Suffolk County).  The Nordstrom Rack store in Westbury (Nassau County) will relocate to The Gallery at Westbury Plaza later this year.  (Newsday.com/March 28, 2012

Despite a previous proposal to lay off three K-6 teachers, a pupil personnel staffer, an administrator, a clerical worker and a custodian, the latest budget proposal for the Babylon (Suffolk County) School District does not include any staff layoffs, or reductions in programs and services.  The budget keeps all current programs, services and activities in place and increases spending on instructional technology.  ( Babylon Village Patch.com/March 27, 2012

Having accepted the district's teacher evaluation and support plans, the state education department has restored about $1.9 million in school improvement grant funding for the Roosevelt (Nassau County) School District.   (Newsday.com/March 26, 2012)

Seasons 52 , a restaurant chain noted for serving fresh food and for "mindful eating," opened in Roosevelt Field in Garden City (Nassau County). The two-level eatery cum piano bar seats 400 people and brings about 100 new jobs. (Newsday/March 27, 2012)

Rapidly expanding health club LA Fitness , which acquired Bally Total Fitness clubs in Copiague (Suffolk County), Lake Grove and Levittown (both Nassau) last fall, plans to open three more clubs in former Waldbaum's stores in Smithtown and Centereach and a one-time Borders store in Commack (all Suffolk County), bringing the chain's local presence to nine.  No-frills gym Blink opened its first Long Island club in Melville (Suffolk County) and is seeking additional sites across Long Island.  Orangetheory Fitness Studio opened its first Long Island club in an East Northport (Suffolk County).  Finally, Synergy Fitness Clubs recently bought Sportime's Syosset gym and opened another club in Garden City Park (both Nassau County).  (Long Island Business News.com/March 23, 3012

(Update)  Hauppauge (Suffolk County)-based computer equipment maker SMSC (formerly Standard Microsystems Corp) will stay in business on Long Island thanks in part to a deal orchestrated by the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency that alllows it to sell its headquarters to Rechler Equity Partners and rent back some of the space.  Rechler will rent the remainder of the space to other businesses.  SMSC will also continue to receive tax breaks approved last October.  (Newsday.com/March 22, 2012)

After more than a decade away, US Airways will resume twice-daily nonstop flights from Long Island MacArthur Airport to Washington, DC.  (Newsday.com/March 22, 2012

Financial services firm Cabot Lodge Securities is opening an office in Melville (Suffolk County) and will eventually hire at least 30 financial advisers, who will get the chance to become part-owners of the company. Altogether Cabot expects to hire as many as 100 employees over the next two years, although some of these may work at company offices in Manhattan and New Jersey.  (Newsday.com/March 20, 2012)

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano is recommending that Nassau Sports and Events , a recently created company, build a large-scale exhibition center at Mitchel Field in Uniondale.  Mangano said the project would create jobs and generate about $35 million for the local economy over the next five years.  (Long Island Business News.com/March 15, 2012)

Massage spa franchise Hand & Stone Spa is opening in Levittown (Nassau County). It will employ 17 people, including 8 massage therapists.  The company plans to add 10 outlets on the Island within two years.  (Newsday/March 14, 2012)

Luxury retailer Henri Bendel will open a store at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station (Suffolk County) in June.  The company also hopes to open a store soon at the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City (Nassau County).  (Newsday.com/March 13, 2012)

Dental insurance company Healthplex held a job fair on March 21 to hire 100 employees for its office in Uniondale (Nassau County) About half the hires are customer services reps. The rest are computer and mailroom personnel, claim adjudicators and dental hygienists with salaries ranging from $30,000 to $125,000 annually. Healthplex, with 400 employees, is unionized and expects about 450,000 new customers, since the State mandates all Medicaid recipients participate in a managed care program.  (Newsday/March 13, 2012)

Leonard Vincent Group , a company that buys, rehabs, rents and sells foreclosures, opened February 1 in Great River (Suffolk County). The Manhattan – based company has five employees and will add three to five jobs each month over the next year at this location. The company also manages foreclosed property investments for doctors, lawyers, CEO's and other high-net-worth individuals.  (Long Island Business News/March 2, 2012)


Previously Reported

(Update) A building in Hauppauge (Suffolk County) that was converted only a few weeks ago into a mini tech mall is filling up fast.  The mall opened its doors in February to XT Group, formerly of East Meadow (Nassau County), and LISTnet, the technology-boosting organization formerly based in Melville (Suffolk County).  Three more companies have now moved into in the building: Tech Software Inc., formerly in Melville; Maxburst, which had been in Smithtown (Suffolk County), and GroupGifting.com, a new start-up company.   (newsday.com/March 15, 2012)

Suffolk County lawmakers voted to hire Hudson River Health Care (HRHC) Inc., a Peekskill (Westchester County)-based group that runs 21 health centers serving patients upstate and in Nassau County to run the Elsie Owens Health Center in Coram. HRHC, which gets increased federal reimbursements and free malpractice insurance as a federally-qualified health center, will add dental and mental health services to Owens' current primary care while reducing costs.  However, the arrangement will end Suffolk County control.  (Newsday/March 13, 2012)

Six school districts on Long Island's South Fork -Springs, East Hampton, Montauk, Sag Harbor, Southampton and Tuckahoe (all Suffolk County) - plan to seek a NYS Department of State grant for an efficiency study to examine district consolidation and sharing of services, including purchasing, payroll, benefits, transportation, administration and even special education.  The six districts enroll 5,892 students and cover an area of about 140 square miles.  The competitive grant application is due in Albany by March 21, and districts will find out in June if they will receive the funding.  (Newsday/March 13, 2012)

Makers of beer and wine in New York State could benefit from new legislation, which seeks to boost production of craft beers with a "made in New York" designation and from a measure which would exempt wineries and distilleries from certain costly tax filing requirements.  Both measures are, of course, expected to create jobs.  Long Island is home to 8 breweries that are members of the state Brewers Association and to about 50 wineries.  (Newsday.com/March 6, 2012)

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is gearing up to launch a new incentive program, which could be in place as early as this summer, to pay customers for the solar power they produce.  Although the tariff would apply to both residential and commercial customers, a company spokesman said it could make bigger installations in particular more economical.  LIPA hopes the incentive, called a "feed-in tariff" will generate a new burst of interest in large projects, further fueling Long Island's solar power boom.  (Long Island Business News.com/March 6, 2012)

Deer Park (Suffolk County)-based East Coast Refrigeration , which services commercial and industrial refrigeration systems, is having difficulty filling job openings at the company and could easily hire 10 more workers if only it had enough applicants, according to a spokesman.  To this end, the company has instituted a formal training program for employees and recently purchased a $10,000 refrigeration simulator to train workers.  The company has also begun to recruit via word-of-mouth, and plans to talk to young people in local schools about opportunities in this field.  (Newsday.com/March 5, 2012)

In order to save money officials in the Village of Laurel Hollow plan to drop Nassau County police services in favor of five-year contract with Oyster Bay Cove's police department.  That department in turn plans to add four officers to its force.  Officials hope to begin the contract on June 1 to coincide with the start of the fiscal year.   (Newsday.com/March 4, 2012)

New York State has awarded the Nassau County Department of Social Services grants totaling almost $300,000 to provide training and subsidized employment in health care, green jobs and customer service for eligible residents, who must apply for the services through the Social Services office and meet financial eligibility requirements.  Health care employment opportunities include skilled nursing and direct patient care, while the green jobs may include weatherization and office positions.  (Newsday.com/March 2, 2012)

(Update) All six villages (Old Brookville, Brookville, Upper Brookville, Mill Neck, Matinecock and Cove Neck), protected by the Old Brookville (Nassau County) police force have signed a contract lasting into 2017.  (Long Island Business News.com/March 1, 2012)

(Update) Specialty supermarket Fairway Market will open a 68,000-square-foot store in the Roosevelt Raceway Center in Westbury (Nassau County), occupying half the space on Corporate Drive that used to house Home Depot Expo , which closed in 2009.  The opening, expected in August, likely will create 400 to 500 jobs.  The Westbury location will be Fairway's 11th, and its second on Long Island; the Plainview store opened in 2001.   (Newsday.com/March 1, 2012)

Several Long Island companies that operate call centers are benefitting from the "re-shoring" of call center jobs previously outsourced overseas.  The Farmingdale (Nassau County)-based Sunrise family of companies , including Sunrise Credit Services , NetTel USA and Sunrise Capital Management , which currently employs 550 on Long Island, expects to end the year with 650 to 675 workers.  Islandia (Suffolk County)-based Rubin & Rothman, Commack (Suffolk County)-based Foster & Garbus and Woodbury (Nassau County)-based Cohen & Slamowitz are also hiring.  (Long Island Business News.com/March 1, 2012)

The Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City (Nassau County) will undergo a major renovation and expansion that developers say will create about 2,800 construction jobs.  In addition to a new food pavilion to replace the food court and several new full-service restaurants, upscale retailer Neiman Marcus will open its first Long Island store in the in 2015, creating many retail positions.  (Newsday.com/March 1, 2012)

 

Business Contractions and Closings

New Items

Sears Appliances and Hardware stores in North Lindenhurst, North Babylon and Hauppauge (Suffolk County) will all close between now and early June due to "poor performance."  The majority of the employees are part-time.  Those who qualify will receive severance, and associates will be notified of open positions at other nearby Sears and Kmart locations.  (Lindenhurst Patch.com/March 27, 2012)

Commack School District officials are considering laying off 40 to 60 teachers, one administrator, two secretaries, six custodians, assistant coaches for 16 sports teams and for the varsity swim teams.  School officials calculate it would take a 6.3 percent tax increase to keep all existing programs.  Such a budget, would exceed the tax cap and would need 60 percent of voters' approval to pass.  (Newsday.com/March 26, 2012)

The US Department of Transportation , which oversees the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point (Nassau County), announced it will close the Global Maritime and Transportation School , which offers 140 courses each year in seamanship and related issues to military, government and commercial employees, in July due to "financial irregularities."  Rep. Michael Grimm of Staten Island has asked the U.S. Maritime Administration to move the school's curriculum and equipment to the Seaman's Institute at Snug Harbor (Richmond County).  He has not yet received a response.  (Newsday.com/March 26, 2012

The Freeport (Nassau County) School District will lay off 20 more teachers based on their seniority and cut student programs because the teachers union, the 600-member Freeport Teachers Association , rejected a delayed pay raise, school officials said Saturday.  Last month, the district eliminated 26 positions, including 14 teachers, and cut summer school classes.  (Newsday.com/March 24, 2012)

Cosmetics maker Estée Lauder plans to move a distribution center employing 58 people from Melville (Suffolk County) to its distribution hub in Pennsylvania in late June.   Lauder also said it will move its fragrance filling operations to Melville from Oakland, N.J. in the next 12 to 14 months.  The fragrance plant will add approximately as many jobs as will be lost in distribution.  (Newsday.com/March 22, 2012

Declaring a continuing fiscal crisis, the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) voted to freeze Nassau County workers' wages for a second consecutive year.  Board members said they would not continue to approve county borrowing if the county does not achieve the $150 million in recurring labor savings promised in this year's budget. Nassau has reduced employee head count through retirements and layoffs to 7,644 as of Jan. 31, compared with 8,410 in 2011 but still faces a budget gap of $100 million, according to NIFA.  NIFA also expressed skepticism about the county's plan to privatize its sewer system.  (Newsday.com/March 22, 2012)

New York Life Insurance Co., the biggest U.S. life insurer owned by policyholders, plans to eliminate about 200 jobs nationwide.  The positions will be eliminated across business lines.  (Crains New York.com/March 20, 2012)

The Lindenhurst (Suffolk County) School District is proposing eliminating about a dozen instructional and noninstructional positions as part of cost-savingsin its 2012-13 budget.  The cuts are based on declining enrollment.  (Five Towns Patch.com/March 21, 2012 )

The Half Hollow Hills (Suffolk County) School District has plans to make spending cuts for the 2012-13 school year, including reductions among staff and BOCES programs.   The district is planning to reduce the use of substitute teachers, and other modifications include the elimination of two Central Office managerial positions, six clerical positions, and a middle school guidance counselor.   At least three BOCES programs will be cut including Student Athlete Leadership Team, Suffolk Edge and Race to the Top.  The board will adopt the proposed budget on April 19. The budget vote is scheduled for May 15.  (Half Hollow Hills Patch.com/March 21, 2012)

The Massapequa School District is eliminating 29 teaching positions, which represent four percent of the district's teachers, as part of their proposed 2012-13 school budget.  (Massapequa Patch.com/March 19, 2012)

Nassau County is poised to pick a private operator to manage and maintain its three major wastewater treatment plants, 53 sewage pumping stations and roughly 3,000 miles of sewers.  A transfer of control of the treatment system, including at Glen Cove , Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant and Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Wantagh , is not expected until at least January 2013.  The roughly 260 county employees working at the plants will be offered jobs by a private operator.  The deal still must clear the legislature and the Nassau Interim Finance Authority , a state monitoring agency that controls the county's finances.  (Newsday.com/March 19, 2012)

An entrepreneur has plans to open the Southampton (Suffolk County) Day Camp in the town's North Sea area, which would accommodate 400 school-age campers and employ 100, but the Town Zoning Board of Appeals has ordered him to seek a variance.  The site's owner said he will pursue whatever variances are required and expressed confidence that the project will proceed.  (Newsday.com/March 16, 2012; WARN 2011-0289)

Citing "economic reasons", electrical component and tool manufacturer Cooper Lighting Llc in Hicksville (Nassau County) will lay off 26 employees - a quarter of its workforce - between June 1, 2012 and October 12, 2012.  The company filed a WARN notice to be in compliance with state law.  (Newsday.com/March 5, 2012)

Previously Reported

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone declared "the worst fiscal emergency in our county's history", and said it was unlikely that he would be able to prevent nearly 500 county jobs from being eliminated in July.  Lawmakers had funded nearly 600 jobs until July, leaving it up to Bellone to decide whether they could be paid for the rest of the year.  Roughly 200 of the jobs funded through June are in the county nursing home.  Bellone plans to meet with labor unions to discuss health care and other concessions.  (Newsday.com/March 6, 2012)

Hicksville (Nassau County)-based commercial lighting and design firm Cooper Lighting Llc plans to lay off 26 employees between June 1 and Oct. 12.  The company has 106 employees, some of whom are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3.  (Newsday.com/March 5, 2012)

(Update) Nassau County legislators authorized the Nassau police commissioner to implement County Executive Edward Mangano's plan to cut the number of police precincts from eight to four over the next nine months.  Mangano has said the county would save as much as $20 million by eliminating about 100 administrative jobs and reassigning 48 desk cops to neighborhood crime prevention.  (Newsday.com/March 5, 2012)

Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) in East Meadow laid off 25 nurses and nurse's aides and cut another 12 full-time nurses back to part-time positions as part of an effort to close a projected budget gap.  40 other employees, including nurses, clinicians, clerical workers, techs and executives, accepted early retirement packages of up $20,000, based on salary and seniority.   (Newsday.com/March 2, 2012)

Hauppauge (Suffolk County)-based defense contractor GSE Dynamics Inc. , which makes parts for submarines and military aircraft, is considering a proposal from economic development authorities in South Carolina to move the company to that state.  New York's economic development agency, Empire State Development, would like to offer a package similar to South Carolina's through its Excelsior program, but benefits through Excelsior are contingent on significant job growth.  Over the "last few years" GSE grew from 30 to 50 employees, and a company spokesperson said she did not think GSE could match that job growth going forward.  (newsday.com/March 1, 2012)

The Town of Brookhaven (Suffolk County) is considering restructuring or privatizing a host of town departments and public services to help close a large budget gap.  Proposals under consideration include transferring services from the town's planning, public safety, waste management, parks, building and fire prevention departments into a new Department of Public Works and privatizing such services as the animal shelter, Calabro Airport , Brookhaven Ecology Site , Brookhaven Amphitheater , marinas and transportation for seniors.  It is not clear how many jobs might be eliminated by the moves.  (Newsday.com/March 1, 2012)

At a meeting with about 100 Long Island business leaders at North Grumman in Bethpage (Nassau County) Congressman Steve Israel said that Congress will cut about $500 billion from the military budget over the next decade, on top of the $487 billion in cuts already included in the budget for fiscal 2013.  (Newsday.com/February 29, 2012)

CPI Corp. plans to close 346 underperforming PictureMe Portrait Studios located inside Wal-Mart stores by about March 23 but did not say which stores it will close.  CPI will continue to operate 2,712 studios in Wal-Mart , Sears and Babies "R" Us stores.  (Biz Jounals.com/February 29, 2012)

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