Assembly Minority Members Participate In Long Island Business Forum

January 28, 2011

Assemblyman Graf (far left), Assemblyman Raia (second from right) and Assemblyman Montesano (far right) speak with local business leaders and legislative colleagues at the Long Island Advancement of Small Business’ panel discussion, titled “What is Albany Doing for Long Island’s Small Businesses?”

Several of Long Island’s Assembly Minority Members recently participated in the Long Island Advancement of Small Business’ panel discussion, titled “What Is Albany Doing for Long Island’s Small Businesses?” Attending the event were Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,I,C- East Northport), Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano R,I,C–Glen Head) and Assemblyman Al Graf (R-Holbrook). Members of the Long Island Advancement of Small Business were invited to attend the discussion to hear different perspectives on how to stimulate small business on Long Island, as well as to share their suggestions and concerns with their elected officials.

“It was a pleasure to hear the concerns and recommendations of small businesses, and I will bring these ideas back to Albany,” said Raia. “As budget negotiations progress, I will be sure to use these suggestions and advocate on behalf of small business. Helping small businesses succeed is one of my top priorities as a legislator, and I will always work tirelessly to ensure their ideas are heard.”

“The resourcefulness and hard work that goes into making a small business competitive is truly amazing,” said Montesano. “As a state, we have bound small businesses’ true potential by over taxation and regulation. New York has strayed from the idea that free enterprise is the foundation of success. We must return to this driving principle of the great American economic model and create a more open and permissive business environment in the Empire State. This begins with reducing regulations, ending the Corporate Franchise Tax, and cutting the overall tax burden on small-business owners. The state can no longer afford to freely spend and then tax businesses to cover their irresponsibility. It is time to unshackle small businesses and allow them to flourish.”

“Economic growth can only be achieved through a partnership of the public and private sectors,” said Assemblyman Graf. “It takes the entire community working together - state legislators, local government officials, small-business owners and consumers. That’s why it is so important to hold forums like these. No one person or one business can grow Long Island’s economy alone. We all need to work together.”

The panel was moderated by John Kominicki, publisher at the Long Island Business News. Also participating in the event were Suffolk County Legislator Jon Coope; Yves R. Michel, Commissioner of Economic Development for Suffolk County; and Robert C. Larson, Vice President of the Commercial Lending Community Development Corp. of Long Island. The event was held on January 26 at the Adelphi University Education & Conference Center in Hauppauge.