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The Long Island Association Announces New “East End Business Support Program” at Riverhead Event

Press Release

Date:                   April 20, 2023
Contact:              Stacey Sikes, Vice President of Government Affairs & Communications, Long Island Association

The Long Island Association Announces New “East End Business Support Program” at Riverhead Event
Click for pictures of the event
Melville, NY – The Long Island Association (LIA) announced a new program to support businesses operating in the five East End Towns - East Hampton, Riverhead, Southampton, Southold, and Shelter Island – by connecting them with the resources at the Long Island Association. This includes networking with both small businesses and the larger employers that are members of the LIA to facilitate B2B relationships, promotion of East End businesses through the LIA’s digital communications and events, and connections to key government and non-government partners and resources. The East End Business Support Program was announced at Atlantis Banquets & Events in Riverhead at a luncheon today called “The Future of Business on the East End.”
“The LIA’s goal is for all of the businesses on Long Island to be able to access our network of support - from Floral Park to Montauk, and everywhere in between. That’s why we are bringing the LIA to the East End to continue to grow its diverse economy,” said Matt Cohen, President & CEO of the Long Island Association.
The LIA also announced the creation of an East End Committee for its members which will be co-chaired by LIA Board members Kristen Reynolds, President & CEO of Discover Long Island, and Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of Dime Community Bank. The Committee will hold its meetings on the East End instead of the LIA’s offices in Melville and will examine issues related to the growth of the East End economy.
Businesses operating in the five East End towns with 10 or fewer employees can receive a complimentary six-month LIA membership if they sign up prior to August 31, 2023. Businesses can also access information about the East End Business Support Program by visiting the new LIA webpage, which also lists partner organizations that support the East End’s economic development.
“As an LIA Board member and a representative for Long Island’s tourism industry, I applaud this new LIA initiative that spotlights local businesses and the important impacts of the tourism economy on the East End,” said Discover Long Island President & CEO Kristen Reynolds, CDME. “I am honored to Co-Chair the LIA East End Business Committee, and I look forward to amplifying the needs of this critical economic driver.”
“I am extremely excited to be co-chairing the LIA’s East End initiative with Kristen Reynolds, which will be making professional resources more accessible to East End businesses. As the CEO of on organization that has a 100+ year history of supporting neighborhood businesses, Dime Bank will be actively promoting LIA’s new program and membership options to our local customer base,” said Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of Dime Community Bank.
The Future of Business on the East End event on April 20th also featured a presentation from Newsday on the growth potential of the “Blue Economy,” or industries that are tied to our unique geography as an Island including aquaculture, fisheries, marine construction, maritime transportation, offshore wind, marine research, and tourism and recreation. This was followed by a panel with business and government leaders who discussed issues critical to the success of the East End and its economic growth, including agriculture, the food and beverage industry, tourism, and small businesses.
“Our extensive research provides a new way for Long Island to grow its economic base, especially on the East End, by using the waters that surround our island. We are delighted by the opportunity to present it to LIA members,” said Rita Ciolli, the director of Newsday’s nextLI project.
“Agriculture is a critical driver of Long Island’s economy, and we at the Department work hard to create and support programs that boost these local food and beverage businesses and help connect them with new opportunities. The work of the East End Business Support Program aligns closely with our mission of promoting local producers, and we commend the Long Island Association for helping to ensure that Long Island’s agricultural community can continue to thrive,” said Richard A. Ball, New York State Agriculture Commissioner.

“The Town of Riverhead is literally the gateway to the East End and in recent years has become a top destination, not only to visit but to conduct business. These businesses are the very backbone of our downtown and the surrounding towns. Riverhead is a community rich in diversity with an abundance of wineries, breweries, waterways and restaurants. These assets along with great leadership provide tremendous opportunity for businesses, entrepreneurship and residents to prosper,” said Connie Lassandro, President of the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce.
“As Long Island and in particular the East End continues to evolve it is great to see the LIA evolve and bring the valuable and needed resources to our East End businesses,” said Juan Micieli-Martinez, President of the Board of Directors of the Long Island Farm Bureau.
“Our family of restaurants is excited to be a part of the expansion of the LIA. We are looking forward to helping connect the hospitality industry on the East End with LIA members and resources for a more fruitful tomorrow,” said Tora Matsuoka, Partner, Seasoned Hospitality.
The East End Business Support Program will build upon the LIA’s Small Business Support Program launched in June 2022 at a conference at Hofstra University, which included a collaboration among the LIA, Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, and Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which holds joint quarterly member meetings to advocate for, and provide resources to, Long Island’s diverse small business community.
About the Long Island Association (LIA): The LIA is the region’s leading non-profit and non-partisan business organization since 1926 and amplifies the voice of the business community. The LIA works to ensure the region’s economic vitality - Long Island’s future is our business. 

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