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LIA Press Release: The Long Island Association, Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, and Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce awarded grant


Date: March 29, 2023
Contact: Stacey Sikes, Vice President of Government Affairs & Communications, Long Island Association

The Long Island Association, Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, and Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce awarded grant from the Long Island Community Foundation to foster inclusive economic development

Melville, NY – The Long Island Community Foundation (LICF) recently awarded the Long Island Association (LIA) a $42,500 grant to continue its efforts to support inclusive regional economic growth and develop an action plan that will serve as blueprint for implementation, in partnership with the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce (LIAACC) and Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (LIHCC). The organizations announced the award today at their quarterly joint membership meeting, which took place at Newsday.

This will build upon the LIA’s Small Business Support Program launched in June 2022 and the collaboration between LIA, LIAACC, and LIHCC to support and advocate for Long Island’s diverse small business community. The work under the LICF grant will take place over the course of 2023, and the organizations will engage with their members through their quarterly joint membership meetings, roundtable discussions, and individual meetings to receive feedback and input on best practices regarding regional collaboration, marketing and outreach, and navigating challenges facing small businesses. The LIA, LIAACC, and LIHCC will also be reaching out to other business support organizations for input and participation.

The first quarterly meeting of 2023 featured guest speakers Newsday Editor Don Hudson and Managing Editor Rochell Bishop Sleets. The two spoke about what makes a good news story and new initiatives at the organization like NewsdayTV, Newsday in Education and ongoing diversity outreach.
“The Long Island economy will continue to grow, create jobs and be competitive with other regions if we can ensure all small businesses are fully participating, and the LIA is excited to strengthen our partnership with the LICF, LIAACC and LIHCC to support and provide resources to our small business community which is Long Island’s lifeblood,” said Matt Cohen, LIA President & CEO.

“LIAACC is ready to roll up our sleeves to develop an action plan based upon feedback from our members about how we best support their growth. As a participant in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Community Navigator Program, we can utilize that experience to inform this plan through our relationships with local businesses founded by people of color,” said Phil Andrews, President of LIAACC.

“Hispanic small businesses have faced significant challenges during the pandemic and are still struggling with economic uncertainty related to inflation, hiring, supply chain issues, and other factors. Hispanic-owned businesses are an important part of the US economy, contributing significantly to job creation, innovation, and economic growth. However, they have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as they tend to be concentrated in industries that have been most affected by lockdowns and social distancing measures. The funding from LICF will help provide our underserved community with the resources they need to overcome these challenges in addition to identifying the most effective ways to provide support to have a positive impact on the wider community, by creating jobs, boosting local economies, and promoting diversity and inclusion. as we solidify our imprint on Long Island," said Luis Vazquez, the President of LIHCC.

“In good times and hard times, small businesses are the foundation of vibrant, resilient communities and contribute to the health and well-being of residents. The Long Island Community Foundation is proud to support the leadership of the Long Island Association, and African American and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce. This innovative and inclusive partnership will promote regional investments that enhance our region’s small businesses and instigate community development and wealth generation in diverse communities,” said Sol-Marie Alfonso Jones, Senior Program Officer at the Long Island Community Foundation.
The LIA will engage the Strategic Pathways Group, a minority and woman-led firm specializing in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEl) practices, to conduct work under this grant. The team is composed of subject-matter experts with over 40 years of industry experience in the public and private sectors, including Fortune 200, nonprofits, and public administration.

Tracey Edwards, Partner at Strategic Pathways Group, said, “We look forward to collaborating with the LIA, LICF, LIAACC, and LIHCC to build capacity, provide access, and create opportunities and connections with a goal of growth and sustainability.”

About the Long Island Association
The Long Island Association (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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