County Executive’s Corner: “ROCK COMM”

By County Executive Ed Day

Last week we were able to make an announcement that has been months in the making. ROCK COMM, our Economic Development Committee and its members were announced after having been mobilized to implement what we are calling R.O.A.R.R.S. (Rockland on A Road to Recovery & Stimulus).

Leading public and private sector partners with many years of expertise have signed on to help Rockland recover both short-term and long-term. As we continue to reopen, ROCK COMM’s initial mission is to advise and support local businesses through each Phase of reopening under the NY Forward plan.

They have already shared guidance, provided advice, forged connections to State and Federal programs and contributed their years of know-how to help businesses that have been pushed to the brink by this outbreak. Their efforts, combined with our own on the County-level, are helping these local businesses through some of their darkest days.

On the County level, ROCK COMM includes myself and Jeremy Schulman our Director of Economic Development and Tourism. The Committee will also be comprised of the following:

• Steven A. Coyle, President of Coyle Insurance Agency, Inc. and Immediate Past Chair of the former Rockland Economic Development Corporation (REDC)
• Sabrina HoSang Jordan, CEO of Caribbean Food Delights, Inc.
• Maria Joy, Executive Director of Marydell Faith and Life Center
• Virginia Norfleet, Chair and Founder of Haverstraw African American Connection
• Thomas M. Rau, Senior Vice President at TD Bank and Chair of the former REDC
• Robin Rosenberg, President and CEO of GARNER Historic District and member of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC)
• Al Samuels, President and CEO of the Rockland Business Association (RBA) and Executive Committee member of the MHREDC
• James B. Tully, Executive Vice President at CBRE

We have been working on bringing this incredible group of professionals together for months; each was selected to offer advice and share ideas that reflect their expertise and background. This group reflects Rockland’s diversity from major corporations to nonprofits.

The more viewpoints and ideas we can incorporate as we recover the better off our County will be. While the focus short-term is on getting our business community back up and running, we have not lost sight of our long-term future.

With the help of ROCK COMM, we will work towards the development of a targeted marketing campaign with a focus on recovery and recruitment of businesses to Rockland County.

We are not satisfied with merely retaining and growing the businesses already here, but as we have done since I first took office, we will continue to encourage responsible development. Since 2014, we have brought back $8.4 BILLION in ratables. And while we are facing short-term adversity, we are well positioned to lead Rockland into the bright future we all deserve.

Through ROCK COMM we will focus on strategic planning and identifying incentives and priorities that encourage retention and economic growth in Rockland County. This is how we are working to protect homeowners from the double-digit tax increases of the past.

Never has economic development been more important and this Committee will help lead the way back, stronger and better than ever.