Smart Growth Summit to focus on downtowns, small business and development


More than 900 local business, community and government leaders are expected to attend this year’s Long Island Smart Growth Summit on Friday.

The event, organized by Vision Long Island, will be held at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury and features 20 workshops and over 140 speakers discussing topics related to helping small businesses through COVID recovery, downtown revitalization and infrastructure investment.

Additional topics at this year’s summit include transportation, clean energy and water infrastructure. The small business panels will tackle financing survival, promotion of downtowns and supporting MWBEs. There will also be sessions on job training, affordable housing, and transit-oriented development.

The State of the Towns and Villages Panel includes Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim, Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer, Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter, Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin, Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, North Hempstead Supervisor Jenn Desena, Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar, Village of Hempstead Mayor Waylyn Hobbs, Village of Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro, Village of Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand, Village of Amityville Mayor Dennis Siry and City of Glen Cove Mayor Pamela Panzenback.

A luncheon session features New York State Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez, who will provide an update from Albany on the state’s handling of grants and resources to local communities. State Senators Kevin Thomas, Mario Mattera and State Senator-elect Monica Martinez, Jack Martins and Steve Rhoads will provide a preview of the 2023 Albany legislative session. Speakers also include Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello and Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey, who will talk about their efforts to help Main Street businesses.

The Long Island Main Street Alliance will be represented at the summit by members from 45 different downtown communities that have plans for managing their business districts, future growth and preservation.

In addition, a Long Island Youth Summit, incorporating students from St. Joseph’s University, SUNY Old Westbury, Hofstra University, Farmingdale State and local high schools will aim to bring young people into the planning process of their communities including workforce training to navigate potential jobs.

The Long Island Smart Growth Summit runs from 8 am through 4 pm on Friday, Dec. 2.





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