The Long Island Business Council, a local advocacy group dedicated to finding solutions to regional economic challenges, has struck out on its own after a decade as part of Vision Long Island.
LIBC, which regularly hosts forums with local leaders on business-related topics, officials relaunched Tuesday during a forum in East Farmingdale with presiding officers of the Nassau and Suffolk county legislatures. It is led by Nassau Co-chair Richard Bivone, Suffolk Co-chair Robert Fonti, and Executive Director Michael Allen Harrison.
“We wish Bob, Rich, and our friend Michael Harrison well as they transition the group into a truly independent entity that will have an agenda outside downtown and infrastructure issues,” said Eric Alexander, executive director of Vision Long Island.
Alexander said Vision LI, a nonprofit group that advocates for smart growth development in Nassau and Suffolk, managed the operations of LIBC, which he described as a project within Vision LI, between 2008 and last year. Bivone and Fonti are members of Vision LI’s board of directors.
Besides hosting forums, over the years LIBC joined advocates in lobbying state lawmakers in Albany on legislation impacting small businesses, such as pushing for the Internet Sales Tax.
Vision’s energies now shift to the LI Main Street Alliance, which is a coalition of independent local chambers, Nassau and Suffolk Chambers, African American Chamber, Hispanic Chamber and other business groups. It also includes allied organizations like AARP, environmental groups, health organizations and labor and folks who care about Main Streets and infrastructure investment.