The luncheon, sponsored by the Maspeth Industrial Business Association (MIBA) and held at Connolly's Corner on Grand Avenue in Maspeth, featured a presentation from Con Ed and the Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
Ron Spinelli, a business development manager with Con Ed, gave a presentation to the dozen-plus business leaders on how they can cut costs through energy-saving initiatives.
“I give away money,” Spinelli said. “That's kind of my job.”
He explained that as New York City grows, Con Ed is being forced to add more substations to aits energy infrastructure. Businesses are being forced to bear the brunt of that cost, but by converting to LED lights, they can help mitigate some of those significant increases on their Con Ed bill.
According to Spinelli, who said there's incentive programs to help with initial costs, the average business saves $30,000 a year by converting to LED lights and experiences a pay back on initial investment after seven months.
Miquela Craytor, director of New York City Industrial for EDC, spoke to those in attendance about the de Blasio administration's ten-point plan to support the growth of industrial manufacturing in New York City.
“This administration does believe in industrial manufacturing companies and we want to position New York City to remain as a thriving innovation economy,” she said.
The plan, which was launched last November, first calls for an investment in city-owned industrial assets. As part of a ten-year capital plan, the city is investing $442 million in the Brooklyn Army Terminal, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Sunset Park and Hunts Point.
The second point of the plan calls for a limit to the construction of new hotels and personal storage warehouses in core industrial areas. The goal is to reduce use conflicts and support diverse economic growth.
In addition, the 10-point plan also calls for the expansion of the Brownfield Jumpstart Program, which can provide grants to industrial and manufacturing businesses for site investigation and cleanup efforts and the re-launch of the city’s Industrial Business Solutions Providers, which provides critical support for businesses.
After outlining the mayor's vision, Craytor took questions from some of the Masepth and Ridgewood businesses leaders on the problems that are ailing them, including truck traffic and the lack of qualified job applicants.
“My biggest problem is parking,” said Vernon McDermott, a Ridgewood-based manufacturer. “In our area, we have two days a week on each side that you can't park. I can't hire anybody with any technical background because they might not live in Ridgewood.”