2001-03-31 / Letters

RDRC Responds To Story

RDRC Responds To Story

Dear Editor;

While reading the March 17, 2001 edition of The Wave, I came across an article written by Wave Editor-in-Chief John C. McLoughlin about a new business coming to the Rockaway peninsula and having a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Assemblymember Audrey Pheffer. The business that Mr. McLoughlin writes about is a new Laundromat called "Rinse Cycle" located at 98-18 Rockaway Beach Boulevard and which is owned and operated by Angelo Guccio.

I am always pleased when a business decides to come to the peninsula and in this case it was even more gratifying to know that the business opened up in an area of the peninsula that was in sore need of commercial revitalization. I believe that the successful operation this business offering quality service will have an impact on reviving the commercial corridor.

The only problem I had while reading this article was that nowhere in the article is there any mention of the assistance provided by Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) or Brooklyn Union, KeySpan Energy (KeySpan).

So having described the unpleasant oversight, let me start by saying thank you to Mr. John McLoughlin for bringing the glaring omission to light in the March 24, 2001 issue of The Wave (Beachcomber column).

In the first article, Mr. Guccio states that it was "the combination of tax incentives, gas and electrical rate reductions, rebates offered on employees and just plain ol’ love of the community." Now I cannot comment on Mr. Guccio’s "plain ol’ love of the community," but I can say that he had visited RDRC’s offices at 1920 Mott Avenue more than once to receive information about tax incentives, employee wage tax credits, business resources and programs available to businesses opening up in a new location. In addition, the first time Mr. Guccio came to RDRC’s offices, KeySpan accompanied him. KeySpan provided information on their "energy cost savings program" as well as information on equipment that could be provided in order to improve cost and efficiency.

In any given year, RDRC provides assistance to between 100 and 200 local businesses with information on financing, site location, government certification, advocacy, employment assistance, procurement opportunities, and project development.

RDRC is the administrator of a New York State Empire Zone (EZ) (formally called an Economic Development Zone). As such, we are required to establish and maintain contact with more than 2,886 businesses in the Rockaways and provide the above-mentioned services. In addition, we assist certified EZ companies in applying for and receiving Key Span Energy utility discounts, real estate tax abatements and energy cost reductions.

Briefly, the Empire Zones Program (EZ) was created to stimulate economic growth through a variety of financial incentives designed to attract new businesses and to enable existing businesses to expand and create more jobs. Businesses that make an investment and/or create new jobs in an EZ are eligible for a combination of State tax credits and benefits. In addition, municipalities which have been designated an EZ may offer additional incentives including a property tax abatement for improvement to real property in the zone. All of RDRC’s services and assistance are provided free of charge.

It should be noted that RDRC continues to work with Mr. Guccio to get Rinse Cycle certified as an Empire Zone business.

In closing, let me say that I wish Mr. Guccio and Rinse Cycle the best of luck and RDRC’s resources shall be made available to Rinse Cycle or any other business that requires our assistance. In the future, RDRC looks forward to attending more ribbon-cutting ceremonies of new businesses that decide on peninsula. We in turn will offer our hand in friendship and support. Ultimately, we know that thriving commercial areas stabilize communities by encouraging local entrepreneurship, providing merchants with the incentive and capacity to thrive. RDRC will continue to be the catalyst for positive economic change.

Any businesses that need assistance or information about incentive programs and services should call Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation at (718) 327-5300.

CURTIS ARCHER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


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