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County Executive Outlines Policy Initiatives to BCW Board

From left, BCW President and CEO Marsha Gordon; BCW Chairman Jamie Schutzer; County Executive George Latimer and BCW Executive VP and COO John Ravitz

Westchester County Executive George Latimer met with the BCW Board of Directors on Wednesday in downtown White Plains to discuss his policy initiatives and the state of the county.

Latimer, who is beginning the third year of his second term, touted his team’s successes, including increasing the county’s bond rating; cutting the county tax levy for four years in a row; investing $90 million in affordable housing; and improving the county’s sewer treatment plant capacity to ensure continued development.

Latimer explained that his administration has been focused on helping small businesses grow by partnering with groups like the BCW. The county’s support for small businesses includes grant programs with money received through the American Rescue Plan Act; job fairs; and outreach to companies in the financial technology and advanced manufacturing sectors.

For larger companies, Latimer leveraged the powers of the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency.

“We have not failed to incentivize a major project that has come before us, and some of the projects that you see around us in White Plains fit that model. So, I think we’re using that element of county policy in a wise way,” said Latimer.

Latimer noted that attracting talent is just as important as attracting new companies. In the next two years, Latimer said county resources will be available to innovate talent recruitment efforts.

Much of the new development in the county’s largest cities is residential, which Latimer called “a matter of moral responsibility” that is essential to businesses and the region’s economy.

“An organization might decide to move to a different location if their workers can’t be properly housed,” said Latimer.

Latimer concluded his statements by asking the BCW board members to continue working with his administration to develop new solutions for the county’s many challenges.

“If we are willing to consider ideas that are outside the box, think them through, and try to implement them, then you will have a partner in this county government,” said Latimer. “The advancement of the interest of the business community will also be the advancement of the general community. We will give you whatever support you need.”

“We will continue to work with the county executive and his administration on all economic development projects to ensure that we recruit and retain businesses,” said Dr. Marsha Gordon, the BCW’s President and CEO.

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