TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Westchester and the surrounding region should invest in areas of waterfront development, biotech, food and beverage if it wants to see its economic strength grow, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said Monday.
“We need to do much more,” he said.
Schumer spoke to the Business Council of Westchester in Tarrytown, where he outlined his three-prong approach to improving the economy nationally and regionally. More than 100 business professionals and area politicians attended the breakfast meeting where Schumer spoke.
The state needs to get rid of the red tape when it comes to waterfront development so it doesn't take 10 years for a developer to get shovels in the ground, Schumer said. Waterfront development is attracting young people, Schumer said, and those consumers are bringing huge buying potential to the area.
Schumer also noted the area should do more to attract food and beverage companies, citing regional agricultural production and Westchester's proximity to New York City, the center of the food industry.
The biotech industry also is key, Schumer said, citing successful companies such as Tarrytown-based Regeneran.
National economic health can be attained through increased production and a smaller deficit, Schumer said.
“We cannot keep spending the way we're spending,” Schumer said, noting that the years leading up to the recession saw more spending than production.
The United States also needs to do more in the areas of education, immigration and its tax code. Schumer said, because those things help the economy grow by attracting the brightest professionals from around the world.
A highway transportation bill also is needed, Schumer said as he urged the audience to lobby their congressional representatives.
“That is going to stimulate the economy,” Schumer said, citing the many construction-industry jobs it would bring.
During a question-and-answer session, Schumer said he was working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Westchester County on community grants that have been held up as a result of the housing settlement dispute. Schumer said he hoped the two parties can come to an agreement soon.
Schumer also said he was hopeful New York would receive a $2 billion transportation loan from the federal government to help pay for a new Tappan Zee Bridge.
“We are very much in contention,” he said.