NYACK, N.Y. -- Rockland's business leaders on Thursday were pressed to think more regionally about how they do business at Rockland Business Association's monthly luncheon, which was held at Nyack Seaport.
"We need to be less parochial," said RBA President Al Samuels, telling some 200 attendees that 24% of the association's membership is outside the county. "We need to be thinking more regionally to get the benefits from New York State and the federal government."
Samuels said he'd been "converted" to this way of thinking by Jonathan Drapkin, president/CEO of Hudson Valley Pattern For Progress, a not-for-profit policy, planning, advocacy and research organization.
Drapkin urged the crowd to think of Rockland County not as an island, but rather as one of nine counties in the Hudson Valley that work cooperatively to generate economic stimulus. He said not every town has everything and that business owners should think of their potential market as being regional.
During his discussion, Drapkin addressed Rockland's high taxes, demographics, layers of government, and schools. Initially he'd noted that 41% of people in Rockland county have bachelor degrees, and so he said more than once, this is a place with "smart people."
Members who belong to RBA value the opportunity to network, and to attend monthly lunches which feature a variety of speakers. Thursday's luncheon was sponsored by the Edgewood Country Club.
"These events are an excellent way to get businesses, nonprofits, and government to work together," said Don Hammond, president of Meals On Wheels, and a Nyack Village Board Trustee. "That's why I attend them."
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