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    By Sarah Studley

    New York State Senator Greg Ball (R-C, Patterson) met with business leaders from around Westchester County at the Briarcliff Manor Public Library in his first appearance in the Mount Pleasant portion of the newly-formed 40th district.

    During the senator’s roundtable discussion Monday, he said he has been traveling through his district to share the work of the Senate’s Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission and look for locals’ answers to the economic struggles facing the entire state.

    Ball said approvals processes for businesses can end up being “a bureaucratic nightmare” and cited a recent bill “that has strong support in the Assembly and the Senate.”

    That bill, he explained, was “just an idea that if a business has a perfect track record, let them not have to go through the process again.”

    John Ravitz, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Business Council of Westchester, applauded Ball’s efforts to stay in touch with the business community, noting even small pieces of legislature can often have serious effects for business owners.

    “Government can be helpful, but it also has to get out of your way because small business owners are the backbone of our economy,” said Eileen Mildenberger, executive director of the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency (IDA).

    She also noted the county’s recent marketing push, targeting small and medium-sized businesses.

    “You don’t want try to correct the business environment by having higher subsidies,” stated Paul Albert, chairman of Albert Investments. “I think the business community has to consolidate their thinking a little bit, identify where they can actually make progress and then with people like Senator Ball’s help—it’s got to be a coalition of some kind.”

    While Ball said he would like to meet again to discuss economic issues, he also echoed the sentiment of Albert, who serves as a member of his Tax and Economic Development Council.

    “It’s not going to be done overnight.” (ARTICLE)