Bellone, Suffolk County IDA “BOOST” Additional Tech Sector Jobs
October 2, 2012
British Software Technology Firm to Base U.S. Operations in Huntington
(Hauppauge, NY) In a decision designed to grow Suffolk County’s high tech sector and create jobs, the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) today approved incentives for a leading cloud-based software development company whose parent company is based in the United Kingdom.
According to IDA Executive Director Anthony Manetta, VLI North America Inc., headquartered in downtown Huntington, is the second technology company to benefit from BOOST, a new program created to aid innovative start-up companies in high growth industries, including Information Technology, Bio and Life Sciences, Pharmacology, Green Technology and Energy.
VLI is investing $122,000 in new equipment at their Huntington headquarters and will add more than 20 new positions during the next two years with technology industry competitive salaries. Work Market Inc., the first recipient of BOOST benefits, held a grand opening last week from their new offices in Huntington Village.
“Landing a second software technology company so soon after creating the BOOST program in late July is proof that the program is an effective launching pad for smaller innovation companies to grow and develop in Suffolk County,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.
“With two emerging technology companies now expanding in Huntington, we are well on our way to putting Suffolk County on the high tech map,” said Manetta.
VLI North America, Inc. is a subsidiary of VLI Limited, which is based in the United Kingdom. Both companies were founded by brothers James and William Hodgkinson. CEO James Hodgkinson and company President George Kafkarkou, a former CA Technologies executive with 30 years of experience, formulated the plan to bring the company stateside to Huntington, where Kafkarkou has lived since 2003. The Hodgkinson brothers, their father William George Hodgkinson, and Kafkarkou own a significant equity stake in the company.
“As a Huntingtonian for ten years, I am excited to bring VLI North America to my adopted hometown. Now that we are an American company, we intend to create jobs that will give more Suffolk family’s access to the same “American Dream” that informed our decision to bring our company to the U.S.,” said Kafkarkou. All three of the Hodgkinson family founders also own homes in Huntington and nearby Northport.
Typically, IDA deals are larger in dollar size, exceeding $1 million in project costs. They are also longer in benefit years starting at 10 years up to 20 years for large employers. Now, the IDA is making it feasible for smaller growth companies to take advantage of incentives, including property tax abatements and sales tax exemptions on renovation materials and new equipment for offices, labs or light manufacturing facilities.
The VLI incentive package that was voted on during the September 27th IDA board meeting provides a four-year pilot with property tax abatements of approximately $38,000, as well as sales tax exemptions of $10,500 on new equipment.
“BOOST was developed to support our growth industries and eliminate barriers to doing business for innovation-based company. With leadership of the caliber of James Hodgkinson and George Karkafkou, who brings with him the heritage of a three-decade career at CA Technologies, VLI North America has tremendous growth potential,” said Suffolk Deputy County Executive, Commissioner for Economic Development and IDA board member Joanne Minieri.