Over 400 Long Island Small Businesses Attend Procurement Academy and Resource Fair Hosted by Sands New York and Suffolk County Community College

Sands New York hosted their second in-person Procurement Academy for over 400 of Long Island’s small business owners, entrepreneurs, and prospective vendors on July 12, 2023 at Suffolk County Community College.   The event featured Sands vice president of procurement, Chad Forster, who discussed best practices for businesses hoping to secure contracts with Sands, as well as a resource fair where local chambers and agencies were available to offer guidance on MWBE certification and tools available for growing businesses.  In addition to millions in procurement opportunities for local businesses, the Sands project stands to deliver tens of millions of dollars annually (5% of the gaming tax revenue) to Suffolk County if it is successful in its bid for a New York State gaming license. 

“The Sands development has the potential to have a significant economic impact for our entire region,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “Suffolk County’s local business community has turned out in force today – not only to show their support for the project – but to learn how to take advantage of this rare opportunity and ensure that the economic benefits reach all corners of Long Island.” 

“Today’s event is an important milestone acknowledging the potential regional impact of this transformational project,” said Former New York State Governor and Senior Vice President for Las Vegas Sands David Paterson.  “The business owners and employees of Suffolk County could have much to gain if the Sands proposal is approved for the Nassau Hub – and our Procurement Academy is an important opportunity to learn how to participate. The Sands team is eager to meet with all of our local small businesses – especially those owned by women, minorities and veterans – to ensure that they are ready to hit the ground running when the planning turns into building and operating.”

Following the main program, attendees were invited to industry-specific breakout rooms for food/beverage & operating services, design and construction, technology, and professional services (i.e. benefits, marketing, labor, transportation, etc.).  Sands procurement executives in each vertical provided insights and answered questions. 

“The Sands Procurement Academy is a critical moment for local small businesses to gain exposure to our procurement process and our team of decision-makers,” said Chad Forster, Vice President of Procurement for Sands Corporation. “We are committed to making sure that Long Island’s business community is not only part of our plans but that they can grow with us as true partners for this proposed transformational project.”

“Suffolk County’s small businesses recognize the great opportunity that may be coming our way, and are eager to participate in the Sands development,” said Dr. Edward T. Bonahue, President of Suffolk County Community College.  “Our region has much to gain from this project – and we are enthusiastic about making sure that all prospective local partners are prepared.”

The Nassau County Legislature supported the transfer of the lease to Las Vegas Sands in a near-unanimous vote in May.  If the gaming license is awarded by the state, Sands would be paying over $80 million per year in new taxes in Nassau County alone, with an additional 5% of the gaming tax revenue – expected to be tens of millions of dollars – to Suffolk County, annually. 

The Sands’ proposal is for a multi-billion-dollar resort and entertainment center on the site of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The proposal includes outdoor community spaces, four and five-star hotel rooms and a world-class live performance venue honoring the long legacy of live music at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The resort also would feature celebrity chef restaurants, experiential events and venues, and flexible meeting and convention space, with ballrooms. Other planned amenities include high-quality casino gaming, representing less than ten percent of the project’s total square footage; a luxurious day spa; a swimming pool and health club; and a variety of other entertainment programming.  

Local chambers and agencies in attendance included the Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers, Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, African American Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, Long Island Association, Farmingdale SBDC, Stony Brook SBDC, Suffolk County Entrepreneurial Assistance Program, Long Island Small Business Assistance Corp, Suffolk County Women’s Business Enterprise Coalition, La Fuerza Community Development Corp, Peruvian Chamber of Commerce, Suffolk County Office of Minority Affairs/MWBE, Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs/MWBE, Miller Business Resource Center, Dominican Chamber of Commerce.