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WHITE PLAINS-Based on inquires from companies in the World Trade Center area, Westchester County and the state of Connecticut have launched programs geared to assisting those firms find available space in their respective markets, GlobeSt.com has learned.

Westchester County government reports that it has established a clearing-house service whereby it wants brokerage firms and property owners to contact its Office of Economic Development with their various space exclusives. The county will then match those requirements with inquiries from New York City companies searching for short- or long-term space in Westchester. The department is contacting area brokers to solicit listings of available office space that can be passed on to businesses that inquire.

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development is sending its “Business Action Team” to Bridgeport to assist municipalities in Fairfield County deal with requests from new York City firms impacted by the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center that are looking for space there. The BAT team office is set to open at 8:30 a.m. today at 110 Middle St., Globest.Com has learned.

In announcing the new service in Westchester, County Executive Andrew Spano says, “We are extraordinarily saddened by these tragic events and are so thankful to see our entire community rally to help with rescue and recovery efforts. However, even in our grief, we recognize how important it is for many of these businesses to resume operations and for our economy to keep moving forward. We think we can assist in this way as well.”

Salvatore J. Carrera, director of the county’s Office of Economic Development and Real Estate, notes that the county has as much as 5 million sf of office space available, and he hopes that building owners and brokers can be encouraged to offer below-market rates to firms that need temporary quarters

He adds that the county is working in cooperation with the New York City Economic Development Corp. and the Empire State Development Corp. to offer services geared to helping companies find temporary space, as well as assist in key areas such as transportation, energy costs and human resources.

The county is also reaching out to Westchester companies that had headquarters or affiliate offices in the Twin Towers. The county plans to post an inquiry form on its Web site (www.westchestergov.com) for businesses or brokers that would like to see what space is available in Westchester County. Representatives can also submit space requirements and contact information online. Carrera adds that anyone wishing information about space in Westchester can also contact his office at (914) 995-2926.

“We are trying earnestly to do this the right way,” Carrera says. “I don’t want anyone to take advantage of anybody. I want a good deal to be consummated if someone is going to come to Westchester.”

In the past several days, Carrera says that Westchester County has received several phone calls from World Trade Center area firms looking for space between 25,000 sf to 1 million sf.

Oley Carpp, deputy executive director of Industry Clusters and International for the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development in Rocky Hill, says that his department is establishing the BAT team office in Bridgeport based on inquires received by Fairfield County municipalities from companies impacted by the terrorist attack on their operations at the World Trade Center.

He tells GlobeSt.com that the BAT team will be a conduit through which businesses and municipalities can learn of programs offered by the state of Connecticut to relocating companies and to expedite requests local governments might have in relation to space inquiries.

Carpp notes that while the state has not received any direct calls from any World Trade Center firms, he says that a number of requests have been made to Fairfield County area brokerage firms and to local governments there.

While Carpp says that DECD Commissioner James Abromaitis did talk to Empire State since the World Trade Center disaster, the department has not yet informed New York State of its intent to open the BAT office on Friday morning.

A spokesman for the DECD stresses that the state of Connecticut “is not in any way engaging in any aggressive business attraction initiatives. The BAT team office is being opened at the governor’s regional office in Bridgeport based on municipal government requests in Fairfield County and as a means to assist World Trade Center firms secure space in order to maintain their operations, he notes. Anyone wishing to contact the BAT team office can call (203) 336-8700.

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