Business/Economy

The WBFO Business & Economy News Desk is funded by The M&T Charitable Foundation.

With millions of dollars awarded over five years, the 43North business competition has succeeded in generating excitement and publicity. Its track record in creating local jobs has not been as stellar. Charlotte Keith  has been reporting on their results for Investigative Post. While there have been some notable shortcomings, she says the competition is doing a better job at identifying companies more likely to remain in Buffalo.


Mike Desmond/WBFO

SparkCharge will be at UB this morning, looking for engineers and scientists and others for its portable electric car charging system. The visit follows last night's victory in the 43North business competition where the company claimed the $1 million dollar prize.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The City of Lockport was informed Wednesday it is one of ten municipalities throughout the state selected for $10 million grants, as part of a competitive bidding program conducted through the state's Regional Economic Development Councils.


43North.org

With eight companies in line to share $5 million in prize money, tonight's final of the 43North business competition has produced enough excitement to sell out Shea's Performing Arts Center. The event arrives as scrutiny builds over the number of jobs produced by the competition. In an interview with WBFO, 43North president Alex Gress says the event has succeeded in creating an "entrepreneurial ecosystem" that is drawing much-needed venture capital to the region.


Almost since its opening four decades ago, there has been debate over the limitations of the Buffalo Convention Center. The conversation moved to another level recently with the release of a feasibility study which identified two potential locations for a much larger convention center.  During his monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass, Jim Fink of Business First says the study's results aren't sitting well with some in the local business community.


WBFO file photo

President Donald Trump on Monday hailed a tentative agreement involving the United States, Canada and Mexico that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. While it's not yet a done deal, early local feedback suggests an updated deal will be especially good for New York State's economy, especially in agriculture.


Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown held a ceremony at City Hall Wednesday to proclaim this week Minority-and-Women Owned Business week in Buffalo. Events marking the initiative have been taking place over the last four days.

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Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons

We originally published this story in January 2017, and we're republishing it now following President Trump's comments about George Washington, wondering aloud if the first president had "a bad past." 

As this week's flurry of executive orders from the Trump administration has shown, the presidency has changed significantly over two centuries. But presidential conflicts of interest are as old as the republic itself.

It is quietly being revealed that Sears will be closing its Eastern Hills Mall store after Christmas.

Michael Mroziak/WBFO News

The results of a much-anticipated study on a future convention center in downtown Buffalo were revealed Thursday. While delivering the results of the study, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and others shared the opinion that doing nothing is not an option if the region is to remain in the business of attracting meeting events, and the millions of dollars they bring.


Buffalo Niagara International Airport

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is well received by the passengers who use it, according to a study undertaken by J.D. Power.

The state Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli, is out with his annual report on Wall Street profits, and he finds, not surprisingly, they are up.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Businesses can take years to start, but dozens of local people spent the weekend learning how to take their first steps at the University at Buffalo's Hayes Hall.


Architect Doug Scheid

Buffalo's Planning Board is the agency controlling the local housing boom, new buildings, rehabbed buildings, expanded buildings. On Monday, the board dealt with two industrial expansions.

Bon-Ton

Is Bon-Ton on the way back? Just last week, the bankrupt retailer shuttered its stores after more than 100 years in business. Now, a new owner has bought the brand, with plans to reopen the retail chain.

Ronald Peralta, WBFO

An app service known as Aira offers blind or visually-impaired users the opportunity to use their smartphone as a second set of eyes, in order to perform tasks including shopping. Wegmans has become the first supermarket chain in the nation to offer the service.


UAW Region 9 file photo of the 2017 Buffalo Labor Day parade

Unionized workers from across a number of industries are parading through Buffalo to mark Labor Day.

Tops to close 10 stores, none in WNY

Aug 30, 2018

Tops Markets will close ten underperforming stores as part of its financial restructuring. None are in Western New York.

WBFO file photo

Canada's Foreign Minister is expected to travel to Washington Tuesday to begin negotiations, one day after the Trump administration announced was a tentative deal with Mexico that would end and replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. In Buffalo, the president of the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara suggested it's no cause for alarm.

It's best-known for the massive crowds it attracts during the Easter season, but the Broadway Market continues to attract customers throughout the year. The city-owned facility has evolved throughout its history, reflecting Buffalo's changing cultural landscape.

The debate over immigration reveals a wide divide in the national conversation. While some argue foreign-born workers are taking American jobs, others cite economic numbers disputing that rhetoric. An advocate with the organization New American Economy points out how the immigrant work force has been a benefit to the Buffalo region.

Chris Caya / WBFO News

Just two weeks after downtown Buffalo's Market Arcade reopened to moviegoers, the state has approved a temporary liquor license for the newly renovated AMC theater house.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s summer tour of New York brought him to Cheektowaga on Wednesday afternoon for a visit with one of the region’s high-tech employers.

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

When it comes to convenience, Buffalo parks rank well above the national average. According to a new report from The Trust for Public Land., 85 percent of Buffalo residents live within a ten-minute walk of a park. When it comes to spending on parks, Buffalo is behind the norm.  The national median for park spending is $83 per resident; in Buffalo, that number stands at $69 per resident.


From a new bowling alley on Pearl Street to the arcade games popping up on Main Street, recreation is a now a key element of development projects in downtown Buffalo. As Jim Fink of Business First points out during WBFO's Press Pass, the focus on games reflects the growth of the downtown residential population.


Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation's board of directors voted Monday to select Sinatra and Company Real Estate as the developers who will build on two remaining vacant parcels on the South Aud Block at Buffalo's Canalside.


Ogorek Wealth Management

The head of a Williamsville-based financial planning company says while state investment in new buildings is fine, it's missing out on a badly-needed resource in Buffalo: more doctors. Anthony Ogorek, in a conversation with WBFO, suggested there are far better uses for state dollars to revitalize Western New York's economy than riskier ventures such as the Tesla plant.

WBFO file photo

Shares of Tesla lost approximately nine percent of their value Friday, as the high-tech company moves forward amid concerns including a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, comments made by founder Elon Musk and a report that Tesla may not, after all, purchase all the output from the Buffalo-based factory it now shares with Panasonic.


Thomas O'Neil-White

Philip Smith is a physical education teacher in the Buffalo school system  -- and a longtime renter.

But he wanted to build some capital, so he started looking to buy a house. “I was a renter for six or seven years, so I was sick and tired of not gaining any equity in my money and just paying my landlord.”


Historic Palace Theatre

New York State will provide low-cost electricity to 22 businesses, non-profits and other organizations around the state in exchange for promises to create or retain jobs. Unifrax's recently opened facility in Tonawanda and the Historic Palace Theater in Lockport are among the beneficiaries this year.

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