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

PODCAST: Off the grid

Jun 19, 2015
David Brancaccio

Why are financial market players betting the Greek debt crisis is about to be resolved? Greek, German, and French bond yields are down this morning — hinting not of crisis, but of some kind of resolution. More on that. Plus, is there an alternative to giant power plants sending electricity out over far-flung grids? Maybe. We head to Bridgeport, Connecticut, where they're experimenting with fuel cells.

U.S. colleges to recruit in Cuba

Jun 19, 2015
Amy Scott

As U.S. relations with Cuba thaw, colleges and universities are among those lining up to do business in the communist country. The Educational Testing Service has confirmed plans to offer some of its admissions tests in Cuba starting this month. The island nation is home to an estimated 1.5 million people between the ages of 15 and 24.

Don’t expect a rush of Cuban students on campuses just yet, though. When the Test of English as a Foreign Language debuts in Havana later this month, just four students are expected to take it.


Airing on Friday, June 19, 2015: Just in case, Greeks are increasingly taking money out of the bank. We check in with Marketplace's Stephen Beard on the $3 billion that has pulled out of banks there this week alone. Plus, the online marketplace Etsy has been trying to win back the favor of investors — its stock has fallen by about half since its IPO in April. Now the company is trying a new crowdfunding system where Etsy users can put up money to help promising businesses get off the ground.

Marketplace Tech for Friday, June 19, 2015

Jun 19, 2015

Airing on Friday, June 19, 2015: First up on the show, we'll talk with Adrienne LaFrance, Senior Technology Editor at The Atlantic, about how the NFL’s “Rooney Rule” could be applied to Silicon Valley hiring practices to bring in more diverse candidates. And how well have you kept up with the week in tech news? It's time for Silicon Tally! This week, host Ben Johnson takes on Simon Doonan, the Creative Ambassador-at-Large for Barneys New York. He’s also the author of “The Asylum: True Tales of Madness From a Life in Fashion."

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Officials from SolarCity came to Buffalo Thursday to update hundreds of local business leaders and other guests on what is one of the city's most anticipated economic development projects.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Developer Carl Paladino and his partner Victor Liberatore are the proud new owners of a prime piece of Buffalo riverfront property.

Tug-of-war over restoring ridesharing services in region

Jun 17, 2015
Avery Schneider/WBFO News

A group of upstate taxi operators and limousine companies has hired a political heavy-hitter to lobby state lawmakers in a push to ensure that ridesharing services comply with existing regulations.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Developers are going through the early steps to convert the former Millard Fillmore Gates Circle hospital complex into a multi-use site. But neighbors are expressing concerns for potential traffic and parking headaches.

Many years ago, nearby Cleveland was the shining example of a hard-luck town that enjoyed an economic resurgence. Then, it cooled off. With Buffalo now enjoying its own economic renaissance, how does this city get hot... and then stay hot?

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

City leaders say they've acquired the final piece of property needed for their plan to convert several blocks of Buffalo's Masten District into a new business park.

J.W. Danforth Co. buys land in Buffalo's RiverBend

Jun 10, 2015

The John W. Danforth Company is buying a parcel of land in Buffalo's RiverBend section with the intent to build a new 50,000 square foot operations hub on the site.

Former church bell tower will centerpiece new housing

Jun 3, 2015
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A lonely bell tower that is the lone remnant of a former church will soon be the centerpiece of a new residential complex in North Buffalo.

Ellicott neighborhood to gain new restaurant

Jun 2, 2015
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Buffalo’s Ellicott Street neighborhood continues to experience new projects, helping it emerge as the city's latest hot space for development.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Toys, chocolate and clothing are coming to the HARBORCENTER in downtown Buffalo. Clayton's Toys, Fowler's Chocolates and Modern Nostalgia are the latest retailers to sign three-year leases at the mized-use facility.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo Inc.

While many people fret about personal finances, some studies have shown that 60% do not have household budgets.

Conversion of old AM&A's building gets approval

May 5, 2015
WBFO file photo

After about two months worth of trips to the Buffalo Planning Board followed by adjustments to the construction plan, final approval was given Tuesday morning to renovate the former AM&A's building at 377 Main Street in downtown Buffalo.

Golisano makes major investment in tablet-maker Bak USA

May 4, 2015
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Billionaire businessman Tom Golisano, whose history includes founding PayChex Inc. and ownership of the Buffalo Sabres, is making a "major investment" into a young Buffalo-based company.

Five vendors chosen for second small business 'Pop-Up'

May 1, 2015
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Beginning Friday and continuing for the next two months, a handful of local retailers will set up shop inside a storefront inside Buffalo's Pierce Building on Main Street. They're the participants in the second Queen City Pop-Up.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Good news came to Buffalo's East Side today. Nine projects in the community will be funded with $11 million through the Better Buffalo Fund.

Chris Caya WBFO News

New York state's effort to boost the economy by making the region a leader in advanced manufacturing continues moving forward.

Michael Mroziak/WBFO News

West Seneca-based Multisorb is being hailed as one of the success stories in New York State's In-State Private Equity Investment Program.

A statewide tourism group that lobbies on behalf of businesses within the industry is calling on legislators to enact regulations which put what it calls 'illegal hotels' on a level playing field with hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfast establishments and similar businesses.

The New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association is pointing to online services, naming the website Airbnb as a specific example, which link travelers to private owner-occupiers who rent spaces for short-term stays. These include rooms, apartments, or private homes.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo remains committed to giving women and minority-owned businesses their chance to earn billions of dollars in state contracts. That was a message shared in Western New York Wednesday morning by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who took part in a roundtable discussion at the Amherst Chamber of Commerce.

Chris Caya WBFO News

A trade deal that Washington is negotiating behind closed doors is raising concerns among organized labor, community activists and Rep. Brian Higgins.

Lloyd Taco clears hurdle for brick-and-mortar eatery

Apr 7, 2015
Photo by Michael Mroziak

Buffalo has become the home to numerous popular food truck companies. One of them, however, is about to join the ranks of the brick-and-mortar establishments.

Sinatra & Company / WBFO News

The Market Arcade on Main Street has long been known for under-performing establishments. But by the end of this summer, that may change.

Developers applaud budget's brownfield distinctions

Apr 2, 2015

Local developers are breathing a sigh of relief with the knowledge that new restrictions for brownfield development funding will apply only to the metro New York City area.

Erie County Legislature

A four-month study has concluded that creating a  municipal broadband Internet service in Erie County would boost the economy, create jobs and raise property values.

Erie County Legislature

The first phase of a plan to redevelop a one-mile stretch of Seneca Street is being launched as local leaders aim to make the long-neglected commercial strip a "small downtown."

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Larkinville in Buffalo continues to experience rapid growth. More and more, companies are selecting the downtown site to locate businesses.