WBFO Business & Economy Desk

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

New York State

Imagine a sprawling network of hiking and biking trails that connect some of New York’s most historic and scenic sites in a unified 750-mile route.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

For the first time in his tenure as Mayor of the City of Buffalo, Byron Brown issued executive orders. Brown used the orders to highlight phase two of his Opportunity Agenda, which aims to promote diversity in Buffalo’s government and hiring practices.

Chris Caya / WBFO News

A developer's plan to put a hole in the heart of the Elmwood Village is not sitting well with local residents.


Chris Caya / WBFO News

Ahead of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Regional State of the State Address in Buffalo Monday, there is a new push to make ridesharing a priority this session. A diverse group turned out at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Thursday to voice their support. 


It's been debated and revised for nearly seven years, but Jim Fink of Business First says Buffalo's new Green Code was "worth it." During WBFO's Press Pass, Fink says the city "needed to get into the 21st century from a planning, zoning, development standpoint."


Chris Caya / WBFO News

North Tonawanda's historic Riviera Theatre is marking its 90th birthday this week. And the refurbished theater is playing an important role in the city's downtown revitalization.


American Immigration Center

Congress is expected to vote Friday on extending a program that provides a pathway to citizenship for wealthy foreigners. The program is important because it's helping fuel some of the new growth in Buffalo and across the nation.  


WBFO's Chris Caya

The FBI hosted an employment workshop on Buffalo's East Side Thursday, as it looks to further diversify its workforce. 

Taylor Mann / CleanSlate UV

When the cell phone you hold in your hand and press against your face is at least six times dirtier than the average toilet seat, it begs the question: Is it safe to use in a hospital? The answer: Not so much. A winner of New York’s 43North competition is out to change that, and they’re finding more uses for their product than originally planned.


TM Montante

The look of Buffalo's Gates Circle has changed drastically, as the new Canterbury Woods senior housing rises on the site of the old Millard Fillmore Hospital. An even larger project is now starting on the site.

Depending on the time, location and subject, public hearings can be sleepy affairs, or they can be contentious events with opponents and proponents engaged in emotional confrontations. While Jim Fink of Business First decries the frequency of "personal attacks" at recent public hearings, he believes the events are important. Fink cites as the most poignant example the public's role in stopping a Bass Pro superstore, allowing for the dynamic growth of the city's waterfront.


State development efforts worked to place bio tech company AMRI in Buffalo. While its presence is welcomed, a closer look at how it ended up in the Conventus Building is raising questions. Those are the findings of Investigative Post reporter Charlotte Keith who discussed the story with WBFO.


If the Amtrak passenger train station is moved to the old Central Terminal, it will arrive and depart next to hundreds of new homes, according to a Toronto developer's plan.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

At the cost of $118 million, National Grid has begun construction on a new power station at its Gardenville site in the Town of West Seneca, where company officials estimate one third of the region's power is currently distributed.

With the Trump Administration likely to push for Public-Private Partnerships for its trillion-dollar infrastructure plans, around 1,200 people are gathered in Toronto starting Monday for a conference on those partnerships and how they have worked around the world.

Solar Liberty

Between New York state spending $750 million dollars on a new solar panel factory in South Buffalo, SolarCity's financial struggles, and this week's expected shareholders vote on a proposed merger with Tesla, there has been a lot of speculation lately about Solar City's long term viability. But other local players in the industry are bullish on the future of solar regardless of what happens to the heavily subsidized company.

WBFO file photo

Trade is good for the United States and its workers. That was the message delivered Thursday night to the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara.

Circuit Clinical web site

A local medical company - that was on the verge of moving to Denver - has  decided to stay and expand in Buffalo. The company was a semi-finalist in this year's 43North business plan competition.

After some initial volatility on Wall Street the night that Donald Trump won the presidency the markets stabilized on Wednesday. But given Trump's stand on trade and other economic issues, some people remain nervous about their 401ks and other investments.  


The Empire Center

Electric utility customers across New York state could see a jump in their bills next year. New York state's Public Service Commission is pushing through a rate hike that includes millions of dollars in corporate welfare. 

Savarino Companies

The name "brownfield" may not sound appealing. In fact, New York State offers incentives to clean up contaminated properties. One successful project has reopened after sitting vacant for nearly a decade.  

In upstate, the minimum wage is at $9, but will rise to $12.50 by the end of 2020. It is an issue that affects many across upstate, from farmers and small business owners to the workers themselves.

Anthony Emmi is the general manager of Emmi and Sons Farm in Baldwinsville, just outside of Syracuse. Among the crops are tomatoes, squash and peppers.

"I raise about seven acres now, the bell peppers," Emmi said. "I started cutting back, we were at 72 acres. We used to ship up and down the East Coast. Now, New York state is it."

Niagara Falls Dept. of Economic Development

The city of Niagara Falls is ramping up its effort to attract new growth. In the latest effort, city officials hosted its first "Developer's Forum" on Thursday.


Ilan Stern

You might call it “show-and-tell” for some local craft breweries and wineries. The industries are thriving in Western New York and some potential investors are taking notice.

It's no surprise: Taxpayers living in New York state are subject to some of the highest rates in the country.

No one pays more state and local income taxes out of a paycheck than New Yorkers do, according to recent data from the Tax Foundation. The state also ranks fourth overall in property tax collections.

With that, one might be quick to think that complaining about the state's tax burden is a given. But not always.

CNB Bank

Despite recent consolidation in the local banking industry, plans are in the works for a new player to enter the Buffalo marketplace. Pennsylvania-based CNB Bank is ramping up to launch its new Bank on Buffalo.


Venessa Rodriguez of Endicott is happy with her health insurance. But one thing she's not thrilled about is that it's not always clear what she owes when she goes to the doctor.

"I think what's happened a few times (is) my doctor's office will send a lab away," she said. "And then (I come to) find out that the lab was not covered under my insurance."

The same goes for Barbara Johnston from Rochester.

Voters head to the polls next week with every seat in the New York State Legislature up for grabs. But will Albany's costly effort to create jobs make a difference in the election?

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Opponents of a proposed wind turbine project along the Lake Ontario shoreline claim the lobbying firm representing the energy company behind that project is also supporting an interest that may be seeking to put the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station out of commission.

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