Business/Economy

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

David Sommerstein / NCPR File Photo

A mid-level appeals court has declared that farmworkers have the same right to unionize as all other workers in New York State.

NYSEG

New York State Electric & Gas is requesting rate increases for the delivery of electricity and natural gas.

Dressbarn, the women's clothing chain founded in the 1960s as a place where women in need of career-wear "could find fashion at a value," is closing all its stores.

Ascena Retail Group announced the closure of about 650 stores late Monday, saying the "wind-down" would help the company focus on its more profitable brands.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Tesla says it has hired more workers than required under a deal with New York state. To reach its goal, the company has started making more than just solar roofs at its Gigafactory 2 in South Buffalo.

Chris Caya WBFO News

Online shoppers are getting ripped off and its hurting the economy and workers, according to a new report issued Tuesday by the Better Business Bureau.


The Trump administration is preparing a new list of $300 billion worth of Chinese imports that would be hit with tariffs of up to 25%, after China retaliated Monday in the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Updated at 4:19 p.m. ET

China is imposing new retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, days after the Trump administration said it would impose higher tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods. The latest tit-for-tat exchange comes as trade talks have failed to yield a deal.

U.S. stock prices plunged on the news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 617 points Monday, or 2.4%, and the Nasdaq composite fell 3.4%.

Reaction continues to President Trump's decision to raise tariffs on thousands of Chinese imports.


Emily Russell

The Thousand Islands is a major tourist destination, but right now it's flooding. Water levels in the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario are higher than average and they’re expected to keep rising.

Thomas O'Neil-White

Students from WNY YouthBuild cut the ribbon on a nine-month project through The Foundry for two mobile food carts. The carts will be used by the African Heritage Co-op and local urban farm Groundwork Market Garden.

Plants.GM.com

General Motors has stepped back from its hard line on the Oshawa assembly plant, just east of Toronto. The plant, along with others in the US, had been scheduled to cease operations by the end of the year. Now,the auto maker and the union have come together to save some of those jobs.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

For a quarter century, it stood as an abandoned building. Dilapidated and covered in graffiti, it was a highly visible eyesore to motorists traveling along Route 190 near Long Road in Grand Island. More recently, a developer completed an $8 million project to convert it into a hotel. On Friday, elected officials including Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul presented a check to cover some of the costs associated with the project.

Updated at 6:00 p.m. ET Friday

The ride-hailing company Uber made its stock market debut on Friday, and promptly saw share prices dip.

Uber priced its shares at $45, the lower end of the possible range, aiming for a total diluted market value of about $82 billion. After a delay of two and a half hours, trading started with the stock at $42, down more than 6 percent over that initial price.

Updated at 11:06 p.m. ET

Ahead of Uber's initial public offering, drivers for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies went on strike Wednesday, turning off the apps as they flex their collective muscles to say: What about us?

Drivers in 10 cities across the country took action Wednesday to draw attention to what they say are decreasing wages for drivers and a distressing lack of job security — and some are calling on passengers to temporarily boycott the ride-hailing services, too.

Karen DeWitt

More than 100 sex workers came to the Capitol on Tuesday to lobby for two bills that they say would help keep them safe and end some of the stigma associated with their jobs.  The workers, joined by lawmakers who back the bills, told stories of what led them to the work.


Updated at 4:17 p.m. ET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 473 points on Tuesday after Trump administration officials accused Beijing of reneging on commitments it had already made in trade talks. The blue chip index, which earlier was down more than 600 points, closed the day down 1.8%.

Other indexes also fell, with the S&P 500 down about 1.7% and the Nasdaq composite down nearly 2%.

The closing of Women and Children's Hospital on Bryant Street had a negative effect on many of the  nearby retail businesses along Elmwood Avenue. That trend appears to be reversing. During his monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass, Jim Fink of Business First discusses the hopeful signs emerging throughout the neighborhood.


Karen DeWitt

Supporters hope that their efforts to change an 80 year old law that excludes farm workers from many of the protections afforded to other workers in New York, may finally meet with success in the all Democratic- led State legislature.


Local entrepreneurs have a new way to seek financing for their business.

Manufacturers have plenty of jobs to fill, but a new report finds there is a number of challenges in hiring qualified workers.


State Sen. Rachel May / Twitter

Farm owners on Thursday warned New York State lawmakers that legislation that would give workers the right to organize to demand better wages and conditions could devastate New York’s agricultural economy.

Chris Caya WBFO News

The latest New York State Labor Department figures put the Buffalo area's jobless rate at 4.5% in March, its lowest level in nearly 30 years. With workers harder to find and a push on to legalize marijuana in New York, some employers may stop drug testing in order to fill open positions.

James Brown / WXXI News

Standing outside the abruptly closed Friendly’s in Gates on Monday, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said laws that govern large-scale layoffs need to change.

Seneca Gaming Corporation

Casino revenue payments to localities remain on hold, as New York State and the Seneca Nation continue their dispute over the gaming compact that allowed Nation casinos to operate. The Seneca Nation is now calling on the U.S. Department of the Interior to review the compact, after a state panel ruled against them.

When you walk into Optimax, you instantly hear the buzz of people at work on millions of dollars’ worth of machinery.  

The Victor company is an optical manufacturer known for creating the lenses for the 2020 Mars rover. It’s tough to imagine people using these machines while high. But with legal recreational marijuana a real possibility in New York state, that’s something the folks at Optimax are thinking about now.

Google Maps

The abrupt closings of 14 Friendly's restaurants across Upstate New York and another nine in New England  this week is continuing to stir not-so-friendly feelings for the corporate chain. The chain says those feelings are unwarranted.

NYS' oldest brew gets new image

Apr 12, 2019

The Genesee Brewery has done what they’re calling a “brand refresh” on some of their iconic products with new packaging.

nyfb.org

Farmers across New York are concerned certain parts of newly proposed farm labor legislation could negatively impact the state’s agriculture economy. The Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act would give workers overtime beyond an 8-hour day and collective bargaining rights.

Friendly's

Friendly's has closed restaurants in Hamburg, Amherst, Lancaster and Jamestown. They are among 14 across New York State and another nine locations shuttered abruptly across New England.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

The shape of the future for a major section of the Town of Amherst will start becoming clear today, as Supervisor Brian Kulpa talks with developer Nick Sinatra. Yesterday, a group led by Sinatra agreed to pay just over $24 million for the Boulevard Mall in an extended auction.


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