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

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Governor Andrew Cuomo pledged a $1-billion economic boost for the City of Buffalo in last week's state of the State address.  But Cuomo expects a return on that investment. 

In this week's Press Pass interview, Jim Fink of  Business First says it's now up to the public sector to identify the private sector projects that will produce the intended results.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Retailers across New York State are celebrating what is being deemed a successful holiday shopping season.  

The Retail Council of New York State is awarding the season an "A -minus"  in response to the strong finale. 

Rebecca Marion Flach is with the Retail Council.  She said it has been a "fantastic" season for retailers.

Assemblyman to IDAs: Stop Pirating Each Other

Dec 14, 2011

State Assemblyman Sean Ryan says if the Buffalo-Niagara region is to finally move forward in economic development, economic development agencies to stop the practice of one locality pirating a business away from a neighboring locality. 

Western New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul spearheaded an opportunity for area small businesses to learn how they can tap into the international marketplace here in this region.

"Canada is such a strong partner of ours, and for an opportunity for our local business to learn how to export into Canada," noted Hochul.

The Small Business Export Forum was held on Saturday at ECC's North Campus. The forum was established as a means for introducing the region's business people to the available resources that will pave the way for broadening the audience for their products.

Buffalo, NY – A bid was accepted last week for the mothballed Statler Towers, but the $700,000 offered for the downtown landmark was significantly less than a recent bid for a piece of residential property in Buffalo.

That's one of the topics we cover this week as Business First reporter Jim Fink joins us for the Media Roundtable. Bert Gambini began his conversation with Jim by asking if there were concerns that the August 14th shootings outside the City Grill could hinder downtown development.

Chauauqua Institution, NY – The Publisher of the New York Times will be one of the featured speakers next week at the Chautauqua Institution summer lectures. Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. will discuss the role of journalism in a democracy in week three of the lecture series. WBFO'S Sarah Campbell has more in this week's Chautauqua Preview.

Click the "listen" icon above to hear the Chautauqua Preview now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

Chautauqua Institution, NY – Russell Muirhead is associate professor of government at Harvard where for the past 5 years he's been teaching courses on work. His latest book is titled Just Work. He delivers Monday morning's lecture, week two, at the Chautauqua Institution, titled "The Promise of Fulfillment in the New World of Work."

Muirhead joins WBFO's Mary Van Vorst on this week's Chautauqua Preview. Click the "listen" icon above to hear her report.

Buffalo, NY – The Base Realignment and Closure Commission was in Buffalo Monday. Federal, state and local leaders rallied with citizens demanding that the Commission reverse the Pentagon's recommendation to close the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Following the rally, leaders delivered their testimony at the regional hearing.

Click the "listen" icon above to hear Eileen Buckley's report.

Chautauqua Institution, NY – Political analyst and commentator Robert Kagan's latest book is titled "Of Paradise and Power," and it will be the starting point for his lecture next Wednesday morning -- week one -- at the Chautauqua Institution. His lecture is titled "America and Europe: Two Liberal Visions." The week's theme is "Europe Today and Tomorrow."

Robert Kagan joins Mary Van Vorst for our first Chautauqua Preview. Click the "listen" icon above to hear more.

Buffalo, NY – It's getting more expensive to operate a small business in a sluggish Buffalo Niagara economy. Health care and liability insurance and worker comp costs have some local business owners digging deep into their pockets to survive.

Coudersport, PA – The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into Adelphia's troubled financial situation. Adelphia officials are promising to cooperate in the probe.

The company announced last week that it has $2.3 billion in previously undisclosed debt.

Adelphia's stock price continued to drop Wednesday, but not by as much as in recent days. Adelphia closed at $11.04, down 79-cents from Tuesday. It had fallen under $10 for a time earlier in the day.

Buffalo, NY – The price of Adelphia Communications stock dropped again Thursday, losing 27 percent of its value over the past two days.

The decrease is the result of this week's announcement that Adelphia has over 2.3 billion dollars in debt that was not included on its balance sheets, in addition to a 1.7 billion dollar loss last year.

Adelphia officials said the development will have no bearing on their plans to build a new multimillion dollar headquarters in downtown Buffalo.

Loudonville, NY – Consumer confidence in New York declined in December after posting gains the previous two months.

The drop in consumer confidence in December was fueled mainly by the New York City area. A survey by the Siena College Research Institute found the index falling 2.6 percent from the previous month.