WBFO Business & Economy Desk

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

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

A Buffalo-based business is helping companies locally and across the nation ramp up production of disposable masks and other personal protective equipment.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

On March 20, bike shops across Western New York were told they would have to close down because they were not an essential service. Less than a day later, after most of those stores came together to plead their case, they were told they could remain open.

Courtesy of Kelsey Worth

Grocery and convenience stores are among the few remaining businesses that Western New Yorkers can patronize in-person, but some of the essential workers there caution customers to take shopping trips seriously. WBFO’s Kyle Mackie reports on efforts to protect local employees and what customers can do to help.

Matthew D. Wilson / Wikipedia

New York State's last coal-burning electric generating plant is officially shutting down Tuesday.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Kids at home are supposed to be home doing school work, replicating what they might be doing back in the classroom. Adults may be at home, waiting for their businesses to reopen. Both are finding ways to keep connected in this era of coronavirus.

Chris Caya / WBFO News

South Buffalo's Tesla gigfactory may reopen, not to make solar panels, but desperately needed ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

WBFO file photo

The coronavirus battle has opened up lots of free parking in the City of Buffalo. With people heeding warnings about the contagion, police are getting fewer calls. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his aides are still scrambling to create new hospital beds and procure adequate medical equipment, as the state begins its full day of a work shutdown, except for essential services. But the governor says he’s also assigning a team to try to figure out how and when to restart the economy in the coming weeks.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The once bustling Elmwood Village in Buffalo is being hit hard by the coronavirus.

Updated at 5:13 p.m. ET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more 1,334 points, or 6.3%, Wednesday after President Trump announced new emergency steps to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, including suspending foreclosures and evictions until the end of April.

The Dow had been down more than 2,000 points earlier in the day, but later recovered some of its losses.

United Auto Workers

Union workers spent the night in talks with leadership of the Big 3 automakers, about how to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tony Walker & Co.

An Amherst retail fashion outlet has suddenly closed its doors.

Updated at 4:21 p.m. ET

U.S. stock indexes fell sharply Monday, a day after the Federal Reserve aggressively cut interest rates to near zero in a bid to stop the economy from crashing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2,997.20 points, or about 13%, as coronavirus measures rapidly expanded. The S&P 500 index lost nearly 12%.

The Dow, which closed at 20,188.52, has lost 31.7% since its record high Feb. 12 as the market plunges deeper into bear territory after an 11-year winning streak.


The push is on to increase testing for coronavirus across the state and around the nation. And a local biotech company is playing a critical role in making the testing possible. WBFO's Chris Caya gives us an inside look at ZeptoMetrix.


Updated at 4:04 p.m. ET

The stock market has suffered a relentless, breathtaking drop — moving deeper into bear territory. Stocks fell so fast Thursday morning that it triggered a 15-minute halt in trading for the second time this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2,352 points, or nearly 10% — the biggest one-day drop since 1987. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were each down more than 9%.

The Buffalo-Niagara International Airport will likely be seeing a drop in business travelers. The coronavirus has some local companies planning fewer trips for their employees.

Niagara Falls Tourism

On both sides of the Niagara Gorge, tourism promoters are expecting a drop in overseas tourists because of COVID-19 and more domestic tourists arriving by car.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

Stocks took another steep dive Friday, deepening a multi-day rout fueled by fears about the coronavirus' impact on the global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 357 points on Friday, capping a week in which the blue chip index fell 3,583 points or 12.4%. The Dow is down 16.3% from its recent peak on Feb. 12.

The S&P 500 stock index lost 11.5% for the week and is now down 14.6% from the all-time high it reached only last week.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

Stocks continued their free-fall on Thursday, with major indexes falling into correction territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled nearly 1,200 points as worries mounted about the economic toll of a widening coronavirus epidemic.

The Dow ended the day down 4.4%, and nearly 13% below its recent peak on Feb. 12. A drop of 10% from a recent high is the technical definition of a "correction."

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Buffalo may be known for its chicken wings and fish frys, but Western New Yorkers also have an appetite for locally produced healthy foods. In WBFO’s Farm-to-Table series, we meet entrepreneurs in the region's growing industry and how they're helping to change the local economy. 

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Donuts, chicken wings and fish frys are certainly popular in Buffalo, but residents also have an appetite for a variety of locally grown healthy foods. In WBFO's Farm-to-Table series, we meet entrepreneurs in the growing industry, including a unique farm without fields that relies on fish for growing leafy greens and herbs.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul visited a Buffalo business planning to move to Lackawanna next year, and grow its workforce upon completing the move. TRS Packaging will receive $400,000 for job skills training, one of numerous awards announced by New York State Monday.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Buffalo may be known for its chicken wings and fish frys,  but Western New Yorkers also have an appetite for locally-produced healthy foods. In WBFO’s Farm-to-Table series, we meet entrepreneurs in the region’s growing industry. At a family farm in Darien, a healthcare professional is raising pigs the old-fashioned way.

Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals

It’s the third year of Black Restaurant Week sponsored by the Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals. Its President, Mark Glasgow, is hoping the event will draw people from all across Buffalo to experience what the African American community has to offer.

T-Mobile / Sprint

New York state will not try to block the proposed merger involving T-Mobile and Sprint.

Pantano & Associates LLC

Since it was initially proposed, the Outer Harbor residential development Queen City Landing has sparked a number of questions from community interests.  The height of the main tower and how the complex would restrict public waterfront access have been two of the major concerns. Jim Fink of Business First says developer Gerry Buchheit has altered the proposal. While a 20-story tower remains at the heart of the plan, Fink says a 2.5-acre green space has been added to make the location "welcoming" to the public. The alterations will need approval through the city's regulatory process before becoming reality.

Tesla / Twitter

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he will be at the company's "Gigafactory 2" facility on South Park Avenue in Buffalo in April.

Kyle S. Mackie / WBFO News

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) called on Western New York dollar stores to stop carrying “potentially dangerous” over-the-counter topical products like ointments and cosmetics in Cheektowaga Monday.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

State officials are showing off a vast plan for economic development on Buffalo's East Side called the East Side Avenues effort.

Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a commission to look at improving conditions for workers in the so-called gig economy, where people work job to job with few employment rights. But some workers say they are worried that the changes could actually harm their ability to earn money.