WBFO Business & Economy Desk

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

WBFO file photo

The new owner of Statler City admits he has “no plan” for the former hotel in downtown Buffalo. But as WBFO’s Chris Caya reports, the Washington based developer may end up rolling the dice and giving the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino a run for its money.  

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO file photo

A local group of companies and foundations has launched a new initiative to help small businesses and nonprofits across the region survive the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

With the possibility of bars and restaurants being allowed to open in three weeks, the City of Buffalo is rushing to help those establishments get ready, perhaps even to allow sidewalk and street closings to help.


The future of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Buffalo is apparently bleak. It is not clear whether a hotel will reopen in the building attached to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center when the coronavirus pandemic breaks.

Darren McGee / Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday he believes New York has finally “turned the page” on the COVID-19 pandemic, for now at least, and that it’s time to refocus on “supercharging” the economy.




Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The Buffalo Common Council wants to give a break to many local bars and restaurants by changing the rules for outdoor eating and drinking.

Erie County Department of Social Services

The New York State Child Care Availability Task Force was established 18 months ago to dive into what officials call the child care "crisis" afflicting the state. After just a couple of months of pandemic, however, words like "devastation" and "decimation" are being used. Here are their interim findings and recommendations.

New York State

The first day of Western New York's restart went well, according to Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Seneca Nation

The Seneca Nation has been hit by the COVID virus, not just in illness and death but also in the fiscal resources which support Nation members.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The local construction industry has not been shut down in the last two months, but more than half of the work stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic. That changes Tuesday, with the sector part of Phase 1 of the state's reopening strategy.

There is going to be a rush to re-start Niagara County, now that Albany is allowing Phase One to start, especially construction and manufacturing. 

Marshall Gilmore finally got what he'd been waiting for this month when the state of Mississippi allowed him to offer table service again at his restaurant, the Harvest Grill in Meridian.

Still, many of his tables sit empty, even at limited capacity, and he makes most of his money offering curbside food pickup.

"People are just a little apprehensive about getting out in public. This was a once-in-a-lifetime scare that we all just went through. So everyone's a little scared," Gilmore says.

Niagara Falls, ON

There is a big push on both sides of the Niagara River to get economies going, particularly as warm weather starts, when ordinarily millions of tourists would be coming through.


Western New York has inched to the edge of starting to reopen in the COVID-19 crisis. The one unmet criteria is in the control of the five county governments in the region.


Many business owners are relieved to be talking about reopening, after two months of PAUSE due to the coronavirus pandemic. When the doors are unlocked again, entrepreneurs will have to safeguard public safety as well as their bottom line -- and that "new normal" could be especially costly to small businesses, many of which are women-owned. But there is help.

Google Maps

The New York State Liquor Authority has suspended the liquor license of a Lockport bar, after it violated the state's executive order forbidding on-site food and alcoholic service due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 5:19 p.m. ET

Nearly 3 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week — bringing the total to 36.5 million in the past eight weeks, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The number of people filing claims has been steadily dropping for weeks, since hitting nearly 7 million during one week in March. Still, claims remain at historically high levels, suggesting that the coronavirus isn't done pummeling the U.S. economy.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

An alliance of Republican lawmakers was in a Lockport heavy industry plant Tuesday pushing to reopen Western New York, as three regions of the state prepare to start opening later this week.

Chris Caya / WBFO News

Erie County may not be ready to reopen just yet, but GM’s Tonawanda Engine plant is gearing up to start bringing workers back. The facility shut down nearly two months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Erie and Chautauqua counties

Western New York is inching closer to starting the reopening process under the state's seven criteria for starting up. The statewide lockdown order, also called PAUSE, is set to expire May 15.

Gerhard Gellinger/Pixabay

Finding a florist in the Buffalo area with flowers for Mother's Day won’t be easy this year. Many shops are closed and the ones that are open have limited options for customers.

Chris Caya / WBFO News

Some businesses in New York State may reopen as early as mid to late May. Business leaders are putting together plans to try to operate safely and prevent spread of the coronavirus.

General Motors

General Motors has resumed limited operations at its Lockport components plant.


A custom manufacturer of plastic products, in Chautauqua County, has joined the fight against COVID-19 by designing a new kind of face shield for frontline workers.

Niagara County

Niagara County wants to be ready when the quarantine is lifted, industry starts up and tourism begins to recover from the lockdown. The county is gearing up ReStart Niagara, ReThink Niagara and ReConfigure Niagara.


As the summer growing season develops here in Western New York, Erie County hopes shoppers will look for a new logo, ERIE GROWN, on fresh produce, whether in stores or at neighborhood farmers markets.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

A court order has been issued against  an Amherst company and its elderly founder blocking him from taking on investors and accusing him of ripping off hundreds across the region. 

Tom Krishner / Associated Press

General Motors Canada is ramping up production at its Oshawa assembly plant, east of Toronto. It is not to produce cars, but face masks for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dan Clark / WMHT New York NOW

Workers in the construction and manufacturing industries will likely head back to work in the state’s first phase of reopening the economy, which could come in less than three weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

NYS may buy excess food and dairy from farmers

Apr 27, 2020
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets

Struggling farmers in upstate New York may soon get a reprieve from the state, which is considering a plan to buy products, like excess milk, that aren’t making it to the shelves in stores, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.