WBFO Business & Economy Desk

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

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.

Emyle Watkins / WBFO News

"Shocked and speechless" was how the president of the Buffalo Newspaper Guild described the sale of The Buffalo News to Lee Enterprises. It could be a major change for the region, in an industry where cuts and consolidation are already common. For more information about the new owner and what the sale could mean for Western New York, WBFO's Marian Hetherly talked with Jim Heaney, a reporter at the News from 1986-2011 and now editor of Investigative Post, a nonprofit investigative reporting center based in Buffalo.

Fredonia Chamber of Commerce

And the winner is.... Those were the words anxiously clung to Tuesday evening, as "Small Business Revolution" live-streamed which of its Top 5 finalists would receive a $500,000 small business makeover. In the end, there was good news for the packed crowd inside and outside the Fredonia Opera House - and a special live appearance by the television show's co-host.


43North, the startup competition that aims to attract new businesses to Buffalo, has a new leader now that the organization's board of directors has tapped Colleen Heidinger to succeed Alex Gress as president.

Google Maps

The Bed Bath and Beyond retail chain has announced it will be closing as many as 40 of its more than 900 stores across the country in the first half of this year.

PUSH Buffalo

PUSH Buffalo is planning a training center on the city's West Side, although far smaller than the Northland Workforce Training Center complex on the East Side.

Store closings announced by Pier 1 Imports and Valu will affect Western New York.

Passero Associates

Another of the old manufacturing plants in Larkinville is going to be converted into market-rate apartments with a Rochester firm piggy-backing on other developers in the burgeoning community.

Visit Buffalo Niagara

The Buffalo Niagara Convention Center is "antiquated and beyond its useful life span," according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. WBFO's Chris Caya talked with Poloncarz about plans for replacing the facility.

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News

Two prominent Buffalo-area businessmen were killed in a helicopter crash Thursday night.

The region's economic health may turn in the coming months, but Jim Fink of Business First sees another strong year for business development in 2020. As some high-profile projects--Elmwood Crossing, the Forge--will continue to take shape, Fink expects more investment coming "into Buffalo neighborhoods." In his 2019 report looking at regional development, Fink calculated some $20 billion in large-scale projects in Western New York. He won't be surprised if that total is equaled or surpassed in the coming year.

WNY wages up, but still lag behind U.S. and much of NYS

Jan 7, 2020
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment is down slightly in Erie County compared to New York State and the rest of the country, but wages are up locally. That is according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' lastest county-by-county figures.

Wegmans shoppers will no longer be able to carry their groceries home in the store's recognizable brown plastic bags at the end of January.  

The Rochester-based supermarket chain is removing single-use plastic bags from its New York stores on January 27, ahead of a statewide ban that takes effect on March 1.

Customers will have two choices: bring their own bags - which Wegmans is encouraging them to do - or request paper bags, which come with a 5-cent fee per bag. Customers who receive SNAP or WIC benefits are exempt from the fee.

Kaleida Health

Kaleida Health is putting the five-story tower of DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda up for sale.

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

Mark Poloncarz identified poverty, health and wellness, and the economy as the top priorities for his third term as Erie County Executive during his inauguration ceremony Tuesday.

WBFO file photo

Issues impacting older adults — including lowering prescription drug prices, tax relief for caregivers and large Medicaid cuts — will be some of the major issues during New York state’s 2020 legislative session. 


WBFO file photo

A coalition of New York State dairy and vegetable farmers has filed a federal lawsuit to temporarily halt a new farm labor act set to take effect on New Year's Day.

Jessica Crouse / Seneca Nation

The Seneca Nation has been vigorously working on a Hemp Production Plan to enter this new industry. It comes as the next step in an overall effort to revive agriculture on Seneca lands.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A Buffalo-based company is buying out the eight properties held by an out-of-state owner, including the Ellicott Street parcel where a building recently experienced a partial collapse and ultimately had to be torn down. Mayor Byron Brown announced not only the sale, but his instruction of the Inspections Department to draft a new plan to address other troubled privately-owned structures throughout the city.

The retail landscape for cannabis in Ontario will start to look much different beginning in January of 2020. The lottery system implemented by the government of Premier Doug Ford has faced widespread criticism.

WBFO file photo

New York state begins the new year with the biggest budget deficit since the Great Recession, estimated at $5 billion to $6 billion.

Financial stress is an issue affecting numerous Western New Yorkers during the holiday season. Veterans are certainly among them. In fact, financial stress is often the first problem facing many upon transitioning from the military into the civilian world. WBFO recently visited one of the local agencies serving veterans to find out more.

File photo

With support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and many members of the state legislature, 2020 could be the year when New York legalizes the adult use of recreational marijuana. But the issue has become complicated by a widespread lung ailment linked to vaping.

Photo courtesy of Catholic Charities of Buffalo

A South Buffalo deacon with a business background has been named the new head of Catholic Charities of Buffalo.

Lynne Sladky / AP

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is out with its latest figures on women's earnings in New York State and the news is nothing to shout about.


President Donald Trump on Friday issued a declaration of disaster for 18 New York counties, including Erie and Chautauqua Counties due to significant damage from a late October storm.

Erie County

Large parts of urban and rural Erie County are closer to having high-speed broadband for residences and businesses.

New York State

Western New York will receive $67.3 million supporting 109 projects in the ninth year of New York State Regional Economic Development Council competition awards.

Union workers in Ontario are more restive than festive in the lead-up to Christmas. A coalition of ten unions is challenging the Ford government’s new law capping public sector wage increases for the next three years.

Thomas O'Neil-White

The parent company for rapidly expanding Bank on Buffalo on Thursday formally announced the acquisition of Bank of Akron.