WBFO Business & Economy Desk

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

WBFO Photo/Ryan Zunner

Already reeling from a shift in shopping trends, Western New York's shopping malls have been hearing the death knell for quite a while before COVID-19 changed, well, everything.  Shuttered anchor stores litter the landscape. 

"But there should be a new dawn for retail in Western New York' says Burt Flickinger, retail consultant with The Strategic Resource Group consulting firm in New York City.

Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press

When the economy fell apart under the COVID-19 lockdown in Spring, all the weaknesses of the state's unemployment system became apparent. It buckled and fixing that was a big job.

National Federation of Independent Businesses

As the coronavirus infection rate climbed higher in New York State, new microcluster zones were announced this week in New York and some existing ones were intensified. A business group is asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stick to that approach of limited closures, saying they won’t survive a complete economic shutdown.

Local Honey Beauty Hive Instagram / Local Honey Beauty Hive

Salons in the state-designated COVID microcluster Orange Zone in Erie County are among personal care businesses whose doors will be closed Friday morning. For at least one local business, it’s lead to booming demand and an uncertain future.

Visit Buffalo Niagara

Developer Carl Paladino and his Ellicott Development own a lot of residential, retail and office property in the traditional downtown shopping district of Buffalo and is forecasting a bad shopping season.

Small Business Revolution

It’s finally here. Season 5 of “Small Business Revolution” will kick off Tuesday evening with the Village of Fredonia in the spotlight.

File Photo / WBFO News

With the bar and restaurant business struggling in the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Buffalo is moving to continue a major assistance program started when the economy fell apart this spring.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A Western New York native who worked two decades writing and producing numerous Hollywood-based television shows is leading an effort to construct a production facility on a 27-acre plot in Buffalo's Riverbend area.

Erie County Department of Health

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is warning schools that if they don't enforce mask rules in their buildings, they are potentially in danger of being shut down.

The Poloncarz administration has announced a new grant program called Erie County Back to Business, funded with $20 million from the federal CARES Act.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A longtime attraction at Niagara Falls is introducing two new all-electric, zero-emission vessels to its fleet. Maid of the Mist will carry its first passengers aboard these new boats beginning Tuesday morning.

Kyle S. Mackie / WBFO News

Clusters of the coronavirus in parts of New York are causing concern, and while the outbreaks remain isolated for now, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not ruled out shutting down parts of the economy again if other measures don’t work.

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority

Another set of furloughs due to the COVID-19 pandemic has become permanent.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A new campaign is getting underway to encourage continued compliance with guidelines set to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and give small businesses a fighting chance as they claw back from the pandemic.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

In Erie County alone, the tourism industry is estimated at $1.8 billion. But it has taken a big hit with the COVID pandemic. A new bill is being introduced in Albany to help the industry recover by creating a new funding source to aid related businesses.

WBFO file photo

With autumn officially arriving next Tuesday, Erie County lawmakers are proposing the use of federal CARES relief money to help establishments set up outdoor dining spaces during the winter months.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

New York State is distributing $9 million dollars to 66 organizations that host in-demand job skills training. State government representatives appeared Tuesday at Erie 1 BOCES, one of the recipients, to announce the Workforce Development Initiative funding. 

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

With Buffalo and Western New York trying to crawl back from a pandemic-related economic shutdown, the Northland Workforce Training Center is announcing new partnerships for its job training mission.

Hamburg Gaming

The door of New York's economy creaks open a little more Wednesday, with non-Indian gambling slowing starting up again under new state rules.

No more reopening in Ontario for another 28 days

Sep 9, 2020
File Photo / WBFO News

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the province is putting the brakes on its reopening plans until October. The announcement comes after officials announced a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases over the long weekend.

Buffalo Automation

A major sign of COVID-19 is a noticeable fever, but current devices - like a temperature gun - can be erratic or slow. Now a local start-up company has a way of spotting people with a fever in a crowd.

Erie County

Erie County is putting $25 million into emergency child care. The money will pay for regular child care and new virtual learning centers.

WBFO file photo

Overall travel dropped sharply in the spring and early summer as the result of the COVID pandemic but, according to the AAA of Western and Central New York, a wide majority of vacation travel this year has been kept within New York State and done by car. Heading into the Labor Day holiday weekend, the AAA expects this trend to continue.

WBFO file photo

A state wage board is considering lowering the current 60-hour-per-week overtime threshold in New York's Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, which took effect at the start of this year. Monday morning, Republicans within the State Senate and owners of farms across the state warned that doing so could, in the words of one speaker, "plow many businesses under."

Niagara Region

The Canadian federal and Ontario provincial governments are pouring billions of dollars into local governments buried in the financial turmoil of COVID-19 to prevent catastrophic effects on local governments.

Erie County

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says hundreds of gyms, fitness centers and other operations are in danger of being shut down because they didn't follow the rules related to COVID-19.

Chris Caya, WBFO News

As COVID-19 drains the coffers of many municipalities and businesses, Buffalo Place has begun to discuss broadening their borders, and assessing their service fees on a bigger base of downtown Buffalo property owners.

Wells Enterprises

Chautauqua County officials say there is a COVID-19 hot spot at a Dunkirk ice cream plant, with 22 new cases and more expected in an all-out push to test everyone connected with Fieldbrook Foods.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

A local auction house is selling off the contents of a series of hotel rooms owned by developer Rocco Termini. He needed the space because 23 rooms in his Hotel Lafayette and all 14 rooms in his Foundry Suites Hotel are being converted to apartments and most of those are already rented.

Jamestown Plastics

Many small businesses are always on the fiscal edge and this COVID-19 pandemic hasn't helped. The Erie County Industrial Development Agency is trying to help, giving small business grants toward the costs of worker personal protective equipment.

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