WBFO Business & Economy Desk

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


When the National Comedy Center opened to great acclaim in 2018, officials hailed the Jamestown attraction as a key driver for economic development in the Southern Tier. "Sometimes these destinations are built and they're oversold," said Jim Fink of Business First during his monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass. "I think the center is living up to its advance billing and then some."  According to Fink, 60 percent of visitors are spending at least two days in the area. The average person is spending about $365 during those stays.

WINC Buffalo

Why does Western New York need another women's business group? That was the question WBFO posed to Chris Belin, co-founder and vice president of WINC Buffalo, or Women Inspired by Networking and Collaboration. The group's motto is "Strong women look a challenge in the eye and give it a wink!"

A new report finds many of North America’s largest retail companies are embracing chemical safety policies to help protect consumers from toxic chemicals in products.

Google Maps

The goal is to bring Jefferson Avenue back to being a great East Side Buffalo shopping destination as it was long ago.

File photo: Chris Caya/WBFO News

Concerns over the deal Albany made to fund Tesla's Gigafactory on South Park Avenue, in Buffalo, were raised during a hearing in Amherst Monday. As WBFO's Chris Caya reports - the state could penalize the company millions of dollars for failing to meet an upcoming deadline.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Put your change away this holiday season, at least when it comes to parking in Buffalo's small business districts.

Lombardo Funeral Homes

After more than a century, a local family-owned funeral home chain has been sold to a national funeral company.

Speaker highlights opportunities in manufacturing

Nov 15, 2019

American manufacturing has some serious problems and some serious opportunities. That was the message brought to the annual meeting of World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara Thursday night.

Buffalo Women's Consortium

"At times I feel like women rock and at times I feel deflated. If I didn't feel that way, I don't think I would have been interested in starting the consortium." That is Holly Metz Doyle of 4 Dog Design, who with Jennifer Stockman of Jen Stockman Designs, spontaneously co-founded the Buffalo Women's Consortium this summer.

Thinking Robot Studios

A section of Buffalo's old industrial waterfront, once producing for the steel industry, is now slated to become an $84 million manufacturing plant for artificial limbs and joints made specifically for individual patients.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Monday marked the first full day back on the job for nearly 1,300 workers at GM's Tonawanda Engine plant. One of the longest strikes in years came to an end late Friday with the United Auto Workers agreeing to a new contract.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Construction is underway for a new Amazon warehouse and distribution center in the Town of Tonawanda.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The boating season may be winding down, but an Amherst-based startup has been getting out on the water for trial runs of its self-driving pleasure boat.

Vaping industry fired up as NY's flavor ban nears

Oct 2, 2019
File Photo / WBFO News

The vaping industry is putting pressure on New York State to quit its effort to ban the sale of flavored products. A ban approved by the Health Department's Public Health Council in September is set to take effect Friday, while a ban on menthol vaping products is being considered.

File photo

In just about a month, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery will be shutting down to prepare for a major expansion project. But an area labor leader is concerned the work is not going to include unionized skilled workers.  

File photo: Chris Caya/WBFO News

Plans for expanding Metro Rail continue moving forward. The next public workshop about the proposed $1.2 billion project is Tuesday night in Amherst.

Blackbird Asset Services

The now-closed Tonawanda Coke plant goes up for public auction Monday morning. Auction of the 135-acre site at 3875 River Rd. in the Town of Tonawanda, including some 850 feet of waterfront shoreline, was ordered by U.S. Bankruptcy Court and begins at 10 a.m.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Canisius College is celebrating the end of a longtime neighborhood revitalization project. The final house acquired and rehabilitated through the Hamlin Park Initiative is now completely fixed and available for purchase.

KC Public Relations

Partners in a sports and entertainment complex planned for a plot of land along the Buffalo River announced details of their project Friday morning. Groundbreaking is anticipated within the next year on what will become a "first-of-its-kind" golf driving range that will be augmented with virtual gaming, eateries and a hotel.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Hamburg's Planning Board pushed off a decision on a controversial asphalt plant Wednesday night, saying it is looking for an expert to review studies submitted by the plant.

Chris Caya WBFO News

One of the greenest data centers on Earth is located about 25 miles north of downtown Buffalo in Niagara County. As WBFO's Chris Caya reports, it's undergoing another expansion and creating more jobs.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Local union members walking the picket line in front of General Motors got some big-name support Wednesday. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez walked the line in front of the GM Powertrain plant in the Town of Tonawanda.

Kyle S. Mackie / WBFO News

It’s going to take 100 years at the current pace to achieve gender equity among the highest executives in the food industry.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

The top nine teams for the Buffalo Skyway Corridor Competition have been revealed. The finalists will pitch their ideas Tuesday morning in front of a live audience and judging panel. At noon the winners will be announced, with first place receiving a $100,000 award.

Chautuaqua County Executive Borrello's office

Farmers across the region may soon find a new opportunity in the growing craft beverage industry. An effort is underway to establish New York state as the leader in hop production and processing.

Chris Caya WBFO News

Downtown Buffalo's growing tech hub has landed a new tenant. M&T Bank recently announced plans to create 1,000 new technology jobs at Seneca One, the region's tallest building. Now, 43North is following the bank's lead.

Nick Lippa / WBFO News

The city of Niagara Falls will receive $10 million to help transform its Bridge District. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was there Wednesday to announce the funding, which is part of the fourth round of the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

A handshake deal between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to reinstate the comptroller’s powers to audit contracts in the wake of corruption scandals has stalled.

File photo / WBFO News

Developer Carl Paladino says the Buffalo Bills should be playing their future football games in a domed stadium on a site immediately adjacent to KeyBank Center. There is a study underway looking at potential sites, from what the developer is proposing to a new stadium in Orchard Park, perhaps next to the current facility.

Chris Caya WBFO News

Buffalo-based ACV Auctions continues growing four years after winning $1 million in the 43North business plan competition. The company is adding a new tool to its popular app that could spur further growth.