WBFO Business & Economy Desk

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

Ontario premier Doug Ford is condemning the practice of price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic and says individuals or businesses who price gouge could face staggering fines.

Community Services for Every1

Among the local companies hiring while workers are being laid off are four that provide services for individuals with disabilities. People Inc., The Arc of Erie County, Community Services for Every1 and Suburban Adult Services Incorporated are all looking to hire direct support professionals.

WBFO file image

An estimated 70 percent of New Era Cap's U.S.-based workforce, including operations in Buffalo, will be furloughed for at least 60 days, the company announced Friday, as the result of slumping sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Plexiglas shields are coming to a supermarket checkout near you.

Chris Caya / WBFO News

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

File photo

Pegula Sports & Entertainment, in partnership with the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres foundations, has announced it will provide at least $1.2 million in direct community aid to Western New York residents in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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.

Preservation Buffalo Niagara

Preservation Buffalo Niagara announced the launch of a new loan program specifically for low-income homeowners in local historic districts Thursday.


New York State is heading to a virtual shutdown as officials organize their response to the spreading coronavirus. Governor Cuomo announced just after 11 a.m. that he is ordering "100 percent" of all employees at non-essential businesses to stay home.

How the virus changed the Elmwood strip

Mar 20, 2020
Chris Caya/WBFO News

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

Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is taking more steps to reduce human density in the workplace in light of the rapidly spreading coronavirus. He said just 25% of employees can now come into the office.

Thomas O'Neil-White

The COVID-19 threat has closed down bar and restaurant dining rooms across the state for the foreseeable future. As those businesses scramble to diversify their model to provide for customers, another alcohol-related business has seen dramatic increase in sales.

There are business opportunities for a Clarence company in the coronavirus crisis.

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.

Flickr/Governor Andrew Cuomo

In his latest update on COVID-19 coronavirus in New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an executive order under which most businesses will be allowed no more than 50 percent of their personnel to work on site.

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.

Wegmans, Tops limit shopping hours due to COVID-19

Mar 18, 2020

Wegmans and Tops are both making another shift in their hours, in the wake of the big run in recent days on various products as many customers try to stock up due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Tony Walker & Co.

An Amherst retail fashion outlet has suddenly closed its doors.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Before New York State ordered the shutdown of all bars and restaurants, concerns over the coronavirus were impacting the regional economy. According to Jim Fink of Business First, during just one day last week a major Buffalo hotel lost $80,000 in bookings due to cancellations. It's likely the tip of the iceberg for what will be mounting financial losses for area businesses.

Facebook/Mayor Byron Brown

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced Monday that as of 8 p.m., City Hall and other city buildings would close, and government operations will comply with Governor Cuomo's guidelines for reducing risks to spread COVID-19 coronavirus. The city is also enforcing the shutdown of numerous attractions in order to comply with a "less than 50 people" rule, and one of the biggest casualties of this will be one of Buffalo's most popular Eastertime traditions.

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.

Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut made the joint decision to close all bars and restaurants in those states beginning at 8 p.m. Monday to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus.


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.

Photo of rendering/Chris Caya WBFO News

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is getting some financial help to grow the facility.

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%.

Local business travel impacted by coronavirus

Mar 12, 2020

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.

Some $50 million worth of new solar manufacturing equipment purchased by New York State for use in the Tesla manufacturing plant on South Park Avenue is currently sitting unused in a Niagara County warehouse.