WBFO Business & Economy Desk

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

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

A program that trains Buffalo social services recipients to work in hospitals preventing infections. A manufacturing center at Niagara County Community College. Culinary classes to help replenish Southern Tier restaurants and casinos.


These are some of Western New York nonprofits’ wish-list items that could get a boost thanks to New York state funding.


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.

Fredonia Chamber of commerce

A "Small Business Revolution" may be coming to Fredonia. The national television series, hosted by Ty Pennington and Amanda Brinkman on Hulu and Amazon Prime, is searching the country to give one lucky municipality a $500,000 makeover - "one small business at a time."

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.

Stereo Advantage

After more than 41 years in business, the Stereo Advantage retail store in Amherst has closed its doors.

Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

On a day when Gov. Andrew Cuomo will explain how he will deal with a $6 billion, Erie County is looking at a small surplus for 2019.

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.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

A building severely damaged in a sensational Lockport arson fire in August 2016 will be partially coming back under a plan unanimously approved by the city Planning Board Monday evening.

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.

Plans unveiled for Canalside's North Aud Block

Jan 6, 2020
Chris Caya/WBFO News

The Cuomo Administration is ramping up its effort to fill in the eyesore next to the ice rinks at Canalside known as the North Aud Block.

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.

Thomas O'Neil-White

Delaware North announced a commitment of $500,000 to the construction of a new Buffalo City Mission Community Center.