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Job cuts, profit swoon and honors...

From Business Today:

The Saint-Gobain plant on Acheson Drive in Niagara Falls may eliminate up to 32 jobs this spring. The company said the work thoe people do is part of a business the company recently sold to Coorstek, a Colorado-based company. The cuts do not affect the other Saint-Gobain products made at the site.

Taylor Devices profits took a big plunge in the second quarter, dropping 75 percent. The small company that makes giant shock absorbers for buildings in earthquakeTaylor devices Fin Taylor Wippert  areas, often has large swings in its profits do to the flow of orders. The company also makes motion control devices for the military.

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Exotic resorts, strong bank earnings and hires...

From Business Today:

Delaware North Companies is a quiet giant in the Buffalo business community. The company with $2.2 billion in annual sales has restaurants and resorts all over the world. The resort business has been growing steadily, adding glamorous retreats in Australia and Yellowstone National Park. One of its Australian getaways, Lizard Island Resort, may host the honeymoon of Prince Williams and Kate Middleton. The company started in Buffalo in 1915 and maintains its headquarters in the Key Towers on Main Street.

M&T Bank Corp., another Buffalo corporate giant, reported stellar earnings at the end of last week. Profits soared 49 percent for the fourth quarter compared with a year ago. In addition to increased earnings, the bank set aside $60 million less for credit losses. That reduction in set asides is showing up in the earnings reports of many banks this quarter.

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From the Land Down Under...  



Nursing home bonanza, consumers feel better, waterline come on...

From Business Today:

Hmmmm.... what can we do with $100 million? That's what the folks at the McGuire Group might be discussing today after the Buffalo company sold it's five Western New York nursing homes and one on Long Island for $100 million. The company will continue to operate all the nursing homes, and no changes in staffing or procedures are expected. The sale to Nationwide Health Properties of Newport Beach, Calif., a real estate investment trust, was a "recapitalization," President and CEO F. James McGuire said. the company does have a development division, so stay tuned. The firm has the money to do any number of projects now.

Feeling better about your finances? A state-wide survey of consumer confidence in the fourth quarter shows we haven't felt this good in three years.Broadway Market  The survey was done during the heady pre-Christmas shopping season, so some enthusiasm might be expected. Looking forward, Western New Yorkers are still a bit glum, according to the Sienna Research Institute.

Wondering about that unusual letter you may have received about insuring your water pipes? Lots of people are. An official looking solicitation from a company called American Water Resources has lots of people calling the local water authority? Do we need to insure the incoming pipe form the street to our house? Not really, it seems. It's a rarity for that pipe to fail.

The company that runs Grand Tours buses, the service that carries visiting NHL hockey teams among others, and the Ridge Road Express school buses that serve several Niagara County districts, has been sold. Lontime owner Tom Weeks will still be in charge, and no changes are expected, but he said rising costs and government regulations forced him to sell to Student Transportation, Inc. of New Jersey.

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  Speaking about money...  

High priced building, Moog flies, cardboard boxes made here...

From Business Today:

Who says Buffalo real estate prices are low? The beautiful HealthNow headquarters downtown just sold for $84.5 million, the second highest price ever paid Healthnow fin HealthNow Cantillon 5 for a building in Buffalo. (The HSBC Tower was sold for $95 million six years ago.) The sale will not affect the use of the building; it remains HealthNow's headquarters. Cole Real Estate Investments of Phoenix bought the glass covered building from its builder, Duke Realty Corp. of Indianapolis.

Moog Inc. has been doing things right for a long time. The East Aurora-based aerospace manufacturer has diversified into industrial machinery, wind turbines and medical devices. It's stock price has risen MoogBrady more than 30 percent in the past year. And it has a new young president, John Scannell. CEO Robert Brady is justifiably proud.

The Niagara County IDA has given some tax breaks to a Canadian cardboard box maker called HT Productions, a company owned by Whitebird and National Corrugated of Hamilton, Ont. The company plans to convert a former winery at 1707 Ridge Road in Wheatfield into a box factory.

The Statler Tower saga got postponed for another week. Developer Mark Croce still hopes to gain control of the landmark, although the City of Buffalo may hold the title.

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Rich's factory reopening, Verizon selling iPhone, promotions...

From Business Today:

Rich Products Corp. has done Buffalo a favor in finding a company to take over operations in its factory on Niagara Street. Rich's, a billion dollar a year companyRich Products  and Buffalo icon, ended manufacturing in the city last summer, leaving its headquarters and R&D divisions here. But it found a company in Island Oasis, which it knew through contract manufacturing, and convinced it of the benefits of making juices in Buffalo. As a result, about 90 jobs are coming back to the West Side.

Finally a competitive market for the iPhone! Verizon, the wireless giant, now can sell the popular smart phone that Verizon iPhone up until now only AT&T could sell. Maybe the prices will come down.

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Did somone say Juice?

 

Gas lands, dollar stores, saving research and dental pain...

From Business Today:

The natural gas boom in central Pennsylvania will undoubtedlySHALE GAS  go down as a turning point in U.S. energy history. Experts say there is so much gas trapped in the shale of the Marcellus region, it could provide for much of the nation's needs. Williamsville-based National Fuel Gas is making sure it gets all it can of the valuable resource. The company paid $23 million to gain control of wells and acreage in Tioga County that it has co-owned with EOG Resources. The deal is expected to add 42 billion cubic feet of gas to the company's reserves. Environmentalists are concerned about the drilling process, which is currently banned in New York state.

Can the city have too many dollar stores? The Erie County Industrial Development Agency is not concerned about that. It's goal is to develop blighted parcels in the city, so it gave tax breaks to a developer who wants to build a Dollar General store at the corner of Genesee Street and Fillmore Dollargeneral Avenue, on the site of an abandoned gas station. The store will create 10 full-time and five part-time jobs, and is about a half-mile from a Family Dollar store.

Honeywell Speciality Materials is a quiet jewell in Buffalo, quietly doing research and acquiring patents - more than 400 already with another 400 pending. There is a push to make permanent the tax breaks such companies get, to help keep them in the state and to attract more. After all the rhetoric is cleared, these types of companies are going to keep New York, and all of America, moving forward.

The saga of the sudden closure of Allcare Dental's dozens of offices continues.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored...

Here's some gas for you...
 
  

Paycheck refrain, working for gain, and gas pain...

From Business Today:

If your paycheck is feeling a little light, you are not alone. News Business columnist David Robinson explains how wages in the Buffalo Niagara region has stagnated sine 2009.

Opening a business can be more than just a way to make money. For Bishop Perry Davis, opening Buckeye's Chicken in the former KFC on Michigan Avenue Buckeye 01 near Sheehan Memorial Hospital is a way to protect young people from the temptations and dangers of street life. By hiring young people from the neighborhood and teaching them the value of hard work for a paycheck, he hopes to remove the need to resort to illetgal activities. "If you take away the need, it will go away, said Perry, who also founded the Stop the Violence Coalition and leads New Life Harvest World Ministries. So far so good. the restaurant has been packed.

Pennsylvania is enjoying a natural gas boom that if bringing jobs to the sparsely populated central part of the state and money to the state coffers. But there is a price being paid - by the environment. The contaminated water used in the drilling process called fracking is too much for the rural water plants to Gas Drilling Frackwater handle and potential carcinogens are pouring into the state's streams. New York regulators are watching with interest as they consider whether to allow fracking.

The sudden closing of about 40 Allcare Dental and Dentures offices around the country has the Clarence-based firm under scrutiny by several Attorneys General. The company, headquartered in an office park on Main Street near Transit Road, has been silent.

KeyBank is continuing with its branch expansion in Erie County. The Cleveland-based bank bought a closed Mobil gas station on the corner of Hopkins and Klein roads in Amherst and will fifth new branch in the region. It plans one more branch in its recent expansion.

And, the latest real estate transations from Erie and Niagara counties...

Rich Products looking south, Birdair on the roof, dental woes, and recent hires..

From Business Today:

Rich Products
, the Buffalo-based frozen food giant, bought a $2.5 million vacant food processing plant in an Atlanta suburb, on speculation. The company says it does not have a plan for the site, but it does like the idea of expanding its presence in the fast-growing Southeast.

Amherst-based Birdair is working with people in Minnesota toMetrodome Roof  get the roof on the Metrodome fixed. The cloth roof of the  stadium collapsed last month under the weight of a massive snow storm. The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which runs the facility, expects to reopen the stadium n April. Birdair built and installed the roof, which was designed by Geiger. At least nine of the 106 roof panels must be replaced.

The suddden shutdown of Allcare Dental and Dentures, a Clarence-based national chain of dental offices, is causing a lot of pain and confusion among its former patients. Attorneys General in several states are looking into the closing and how it was handled. Company executives have not spoken publicly since the business closed. It posts information at the wbsite www.allcareinfo.com.

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3-D TV eyeballs, hot hiring report, Wi-Fi deal, and local firms going Euro...

From Business Today:

Three-dimensional TV's have yet to capture the hearts of American viewers, but manufacturers think they may have the problem fixed: smaller glasses. Gadget Show LG That's right, TV makers think buyers have been put off by the bulky glasses needed to make the TV's appear in three dimensions. Hmmmm... It may be that 3-D television is the next big thing, and maybe someday all TV's will be 3-D. But not with glasses, bulky, sleek or otherwise.

Are companies really hiring? An optimistic report by a payroll firm suggests the labor market has really picked up. Automatic Data Processing says it figures companies added nearly 300,000 jobs in December, more than twice the number the government is expecting. The report has been too optimistic in the past, but even if it's mostly correct, things could be looking up for job seekers.

Wi-Fi has been the next big thing for a while, and Qualcomm wants a bigger piece of it. The maker of cell phone technology is buying Wi-Fi chip maker Atheros for $3.2 billion. The company is betting the growth of iPads, other tablets and smart phones will need more Wi-Fi parts to make things work.

Delaware North, the Buffalo-based global hospitality powerhouse, has added another contract in Europe. Glasgow-Airport-Terminal The company will rebuild and operate restaurants in the airport in Glasgow, Scotland. It already operates food service in Heathrow, Gatwick and Edinburgh airports in Great Britain.

Astronics of East Aurora has landed a nice contract to build in-seat power systems for Iberia Airlines for its economy class seats. The local company had a great 2010 and led the Buffalo area stock index, and it looks like 2011 is off to a flying start.

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For TV fans...

 

In the Big Leagues now

Ford Gum & Machine in Akron has started producing and shipping Big League Chew to customers, just as planned when its licensing deal for the product was announced last October.

Two of its three packing lines for the shredded gum are operational, and the third is expected to go into use this week, says George Stege, the company's president.  Sales are much stronger than anticipated for the first few weeks, he said, and plans are still on track to hire at least 24 more people.

Big League Chew had been part of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.'s production stable since 1980, before Ford Gum acquired the rights to make and sell the gum under a license with the Rob Nelson Co.

Fans of Big League Chew from the 1980s will remember this TV ad:

 

-- Matt Glynn

 

 

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