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Cars stalled, Boomer loves Buffalo, lofty Buff State grad returns, job growth continues...

From Business Today:

The resurgent car market has run into a slight glitch. So many Basil people are buying that the trains can't move cars from the facctory to the dealerships fast enough. Some dealerships say they have to wait longer than usual to get cars delivered. On one hand, that's a nice problem to have.

ESPN anchor Chris Berman has a soft spot for Buffalo. He even has a famous tag line: "No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills." Berman brought his quick wit and warm feelings for the Queen BERMAN City to the annual conference of the Insurance Club of Buffalo. His spoke about ESPN's early days and the hurdles the business had to jump. Berman's message for business people: businesses that look like they are "can't miss" usually had to go through lots of hard work and adjustmentds to get there.

Buffalo State College graduate Susan S. Bies had a seat at one of the most powerful economic organizations in the world, the U.S. Federal Reserve. She brought her perspective from that lofty perch back to her alma mater, giving her view on the economic recovery. The housing crisis will be a drag on the ECONOMICS FINANCE FORUM BIES overall economy for several more years, she said.

The slow job growth in the Buffalo Niagara region continues. The private sector added 2,500 jobs over the last year, while government employment dropped slightly. It's slow growth, but it's growth.

First Niagara Bank is continuing its expansion into New England. While waiting for it's purchase of NewAlliance Bancshares in Connecticut to close, the bank bought Pierson & Smith, a Connecticut insurance brokerage. It's a model First Niagara has followed in other regions.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?


Cooking at school, historic home fixes, and job postings improve...

From Business Today:

Buffalo State College students shouldn't worry about INAUGURATION missing a meal, despite changes with the school's food service contractorSodexo has run food operations at the college for 11 years, but the contract is being turned over to Chartwellsat the end of May. The people who do the cooking and serving are expected to stay on the job, but move from Sodexo to Chartwells if they choose. The union that represents the Sodexo workers also represents Chartwells workers at other Buffalo locations.

Buyers of historic homes in Buffalo may be eligible for state tax credits to repair older homes and buildings. The Preservation League of New York State is holding three MAGAZINE MUNDSCHENK EAST SIDE workshops next week to inform Realtors,  contractors and homeowners about the assistance available.

On the national level, job postings are on the upswing. That's a good sign for anyone looking for work, but competition will be stiff. There are an average of 4.4 people Unemployment Benefits competing for every job opening.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

College dining, Bluto style...


Super hot, Facebook tug-of-war, and nice warm fuel...

From Business Today:

Harper International is one of those quiet, specialityMiller, Blackmon  companies we have in Western New York that is doing some amazing things. The firm makes super hot furnaces for various industrial uses. It just secured a $12 million contract with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to build a a furnace system that will  heat carbon fiber to 3,632 degrees Fahrenheit. The carbon fiber created is being used in more manufacturing, including in cars.

Paul Ceglia, the Allegany County man who claims to be a co-founder of Facebook, has hired a new legal team and filed new papers in federal court in Buffalo saying he rightfully owns 50 percent of FACEBOOK CEGLIA Facebook. The new filings purport to have emails between billionaire Facebook CEO Mark Zukerberg and Ceglia. The case is expected to take years to come to trial.

Buffalo-based Power Drives has an interesting environmental invention: a diesel fuel warmer for locomotives. In very cold climates, locomotives have to remain idling to keep the fuel from getting thick. Power Drives  just got a $250,000 state grant to further develop the technology that could conserve fuel and reduce emissions.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Is Facebook something to sing about?

Building projects get an assist, carpenters union merges and basic banking lauded...

From Business Today:

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency approved tax breaks for three projects, including a vacant former orphanage on Ellicott Street in downtown CHARTER Buffalo. The building, designed by famed architect E. B. Green, will become home to the Health Sciences Charter School. In addition to housing the St. Vincent Orphanage and convent, the red brick structure was home to Bishop O'Bern High School and was once part ot the Erie Community College City Campus. The ECIDA also helped a hotel remodeling project in East Aurora and the remodeling of a warehouse on Niagara Street in Buffalo into 21 apartments.

The carpenters union got into a mess when a financial adviser put much of its money into the care of convicted swindler Bernard Madoff.  The turmoil that ensued has lead to a merger of the Empire State Local sacajaquada enser Regional Council of Carpenters with the New Jersey Regional Council of Carpenters. As a result the Cheektowaga-based Local 289 is merging with locals in Rochester and Olean.

Financial Institutions, parent of Five Star Bank, won a nice accolade, being named No. 76 on a list of the top 100 community banks in the nation by SNL Financial. Bank President and CEO Peter Humphrey credits the company's basic approach to banking.

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Healthy non-profit health salaries, good rubber on the road, Marcellus Shale weak here..

From Business Today:

The non-profit health industry generates some healthy profits for its employees. A look at the executive salaries at area hospitals and health insurers shows several Medical corridor 05 well over $1 million a year. The hospitals and insurers note that although they are non-profit, they are complicated businesses that require expertise to run effectively. Jim Kaskie, CEO of Kaleida Health, earned $2.33 million in 2009; David Klein, CEO of Excellus earned $1.91 million in 2010. Click here for a complete list of health insurance salaries and hospital salaries.

The Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America plant in the Town of Tonawanda has carved out a nice niche for itself in the Goodyear empire. The 88-year-old plant makes about 4 million tires a year for motorcycles, trucks and cars. The DUNLOP efficiency of the plant earned it a $14 million investment from the parent company last year, putting it on solid ground for the near future.

The New York state geologist says there is no Marcellus Shale in the Western New York region worth drilling for natural gas in, so we're unlikely to see any of the controversial drilling going on in these parts. But way down in the Southern in Tier, in Allegany, Sullivan and Delaware counties, the shale is more promising for gas drilling. That's were the battle between environmentalists and the gas industry will be waged if New York lifts its ban on large-scale fracking.

Who is getting hired, promoted or honored?

Recent real estate transactions.

National Grid revamping accounting, Enron whistle blower warns, Niagara Falls direct to the Caribbean...

From Business Today:

National Grid took a bit of a black eye when it was revealed that some embarrassing expenses were being charged against the company - like movingNat. Grid president fin National Grid Pres. Cantillon 3  an executive's wine collection across the Atlantic and paying for school tuition. The company hired a consuting  firm to look into the mess - Liberty Consulting Group - and the results are in. The company should begin a comprehensive overhaul of its accounting systems. National Grid's U.S. President Tom King said the utility is doing just that.

Worried that your email has been hacked during the huge security breach at Epsilon, the company that handles email marketing for many large retailers? Several computer experts have advice for avoiding trouble.

Sherron Watkins, the former Enron executive credited with being a whistle-blower who helped expose the billion dollar fraud at the Houston company, said the entire affair could have been avoided if people Watkins had spoken up earlier. But the go-go culture of the energy trading company effectively squashed dissent and problem employees were forced out. Her message to young business students: don't do things you wouldn't want to discuss with someone you admire and respect. In other words, take the high road.

The Niagara Falls International Airport will have flights going directly to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean by November. The airport's fast growing passenger business will beNiagara Falls airport terminal NIAGARA Niagara Falls airport te  expanded by Direct Air, which will offer flights to San Juan and Nassau.

Rich Products is investing $13 million in its Fort Erie operations. The investment, which includes a $3.9 million interest-free loan from the Ontario government, will bring five new jobs to the 300 person plant.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Dish takes Blockbuster, First Niagara takes NewAlliance, Rich Products likes India, and HSBC likes Buffalo...

From Business Today:

The good news is Dish Network bought Blockbuster; the bad news is Dish Network bought Blockbuster. This is a curious business decision by Dish, but with the BLOCKBUSTER CLOSING entertainment dispersal industry changing faster than a super model's wardrobe, who knows? Maybe Dish and its new collection of movies will be the next big winner. For now, at least seven Blockbuster stores are remaining open in the Buffalo Niagara region. Four stores are closing this Sunday.

First Niagara Financial Group has finally won its purchase of NewAlliance Bancshares in Connecticut. The $1.5 billion deal was approved by federal and Connecticut regulators, overcoming Koelmel strenuous objections from a group of New Haven area folks, including the mayor. They feared the loss of local control. Regulators said First Niagara satisfied all the legal requirements, and First Niagara CEO John Koelmel said the bank is committed to doing right by New Haven. Meanwhile, most of the NewAlliance shareholders opted to take First Niagara stock, rather than cash.

Rich Products does business all over the world, but its expansion into India took some hands-on work by the late Robert E. Rich Sr. The founder of the food producer traveled to India to meet with the owner of an ice cream company. The two businessmen hit it off, and agreed to partner on a new division in India. The effort has paid off nicely for the Buffalo-based firm.

HSBC is in no hurry to make any decisions about where its Buffalo operations will be housed. Irene Dorner, CEO of HSBC Bank USA, said recent top-level management changes at the international bank have put any decisions about Buffalo operations on the Irene_Dorner-350x250 back burner. Dorner emphasized that the bank appreciates to importance of its operations to Western New York, and noted that the bank has been "very happy" in Buffalo.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

A little Dish Network humor..

A solar test, going online for securities, and gasoline fuels outrage

From Business Today:

The Riverview Solar Technology Park is giving DuPont Apollo's solar panels a chance to shine. The Town of Tonawanda business park, developed by TM Montante Development, is installing 60 of DuPont's Solar panels in a demonstration project. The amorphous, or thin film, silicon solar panel installations have typically been installed in warmer, southern climates. The project will see how well they perform in a climate like the Northeast's.



In another sign of the electronic age, the federal government is pushing the 300,000 investors who use the phone or mail to buy securities directly from the Treasury into an online system. The Treasury Department is notifiying investors that it is phasing out its Legacy Treasury Direct program, and is encouraging them to shift into the online system called Treasury Direct. The Treasury Department said the old system was becoming too expensive to maintain.

Gasoline prices -- the high kind -- seem be at the root of lots of frustrations and global turmoil. A recent Associated Press-Gfk poll found a correlation between the country's more pessimistic outlook and Gasprice  rising gas prices. Americans even ranked gas prices above subjects like Afghanistan, Iraq and terrorism when polled. By the way, gas prices in Buffalo Niagara are averaging $3.81 per gallon, compared to the national average of $3.70, according to the AAA.








You can only imagine what it costs Lightning McQueen to fill up nowadays:


-- Matt Glynn


Southwest planes flying, home sales flattening, companies getting cheap juice...

From Business Today:

Flying Southwest Airlines anytime soon? Since the terrifying gashSouthwest Flight Diverted  opened in the roof of a Southwest Boeing 737 on Friday in Arizona, the airline and the government has been inspecting planes, looking for the tiny cracks that signal metal fatigue. The FAA announced that 175 older 737's worldwide, including 80 in the U.S., must be carefully inspected. Southwest planes apparently take a greater beating because of the short haul trips the company flies, which increase the stressful takeoffs and landings. But area travel agents say local travelers are not panicking and have not cancelled flight plans.

Home sales in the Buffalo Niagara region were flat in February, in part due to the bad weather, real Fin home sales Wippert estate pros said. Across the two counties, 392 homes were sold with an average price of $133,461. Troubling, however, was the 26 percent drop in pending sales, to 578. It all adds up to a slow start to the fast-paced spring home selling season.

Six area companies received low-cost power contracts from the New York Power Authority to help with expansions and add new jobs. APP Pharmaceuticals on Grand Island is expected to add 90 jobs to its workforce of 575. APP received 2,000 kilowatts of the cheap juice. FUTURE In all, the 4,070 kilowatts sold under the offer are expected to help create more than 150 jobs.

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Social media spies, Buffalo Portfolio strong, medical bill transparency, and real estate sales...

From Business Today:

Have you ever had a funny feeling that maybe you shouldn't be blathering so much on Facebook? Maybe the photos of you in the conga line are not appropriate? Well. trust your instincts. Recruiters, lawyers and even law enforcement folks are looking into social DIGITS 02 networking sites more and more to see what kind of people they are dealing with. A local company called Digits run by former law enforcement people is one firm that does the background work.

Buffalo area publicly traded companies had a strong quarter, posting an 8 percent gain as a group. That performanace outpaced most major indices.

Medical and dental bills have always been the black hole of personal finance planning. You never really knew how much a procedure might cost, expecially if you were going outside of your insurer's network. Dentist Sadler  03 A new website aims to shine some light on that murky subject. Fair Health has put up listing regional rates for specific procedures. The hope is that it will educate people about how much they can expect to pay. The site is the result of a lawsuit filed by former Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Recent area real estate transactions...

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