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Health insurance rate requests


To see the state's files on health insurance, click here

Law firms approved for Fannie Mae work


To see the list of law firms approved by mortgage giant Fannie Mae, click here.

Economic stimulus ideas.

Economic council 02From Business Today:

The Buffalo Niagara economy must be one of the most studied and fretted over in the land. Every year or so another group tries to divine what it is we can do to get the economy going. The latest and perhaps most thorough is by the Western New York Economic Development Council. This hard working panel has really gone to ground with their efforts, talking to everyone and enlisting businesses to come up with concrete, do-it-now projects that can benefit from some state seed money and tax breaks. Their latest effort picks eight private-sector projects that could use state money to proceed.

The panel's recommendations came out on the same day U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand unveiled her own economic development plan for upstate - more broadband access and a $30 billion revolving loan fund. With all these good intentions, let's hope people in the private sector, the ones who can really make things happen, step up and take advantage.

Automobile sales in the Buffalo Niagara region rose about 3 percent in October. People are driving their Buffalo Auto Showold cars as long as they can, but when it's time for a new one, it seems they're finding some decent deals.






The Occupy Buffalo movement protested outside the law offices of Steven J. Baum PC, the largest foreclosure firm in the state. The group, known for sleepingOCCUPY BUFFALO PROTESTORS out in Niagara Square to protest the unfairness of the American economy, wants the firm to apologize and stop with the chaotic foreclosures.







Premier Gourmet, the ecclectic and lavish cheese and speciality products store linked to Premier Wines,
is being bought back by the Notarius family. Burt Notarius sold it to Premier WinesJanet Ostrow in 1996, while he concentrated on neighboring liquor store. Now the gourmet store will move with the wine and liquor store off Delaware Avenue in Kenmore to the new facility being built on Maple Road, across from the Boulevard Mall in Amherst. Phew! Now you can get still the brie to go with Cab Sauv.

Who is getting hired, promoted or honored?

  

Steven J. Baum PC crossed off the list.

From Business Today:

The heat is being turned up on Steven J. Baum PC, the Amherst-based law firm that handles more foreclosures than any other in the state. It has been crossed off the Baumlist of firms that banks can use if the mortgage in question has been handled by Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac is one of two quasi-public mortgage companies that handle most of the mortgages in the nation. A spokesman for Freddie Mac would not disclose the reason the firm has been black listed, but the action comes not long after photos of the tasteless Halloween party at the firm became public. The photos showed employees at the firm mocking people being evicted from their homes. Not good for the law firm doing most of the evicting. Steven Baum, the principal of the firm, says that lawyers are not the problem with the foreclosure system.

The Statler Center, a business school that trains people with disabilities for jobs in the hospitality sector, is seeking applications for courses that begin next month.

The Weinberg Campus, the retirement community in Amherst, is getting a $2 million makeover to improve aesthetics and safety.


Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

PCB Piezotronics VP starts own company, and other stories...

From Business Today:

Cornacchio

A successful local executive is all but walking away from a solid job in order to pursue his dream of starting an ergonomic chair company.

Kevin Cornacchio, vice president of sales for PCB Piezotronics is transitioning out of his position a the sensor maker as he launches Innovative Seating Solutions here and in San Francisco. The company sold its first chair in Buffalo in August. They start at under $1,000.

Fivestar

Western New York has a new leader in U.S. Small Business Administration loans. After years of dominance by M&T Bank, Five Star Bank has tied it for the number of loans and beat it in dollars. Five Star had $1.49 million in loans, compared to M&T's $948,500. Five Star Bank is a subsidiary of Warsaw-based Financial Institutions. Each had eight SBA loans in October.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Scalpers

From MoneySmart:

Looking for tickets to a sporting event? 

Today's MoneySmart cover story outlines all the options, from legit marketplaces such as StubHub.com to the good, old-fashioned scalpers.

 

It's November 14. And it's really, really nice out. Maybe this whole global warming thing is not so bad?

 

 

First Niagara gets the list...

From Business Today:

First Niagara finally got what it was waiting for: the list of HSBC branchesHSBC BANK it must sell to satisfy antitrust concerns of the U.S. Department of Justice. Now the race is on to sell those branches, and the $1.64 billion in deposits, so First Niagara's acquisition of the rest of the HSBC branches in upstate New York can proceed.





Coffee aficionados in North Buffalo have another trendy place to buy a cup now that the long awaited Spot Coffee store has opened. Spot, SPOT COFFEEa local phenomenon, has a knack for picking just the right spot for a store, including the corners of Delaware and Chippewa avenues, and Elmwood and Cleveland avenues in Buffalo and Main Street and Union Avenue in Williamsville. And now, of course, Hertle Avenue in North Buffalo. The only question is: What took them so long?

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored..
 

HSBC branches being sold


For a list of the HSBC branches that First Niagara Bank must divest: click here

Regional Council names top priorities and more

From Business Today:

TripathiDuffyZemsky

The Western New York Regional Development Council has prioritized a list of local projects for which to seek $40  million in state funding. Of the Council's 12 recommended projects, three of them have to do with the Medical Campus and three are work force development programs. Also making the list is the Niagara Experience Center, a museum and visitors center in Niagara Falls, as well as revitalization projects targeting Olean's and Buffalo's business districts.

Drilling Rig

New York's ban on hydrofracking may actually end up benefitting the drillers it is currently keeping at bay. That's because natural gas prices have dropped by 17 percent--the lowest they've been in nearly nine years. Supplies of natural gas are plentiful, and releasing more through hydrofracking in the Marcellus Shale Region would only bring them down more.

 HealthNow

The State Department of Financial Services is directing 11 health insurers to issue refunds to consumers and businesses for overcharges in coverage. The Department found that the insurers overcharged 573,748 people a total of $114.56 million in excess premiums. Among those insurers are HealthNow New York and the parent of Univera Healthcare. They are accused of overcharging customers for coverage in 2010 and spending less than required by law on paying for medical care.

Profits at HSBC Holdings sank 35 percent in the third quarter. The huge drop in core pretax profits is attributed to lower corporate and investment banking revenues and higher bad debt charges. It reported an underlying pretax profit of $3 billion, down from $4.6 billion during the same quarter a year ago. The London-based parent of HSBC Bank USA is selling its entire upstate New York retail branch network as part of a global restructuring.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Bankruptcies continue to fall, and more stories

From Business Today:

BuckiBankruptcy filings have dropped again in Western New York. In October, they were down by more than 20 percent. The decline is attributed to tighter credit, fewer foreclosures and the prohibitive cost of filing.

New cases fell to 531 last month, compared to 721 during the same month in 2010. It's the lowest number since January and the lowest October tally in at least a decade. In Buffalo, there were 360 filings, which is down 23.1 percent from last year.

 

Coupon

Local activists want to help Western New Yorkers save money by teaching them how to use coupons. Buffalo ReUse will host a "Couponing 101" class Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 2016 Genesee Street. The cost is $5 and includes snacks. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or call 885-4131.

 

Brownies

 Five local auto repairs shops are getting top honors from AAA. The repair shops to win AAA's "Top Shop" awards are in Batavia, North Tonawanda, Hamburg and Kenmore. Winners were chosen based on rates of customer satisfaction, which were determined by evaluation cards filled out by customers.

 

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Life = Risk:

 

WNY housing market is stabilizing, Baum firm goes to court and more

From Business Today:

LincolnParkway

The local housing market is getting back to its own normal. After a year of fluctuations caused by a federal stimulus credit, local numbers are beginning to reflect the true nature of the housing market, rather than artificial highs and lows. Home sales in Western New York were up 22 percent from a year ago, according to figures from the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors. For the year, closed sales are down 9 percent so far, and down 12 percent from 2009.

StevenJBaum

The foreclosure factory law firm that turned heads recently for mocking the homeless appeared in court Monday, against New York State attorneys and a delinquent homeowner facing foreclosure. Steven J. Baum PC says a state law that requires lawyers to attest to what they sign is unconstitutional and is asking to have it overturned.   

 

DavidRiversTomMcManus

 World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara's annual meeting and reception will feature Tom McManus, CEO of KegWorks. The Kenmore-based online retailer of draft beer equipment will talk about why small businesses should consider getting into the export business. McManus will also talk about "in-sourcing" more work to Buffalo Niagara in order to boost local small business and better control quality. 

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

A training session for your business?

 

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