Downtown Buffalo's Chippewa entertainment district is changing from the raucous night club strip into a little more sedate restaurant/night club district, as its target market changes. The growth of downtown housing and influx of more visitors is driving the changes, the leader of the business association says.
The idea of raising the state's minimum wage to $8.50 per hour got mostly negative reviews from a panel of state lawmakers from Western New York. Nine of the 11 Assembly and state Senate members at a Friday panel discussion said they opposed Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's proposal to increase the minimum wage by $1.25 per hour, or 17 percent, from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour starting next year.
Synacor's initial public offering fell flat on Friday. The Buffalo-based Internet content provider succeeded in selling 6.8 million shares of its stock on Friday, but the company had to slash its offering price by 50 percent to do it.
A federal judge in Buffalo has dismissed a lawsuit filed by M&T Bank Corp. that accused two banking giants of breaching a contract on a mortgage-backed security investment. The suit sought at least $500,000 in interest payments or a full refund of the $50 million purchase price.
The wildly popular TV show "The Biggest Loser," has spawned a string of health resorts, and one of them will be located in Western New York. The always innovative Beaver Hollow Conference Center in Java Center, owned by Buffalo magnate Paul Snyder and marketed by his daughter Sandra Schoellkopf, is building a center for the Fitness Ridge, the company that operates Biggest Loser resorts in Utah and California. The center will cater to individuals and corporations, and some of the TV shows may be filmed there. "We're were trying to grow our business in a declining economy, and we figured, who not shoot for the moon?" Schoellkopf said. The resort will create about 200 jobs.
Evans Bancorp had a fourth quarter that most busineses dream about. The company's profits tripled, as it made more money and set aside less for losses from its leasing business. The Hamburg-based bank reported earning $1.3 million for the quarter and $6.1 million forthe year. Modest numbers when you think of the nation's big banks, but solid, local banking returns. "A terrific quarter," is how CEO David Nasca described it.
From the ashes of the Steven J. Baum PC firm, a new foreclosure firm is emerging, hiring many of the Baum refugees. But the new firm - Gross, Polowy & Orlans LLC - claims it will be in the business of keeping people in their homes first, rather than racing to foreclose. Can a tiger change its stripes? We'll see.
Longtime general counsel Dominic J. Terranova and bond counsel Nathan Neill, who have served the IDA for more than 20 years, could be replaced. Lawyers from Phillips Lytle or Magavern Magavern Grimm were offered as new candidates at Tuesday's board meeting.
Home sales increased in December. Sales rose 4.2 percent to 774 in December from 743 during the same month the previous year. Sales were up 10.4 percent from November's 701 sales, making it the largest December number since the glory days of 2006 and 2007. Newly listed sales were up 13 percent. The positive sales results are being attributed to the region's stretch of unseasonably mild weather.
Check out the real estate listings for Erie and Niagara Counties for the week ending Dec. 30. The highest price paid in Erie County was $1.27 million, while the average price was $151,137. In Niagara County, the highest price tag was $351,250 with an average sales price of $90,520.
This week's Strategy for Success looks at Nadja Foods, the empire built by Nadja Piatka and the low-calorie, low-fat snacks she sells at restaurant and grocery chains. Piatka traces the steps she took to build her Buffalo-based business even when times were tough and creditors were beating down her door. Today, her recipes are mass produced and sold at such powerhouse corporations as McDonald’s, Subway, Wegmans and Price Chopper supermarkets.