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From Business Today:

Koelmel

The Buffalo News' 20th annual Prospectus issue was delivered Sunday. The special, expanded business magazine looks at what 2012 has in store for Western New York companies. What does the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise have in mind for $1 billion in promised state money? Wondering what decor trends will be hot for interior designers and home stores? Want to check in on Niagara Falls' progress as it makes over downtown? Want to see First Niagara CEO John Koelmel deliver a fantastic keynote speech at the Prospectus premiere dinner? It's all here.

BestFitness

The Elmwood Village will get a new fitness center. Best Fitness is set to open at 2001 Elmwood Avenue, in the site of the former Buffalo Wild Wings. The 24-hour gym plans to open its doors by late spring or early summer. It's the second Best Fitness location in Western New York, owned by a private New Hampshire company that has a total of 10 gym sites in New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

AlfredWroblewski

If you don't think the assessment on your home is fair, you have options.

Experts suggest making sure your municipality has the correct information about your home, research what comparable homes in your neighborhood have sold for and make sure you file your grievance by your town's deadline.

 From MoneySmart:

Thieves never stop thinking up new ways to steal and scam. MoneySmart outlines what the FBI and the Better Business Bureau call the latest and most prevalent scams and tells you how to identify them, avoid them and keep yourself protected.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Biz Links: Bankruptcy filings keep falling

From Business Today:

HonCarlBucki

Bankruptcy filings dropped again last month. New filings in Western New York were down 17.5 percent in November. That's the 18th straight month filings have fallen. There were just 531 filings in Buffalo and Rochester's bankruptcy courts in November, which makes it the lowest level for that month in at least a decade. Experts speculate people either can't afford to file or have fewer reasons to file for court protection.

ToddShatkin

An Amherst dental firm has expanded. Dr. Todd E. Shatkin's Shatkin FIRST has expanded from Aesthetic Associates Centre for Plastic Surgery and Dentistry at 2500 Kensington Avenue into renovated space across the street at 2495 Kensington Avenue. The 40-employee business has grown thanks to the popularity of Shatkin's patented technique for replacing teeth in a quick, cost-effective way.

Koelmel

 

First Niagara Financial Group plans to raise $1.1 billion in new capital by selling common stock, preferred shares and debt, while cutting its dividend in half. It will use the money to help pay for its purchase of HSBC Bank USA's branch network. First Niagara announced in July it was buying 195 branches across upstate New York and southeastern Connecticut.

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York has been honored by its national umbrella group for its branding campaign. The company's Healthy Changes Everything marketing campaign won the "Best of Blue" award, beating out 27 other plans across the country. Entries are judged by a panel of senior marketing and communications professionals from Fortune 500 companies and other outlets.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Check out this cool flash mob BCBS of WNY staged at the Erie County Fair: