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Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The city of Syracuse has joined Rochester and Buffalo in approving "Ban the Box" legislation. This was the third attempt by city common councilors to pass the legislation.

The new ordinance would prevent the city, and any contractors doing business with the city, from asking a job applicant about criminal convictions unless that person has received a job offer.

Small Business Saturday is this weekend, and shoppers across the country are visiting local mom and pop stores in support of their communities. The event was launched in 2010 by American Express to encourage people to shop at independently-owned businesses, and also to bridge the gap between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

jpellgen / via Flickr

The University Hill section of Syracuse is home to two colleges, three hospitals and several businesses that support them. It’s also a quarter of Syracuse’s economy.

There's $650 million worth of investment underway on the hill, according to Dave Mankiewitz, president of the University Hill Corporation.

The University Hill Corporation has been advised that Interstate 81 needs to be removed for the neighborhood to thrive. But the group is waiting to weigh in on the project.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Triple-digit layoffs have again hit the century-old firearm maker Remington Arms, which employs over a thousand people in the Mohawk Valley.

State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney confirmed 126 layoffs at the plant yesterday on her Twitter feed. The news was first reported by WKTV in Utica. Calls to the company and a union representative from WRVO were not returned.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

About 10 million bushels of grain come through the Port of Oswego each year, but the port cannot export that grain to other countries by ship because it doesn't have the necessary designation from the USDA.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says he is going to try to change that. Schumer says he believes the port could qualify for the USDA designation, with some help from SUNY Oswego.

Matt Martin / WSKG

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo pitched his idea of opening up to four casinos in New York state, his goal was to create jobs in upstate New York. But a proposed Seneca County casino is ruffling feathers about 70 miles away in Oneida County.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Construction can now begin on an amphitheater on the western shore of Onondaga Lake.

Onondaga County lawmakers agreed Monday to borrow almost $50 million to build the venue. Opponents, like Republican Kathleen Rapp, voted against the plan, suggesting it doesn’t have enough of an economic punch.

“It’s like your family budget," Rapp said. "You’d like to do everything. I would love to do this amphitheater, but not at the cost of giving up other things that would give far bigger return to taxpayers.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Update: The Onondaga County Legislature voted today to borrow $50 million to build an amphitheater along Onondaga Lake. The vote passed by a 12-5 margin. The five members of the legislature who voted against the proposition were Kevin Holmquist, Judith Tassone, Kathleen Rapp, Casey Jordan and Peggy Chase. 

Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

A new website aimed at creating a social network for small businesses recently launched in Syracuse. The goal is for businesses to help each other by sharing information and resources. 

Pam Tuohey of Cicero just bought a food trailer to sell hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken riggies. But she's been having difficulties getting the trailer insured and finding parking lot locations to set up shop.

"Those type of things, I'd have a hard time just finding, researching on the internet," said Tuohey.

Adams company dominates the runway business

Sep 26, 2014
Julia Botero

A family business based in a small town in Jefferson County has become a leader across the continent in a business you've probably never thought of.   Hi-lite Airfield Solutions cleans and marks airport runways, including  those at JFK, and airports in Dallas, Abu-Dhabi and Quito, Ecuador.  This week, the company based in the town of Adams received a $7 million federal loan to grow even bigger. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The jockeying for a coveted casino license in New York state's Southern Tier and Finger Lakes was on display at a public comment session in Ithaca Wednesday. The New York Gaming Facility Location Board wrapped up a series of public hearings by listening to arguments about proposed casinos in what is called the Eastern Southern Tier region.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) wants to give New Yorkers a way to fight back if their Social Security number is stolen. Schumer says he is pushing for a so-called "Bill of Rights" that would provide victims of identity theft with a way to minimize the damage of losing their Social Security number.

If passed, it would allow victims of identity theft to pursue civil damages for up to three times the amount stolen. It would also provide Social Security beneficiaries with a single point of contact if their number is stolen.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Slightly lower property taxes and decreased spending are the hallmarks of Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s proposed $1.25 billion spending plan.

The debate over the budget may ultimately be overshadowed by another proposal from Mahoney this week for a bond that will pay for the Onondaga Lake amphitheater project.

At the end of ten days of budget reviews, county lawmakers have injected a review of the western Onondaga Lake revitalization project, that includes construction of an amphitheater on the west shore of Onondaga Lake.

Courtesy of Mercer's Dairy.

The federal government continues to try to get more businesses to go international, and that includes businesses in central New York.

Among the success stories at a “Made in Rural America” conference in Cortland recently was the growth of an international market for Mercer’s wine ice cream. Mercer’s Dairy in Boonville has been a local ice cream institution for years on Route 12, halfway between Utica and Watertown.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

It’s been a good year for Syracuse Hancock International Airport, according to it’s yearly report to the community. It added new concessions, a new airline and destinations, and improvements to the facility. But perhaps the biggest change came behind the scenes, as facility management was turned over to the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO/file photo

The Central New York Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, or CABVI, is one of many non-profits across the country losing revenues because the federal government is not fully complying with the law. The 1971 Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act requires the federal government to purchase certain products from non-profits that employ the blind and those with other disabilities.

Steve Gannon, the association’s director of development, says although the losses have an impact on some of the products the facility makes, there are large shortfalls nationwide.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

An injunction filed against Novelis Aluminum in Oswego to allow the United Steelworkers Union to represent the plant’s employees immediately and force the plant to bargain was denied by a federal court judge, who also ruled for the union in some respects.

In February, a vote on whether or not to unionize the plant failed by 14 votes. But the USW claimed Novelis had interfered with the vote.

Plant Manager Chris Smith says the ruling confirms what the company has been saying all along.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

It’s Labor Day, which marks both the unofficial end to summer as well as a day to celebrate the American workforce.

But there are half as many Americans in a labor union today as there were 30 years ago. It’s down to about one in 10 workers.

"We got to do everything we can to try and gain back that number and that’s important. We got to have the middle class again," said steelworker Brian Hoige. "It’s either the rich or the poor, there’s not really any middle class left to speak of anymore."

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says the state's estimated pension fund value has reached an all-time high, thanks to several factors.

"We've been benefiting obviously from the strong public markets, the stock market's been doing well and that's a significant part of our portfolio," DiNapoli said.

"So at the end of our first quarter -- and our fiscal year starts April 1 -- so at the end of the first quarter, which ended June 30, we were up to $180.7 billion. That is an historic high for us, so we're very, very pleased about the continued growth of the fund."

George F / via Flickr

Syracuse lawmakers agreed to a pilot program Monday that will ease the tax burden for developers renovating the historic Hotel Syracuse.

City Deputy Commissioner for Development Ben Walsh says this is a big step in moving the project forward.

“The project is complicated, and frankly, as expensive as this, it needs as much certainty and predictability as possible," Walsh said. "And that’s what the pilot provides. It provides a certain payment for a period of time when the hotel is most vulnerable in it’s initial years of operation.”

Ryan Delaney/WRVO

A round of layoffs at Remington Arms and the relocation of some of its manufacturing isn't about New York, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo was asked about layoffs at the century-old Mohawk Valley gun manufacturer while visiting the state fair Thursday.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO File

The Port of Oswego says its working toward a record year, thanks to an increase in shipments of aluminum coming in through the St. Lawrence Seaway for use at Oswego's Novelis aluminum plant.

Port Director Zelko Kirincich says it's been a great year, and that the facility is expecting to receive about 20 barges of aluminum from facilities in Quebec and Ontario.

While more women are breaking into the ranks of corporate executives, they still face challenges getting there. Several female business owners discussed the hurdles at a forum in Syracuse.

Coding a new iPhone app doesn’t take brawn and muscle, so it’s a place tech-savvy women have just a good a change of breaking into as men.

Greater Syracuse Area Land Bank/City of Syracuse

The city of Syracuse is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, but one organization is hoping it can ease things by educating landlords.

Part of the problem is timing. For the last year, the Syracuse Land Bank has been buying properties seized by the city for back taxes, according to Sharon Sherman of the Greater Syracuse Tenants Network.

"Hundreds of properties have been foreclosed on and are making their way into the land bank, but very few have been sold yet, so that’s taken quite a few out,” Sherman said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The only scheduled public hearing on the proposed amphitheater project on Onondaga Lake drew mostly criticism Wednesday. The project, which has been fast-tracked by the state legislature, would put the concert venue on land that was used as a dumping place for industrial waste for years.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Syracuse's Empire Brewing Company will become one of the top five brewers in New York state, if all goes well with the creation of Farmstead Brewery in Cazenovia. Empire wants everybody to get in on the craft brew party, even people who aren’t craft beer connoisseurs.

The owner of the Empire Brewing Company says he wants to turn more people into beer snobs.

"The longer they are surrounded by craft beer, the more they’ll let their barriers down and try new things," says Empire founder David Katleski.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO/file photo

Novelis Inc. is in federal court in Syracuse to defend itself against charges by the National Labor Relations Board. The case stems from allegations by the United Steelworkers Union that the Oswego aluminum manufacturer interfered with a vote by its workers to unionize.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The Starwood group is now building two hotels in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor. Word of the second hotel came at the groundbreaking of the first.

With developers and dignitaries on hand for the groundbreaking of an Aloft Hotel in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor, Jeremy Cooper of Starwood Hotels made an announcement.

"In addition to this groundbreaking, another Starwood Hotel is being built right here in the Inner Harbor. The Element Syracuse Inner Harbor Hotel is expected to open in 2018," said Cooper.

Crystal describes building relationships with people in the news media for your business or organization.

Crystal shares her thoughts on communication and lack thereof in business, and how it can help you to rise above a tough situations with your audience.

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