business

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The Port of Oswego is expecting its shipping season to be delayed until next week, because of ice floes slowing down Great Lakes freighters coming through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Executive Director Zelko Kirincich says the shipping season was scheduled to begin April 11, but a large amount of thick ice along the seaway forced the Canadian Coast Guard to send out ice breakers to reopen shipping lanes earlier this week.

TheTruthAbout / via Flickr

A public watchdog group is charging that several large auto insurance companies discriminate against minority and low-income customers.

The New York Public Interest Research Group, or NYPIRG, says it analyzed the billing practices of the five largest auto insurers in New York by getting quotes based on different customer profiles.

"Auto insurance rates should be based on how you drive, not who you are," said NYPIRG consumer advocate Andy Morrison.

The relentless snow that pounded part of the North Country this past winter kept kids out of school and people home. That also meant a hit for some businesses in the region.

Lori Wells co-owns Café Mira, a restaurant in Adams, south of Watertown. The eatery employs about a dozen people and is only open four days a week. So when Wells and her partner, Lisa Reed, had to make the call three times this winter to not open, that was a hit to their business.

They hadn’t had to close at all in the four years they’ve been owners, Wells said.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Military veterans bring a unique skill set when starting their own businesses, but they also face many of the same challenges as non-veteran entrepreneurs.

There are more than 900,000 vets in New York state and the unemployment rate among those who served in the last decade is consistently higher than state and national levels.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

There's a $1.2 billion offer on the table to purchase gun maker Remington Arms, and even though Remington's owner has been looking for a buyer, it reportedly isn't taking this one seriously.

Remington Arms is one of the nation's oldest and largest gun makers in the country. Its factory has been located in the small Mohawk Valley town of Ilion, N.Y. for two centuries. It employs about 1,300 people and reportedly earned about $1.2 billion in revenue to 2013.

Karen DeWitt/WRVO News

Assembly Democrats say there should be more money for schools and the environment, and major changes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to freeze property taxes. It’s all part of a one-house budget resolution, the first step in reaching agreement on a final spending plan by the end of March.

While tax breaks are the cornerstone of some of the programs in New York state meant to boost business, there are other areas where the state can become an impediment to anyone wanting to do business. A state report released recently points the finger at a bureaucracy that gets in the way.

There are 750,000 regulations on the books in New York state, many of them outdated and never reviewed. And many of them can get in the way of New York's businesses.

Burrows Paper Corp., a nearly 100 year-old company in the city of Little Falls, is making changes at one of its paper mills to create more jobs and increase revenue.

Rose Mihaly, president and chief operating officer at Burrows, says the plan is to shut down a 90-inch wide paper machine, at its Mill Street location, then use some of the harvested parts to improve the mill's other machine. She says the company wants to increase production to help meet a rising desire for green packaging.

Confidence among upstate New York business leaders is up slightly, according to a new poll, but worries over health care reform and workforce quality are keeping their confidence low-key.

Company CEO's polled by the Siena College Research Institute said they’re just as likely to expand their workforce this year - 28 percent - as they were in 2013 - 27 percent.

Manufacturing and engineering sectors posted the highest job growth expectations.

Entrepreneurs in Oswego County could have their dreams of owning a business come true by competing in the third "Next Great Idea" business plan competition.

Austion Wheelock, economic developer for Operation Oswego County, says the competition helps establish a culture of entrepreneurism and brings jobs and business to the area.

Central New York’s major economic booster group is predicting the region’s economy this year will be more of the same, maybe a little bit better.

Businesses in central New York are only slightly bullish about economic growth in CenterState CEO’s annual economic survey.

The pro-business group teams up with M&T Bank to put out the forecast. The bank foresees the economy will grow slightly more than it did last year. The region has seen 17 straight quarters of growth.

Buyout could mean growth for Watertown employer Stream

Jan 14, 2014

There have been a lot of questions in the wake of an announcement that the Stream Global Services Watertown call center will be sold. The company that’s buying it says if anything, the sale should make workers optimistic.

In this episode, Michael Meath investigates the correlation between spending and achieving success as an organization invests in branding opportunities.

In this episode, Michael Meath outlines who the important audience is in an organization - its employees.

Oswego County luring business, jobs to area

Jan 7, 2014
Gino Geruntino / WRVO

After losing several big name manufacturing plants in recent decades, Oswego County has been aggressively trying to lure new companies in, filling vacant facilities with new tenants. The most recent announcement was made in Fulton, where a Pakistan-based poultry processor has taken over the former Birds Eye plant.

Mayor Ron Woodward says new companies help combat his city's recent struggles tied to job loss.

Novelis plans to expand again

Dec 17, 2013
Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Novelis is adding a third automotive aluminum finishing line to its operation in Oswego, with plans to focus most of its future business on supplying aluminum for cars and trucks.

According to plant manager Chris Smith, the $120 million investment will increase the plant's total capacity by about 30 percent, to 400,000 metric tons, while adding 90 new jobs to Novelis' workforce.
 

Smith says by adding the third line, Novelis will be able to meet automakers' increasing needs.

screenshot / Google Maps

Central New York missed securing a hat-trick in the latest of the state's economic development awards competition, known as the Regional Economic Development Councils.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo handed out $715.9 million is grants and incentives to more than 800 projects across the state in the third year of his regional councils Wednesday.

SUNY Oswego making plans to START-UP NY

Dec 11, 2013
SUNY Oswego/Facebook

SUNY Oswego is embracing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's START-UP New York program, selecting three areas on the college's main campus as possible future business sites.

Cuomo formally launched START-UP New York in October, which offers new and expanding businesses the chance to operate on SUNY campuses tax free for ten years. The only requirements are that the company has to be able to create jobs, provide an economic boost for the community and not hurt other local companies.

ALIGN

New York state’s economic development programs lack transparency and accountability at a regional level, according to a new report released Monday by the left-leaning Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN).

Mark Hogan / Flickr

Much of central New York got it’s first taste of winter this weekend. One local entrepreneur is hoping it sparks interest in a smartphone app that’ll bring a snowplow to your doorstep.

Plowz is a free smartphone app, and its creators hope it will help take the shovel out of your hands on those Syracuse mornings when you wake up to a snow clogged driveway.

JCIDA

Entrepreneurs in Jefferson County are going to have a harder time finding startup money, now that a loan fund meant to help them is running low. That's good news and bad news.

Here's the bad news: The Industrial Development Agency's micro-enterprise loan fund is down to about $31,000. That means the next successful applicant is going to drain it dry.

"At some point, someone is going to come to the loan fund for dollars for their business, and we won't have any to lend," says Don Alexander, IDA chief.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

With help from the Brookings Institution, CenterState CEO is out with a new strategic plan to boost the central New York regional economy.

The plan was two years in the making as the Washington-based Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program picked Syracuse as one of the regions it would assist.

Lockheed Martin / via Flickr

Another 80 employees at Lockheed Martin's factory in suburban Syracuse, N.Y. and 65 in Owego, N.Y. have been told they're out of a job in the second round of the layoffs to hit the sites this year.

The plan to reduce the workforce in the defense contractor's Mission Systems and Training unit was announced on Oct. 16. In all, 587 workers lost their job in the unit nationwide.

Lockheed Martin / via Flickr

Lockheed Martin's radar and sensor facility just outside of Syracuse is safe for at least a year, but the company was close to closing it and relocating jobs, according to a news report.

The Post-Standard this morning cited unnamed sources and an internal document saying the defense contractor was in serious talks to shutter the facility in Salina and move the jobs there to other locations.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

With a few snaps and screws, the HAPSITE is ready to be shipped from the floor of INFICON's facility in East Syracuse and deployed as a gas and chemical warfare detector around the world.

It's just one of the products that comes out of the research and production facility in central New York, but this one has a new and very well respected client.

HAPSITE is short for Hazardous Air Pollutants on Site. The hard plastic machine, which is slightly larger than a suitcase, is a portable gas chromatograph mass spectrometer.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Business leaders in central New York are re-launching efforts to expand their involvement in the export market.

The Central New York International Business Alliance has been around for almost a decade. It’s renewing its push to increase exports among companies in the region, or get them into the market altogether.

The alliance is an effort from CenterState CEO, a regional chamber of commerce of sorts.

IShreud / via Flickr

The former Beech-Nut facility in Canajoharie may have a buyer, but those in the know are being tight-lipped about its future.

The huge white factory is a landmark for those who travel along the Thruway between Syracuse and Albany, even though the company removed the big red Beech-Nut letters earlier this year.

fishhawk / Flickr

A Northeast dairy cooperative headquartered in Syracuse plans to merge with a larger national operation from Missouri.

Century-old Dairylea told members at its annual meetings this week of its plan to merge with Dairy Farmers of America. Dairylea has been a partner organization since 2002.

The move, pending approval from members, will better position its farmers for the future, Dairylea spokeswoman Karen Cartier said.

Kate O'Connell/Innovation Trail

The U.S. frozen food market is on the rise, with expectations it will become a $70 billion industry within the next two years.

Last year, upstate New York got in on the action when France-based company Bonduelle acquired three facilities to expand their production of canned and frozen vegetables. They took over the floundering Allen's plants in March 2012, with the intention of repairing and developing the facilities.

Local growers are now set to benefit from the company’s expansion and investment plans.

The state comptroller says he’s looking for more start up companies and entrepreneurs to invest in, as part of a partnership between the state’s pension fund and private equity managers.

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