Business

8:21am

Wed December 18, 2013
Business

Syracuse takes "first step" toward seizing old Hotel Syracuse

This will hopefully be the last winter the old Hotel Syracuse sits empty, economic development officials say.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse economic development officials have taken “the first step” toward taking ownership of the old Hotel Syracuse so it can be re-opened, in hopes this will be the last winter it sits dormant.

The construction that will re-open the shuttered building is still months away, though, as bureaucracy has to work its course first.

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3:03pm

Tue December 17, 2013
Business

Novelis plans to expand again

Novelis plans to increase the amount of business it does with auto manufacturers.
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.

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1:11pm

Tue December 17, 2013
Business

SU bookstore project will meet deadline to keep tax break

An artist's rendering of the future Syracuse University bookstore complex
Cameron Group, LLC.

The developer behind a new bookstore and fitness center for Syracuse University will meet its construction deadline and get to keep tax breaks from the city.

Tom Valenti of the Cameron Group says they’ll break ground this week on the facility, which will be located just off of SU’s campus. They had until Friday to do so or lose the 30-year property tax break it won from the city in August 2012.

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8:07am

Fri December 6, 2013
Business

Protesters rally in support of minimum wage hike for fast food workers

Daniel X. O'Neil Flickr

Cities across the country saw strikes Thursday as part of a campaign by fast food workers to raise the federal minimum wage. The movement faces strong opposition both within and outside the fast food industry.

Walkouts were planned in at least 100 cities in support raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, roughly $15,000 per year for a full-time job.

The fast food industry claims that raising wages would be difficult without bumping up the prices on their menus too.

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2:10pm

Mon December 2, 2013
Business

Remington Arms wins contract as departure rumors continue

Remington Arms, seen last winter, in Ilion, N.Y. where it employs about 1,300 people.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Mohawk Valley firearm manufacturer Remington Arms has won a contract worth nearly $50 million supplying the Philippine military. The contract comes amidst lingering concerns the factory will leave the state.

Remington will provide 50,000 R4 carbine rifles to the Philippine defense forces by the end of next year. Rep. Richard Hanna, (R - Barneveld), said the work on the rifles will be done in upstate New York.

The majority of the work will be done in Ilion, but parts may be sourced from elsewhere, Joseph Bolmarcich, who oversees contracts for Remington, confirmed.

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7:23am

Tue November 26, 2013
Beer

Brewers ask Rep. Maffei for reduction in federal taxes

The assembly line at the F.X. Matt Brewery, maker of Saranac beer, in Utica, N.Y.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Some New York craft brewers are asking their local congressman to reduce the federal taxes on their beer so they can continue to grow.

The number of craft brewers in the state has risen to more than 140 in the past two decades as demand for more flavorful beers has grown. A handful of brewers met with Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei Monday at Empire Brewery in Syracuse. They had two main requests.

A reduction in the federal excise tax will help them expand, Mark Rubenstein, owner of Middle Ages Brewery, said.

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8:01am

Fri November 22, 2013
Business

Buffalo’s RiverBend to be site of two new clean-energy research companies

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces the creation of new campus center of clean-energy at former brownfeild site.
Chris Caya WBFO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced a $225 million state investment to create a new campus center of clean-energy on a former brownfield site in Buffalo.

The RiverBend project will create 850 new jobs at the former Republic Steel and Donner Hanna Coke site in south Buffalo along the city’s waterfront as part of the governor's "Buffalo Billion" promise.

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7:41am

Mon November 4, 2013
Business

Whose fault was Norse Energy's bankruptcy?

http://norseenergycorp.no/index.php?name=About_Norse_Energy_Corp

New York’s hold on high-volume hydrofracking has entered its sixth year. Norse Energy first tried to stay afloat until fracking was approved, but then gave up and converted to Chapter 7, a complete shutdown of operations. The company and fracking supporters cited the state’s de facto moratorium as the obvious culprit.

Norse’s former chief legal officer Dennis Holbrook says drillers just can’t compete anymore using the drilling methods still allowed in New York.

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8:46am

Fri October 25, 2013
Business

Business alliance doubles down on goal to double exports

Peter Maier, president of INFICON, leads a tour of the company's clean room. INFICON last year doubled its exports to $70 million.
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.

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4:28pm

Thu October 24, 2013
Business

Money for port and canal upgrades passes House

The Port of Oswego has won money to upgrade its rail, but it would also like money for dredging.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

More federal dollars being available to make upgrades to ports and waterways in upstate New York is closer to reality as the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, or WRRDA, passed the House of Representatives last night.

The bill frees up $8.2 billion in funds for water infrastructure upgrades. It also defunds never-implemented projects worth $12 billion and streamlines applications and approvals of funding.

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7:07am

Wed October 23, 2013
Business

State kicks off Startup-NY tax-free program

Leslie Whatley discusses the Startup-NY program at an event in New York City. She's the executive vice president.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office via Flickr

New York’s plan to attract new business and jobs to the state by offering them tax-free space at public colleges is underway. Officials Tuesday outlined for the first time specifics about how the program will work.

They tried to lay out the plan as simply as possible:

"There’s no fine print. There’s no trips and traps, caveats; there’s no taxes," said Executive Vice President of Startup-NY Leslie Whatley in a conference call with reporters.

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7:07am

Mon October 21, 2013
Business

Old Beech-Nut factory may have a buyer

The sign on the former Beech-Nut factory was taken down earlier this year. Now a buyer of the factory has emerged.
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.

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3:46pm

Thu October 17, 2013
Business

Syracuse dairy co-op plans merger with national operation

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.

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5:23pm

Mon October 14, 2013
Business

New authority hopes to improve operations at Syracuse airport

mrsmecomber via Flickr

Correction: The authority planned to take over operations of the airport is a public benefit authority and not private.

Early next year control of day-to-day operations at Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport will transfer from a city department to a private public benefit authority, a move city and airport officials say will mean benefits for travelers.

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7:25am

Thu October 10, 2013
Business

Syracuse land bank becomes a landlord

The Syracuse land bank became a landlord this week as part of its work to put more city land on the tax rolls.

The land bank, known formally as the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation, closed on the sale of 17 properties that are vacant or owners were significantly behind on their property taxes.

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7:08am

Tue October 8, 2013
Business

New wine laws to promote upstate producers

Small upstate wine producers may see a benefit from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's new legislation.
Kate O'Connell/Innovation Trail

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration is continuing its program for promoting upstate produce with new legislation that aims to support the marketing of New York wines. The new laws permit wine to be sold at roadside farm stands and expand wine trail designations along state roadways.

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6:17am

Tue October 8, 2013
Business

Syracuse council delays vote on airport authority transfer

Syracuse is in the process of transfering control of its airport over to a private authority.
mrsmecomber via Flickr

The Syracuse Common Council says it has delayed fully turning over control of the airport to a private authority in order to get the deal right.

Councilor Pat Hogan, who chairs the airport committee, says several union representatives and employees still had questions about the deal, which would be a 40 year lease.

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8:08am

Mon October 7, 2013
Business

Onondaga County to vote on proposed 2014 budget this week

Onondaga County lawmakers vote this week on the proposed $122 million 2014 budget. The spending plan includes a slight decrease in the tax rate along with some spending cuts. One additional fund that's being proposed in the budget is a pot of money that would be available for economic development projects.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney has seen it before in central New York; economic development projects die because they can't get those last final dollars in place. So what does she the propose in order to correct the problem?

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6:29am

Fri October 4, 2013
Business

Upscale hotel coming to Syracuse's Inner Harbor

Starwood Hotels development director John Salvatore, left, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center, listen to COR Development's Steve Aiello outline the Inner Harbor redevelopment project.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

An upscale hotel chain has signed on as the first tenant in the redevelopment of Syracuse's Inner Harbor.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts announced Thursday that will build an $18 million, 130 room "Aloft" hotel at the former barge canal, as part of a larger redevelopment of the now rarely used site.

In all, COR Development is working on a $350 million overhaul of the site. It plans more commercial and residential space.

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7:35am

Tue October 1, 2013
Business

Utica launching Syracuse-modeled student business incubator project

File photo
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The city of Utica will soon become the home of a new business incubator, modeled after Syracuse's Student Sandbox. Utica's thINCubator project, which stands for The Home of Innovative New Companies, is spearheaded by the Mohawk Valley Community College Foundation and local investors, who are contributing $100,000 to start the program.

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4:30pm

Fri September 20, 2013
Business

N.Y. regulations like 'death by a thousand cuts,' say manufacturers

The Senate Majority Coalition public forum on regulatory reform at Syracuse City Hall.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The one phrase that kept coming up at Friday's New York State Senate hearing on regulatory reform in Syracuse, was "death by a thousand cuts." Manufacturers were the focus today as lawmakers travel around the state trying to identify regulations that are getting in the way of business.

One of the regulations State Sen. John DeFransisco called asinine at today's hearing, springs from the Wage Theft Prevention Act. Employers are required to provide employees with a yearly notice regarding their compensation, information that is already on their paycheck.

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8:28am

Mon September 2, 2013
Business

Struggle for federal dredging money continues in upstate cities

Kate O'Connell / WXXI

Shipping lanes and ports along the Great Lakes are big contributors to the economies of upstate cities.  Federal funding to remove sediment and keep these shipping lanes open is available, but funds are limited and some of the smaller ports struggle to secure the money to dredge shipping channels on a yearly basis.

And, difficulty freeing federal funds has led one company to take matters into their own hands in western New York.

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6:34am

Thu August 29, 2013
Business

Fifty years later, African-Americans entrepreneurs say business community still lags behind

This week marks the 50th anniversary of one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history. Half a century ago, hundreds of thousands of people marched on Washington and gathered to hear Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

Fifty years later, Del Smith, director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship in Rochester, says African-Americans have made a lot of progress, but the business community is still catching up.

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9:05am

Wed August 28, 2013
Business

Communication and trust remain key to minority business success

Vicki Brackens
Ryan Delaney/WRVO

Today is the 50th anniversary of the historic Civil Rights March on Washington. Across America, people are celebrating the journey of African-Americans since 1963. Here in central New York, Vicki Brackens, an African-American woman who has been a part of the business and financial community in Syracuse for 30 years, spoke with the Innovation Trail’s Ryan Delaney about being a minority entrepreneur.

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7:14am

Wed August 21, 2013
Business

Historic architecture improved with new technology

Terracotta being formed out of clay by hand.
Ashley Hirtzel/WBFO

A western New York business is creating terra cotta architectural features with the help of the latest technology. The objects are an important element in restoring and maintaining historic buildings, and building new ones.

The work done at Boston Valley Terra Cotta dates back to the late 1800's. The gargoyles, statues, and feature tiles they create can be seen on buildings like Grand Central Station, the Philadelphia Public Library, and the Poptahof in the Netherlands.

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5:44am

Wed August 7, 2013
Business

Seven Syracuse corner stores called "scourge" on city; ordered closed

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner called corner stores with multiple code violations a "scourge" on city neighborhoods.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Updated, 11:33 a.m.:

Surprise inspections of 10 corner markets in Syracuse on Tuesday uncovered numerous code violations, including fire safety, sewage and electrical violations. One was ordered to close immediately and the others were given 24 hour notices to shut down.

At the store ordered to close immediately, Delaware Market on the corner of South Geddes Street and Delaware Street, inspectors found a gas leak. S&R Market on South Avenue was running electrical wiring to an adjacent building, inspectors found.

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5:53am

Thu August 1, 2013
Business

In a victory for Syracuse, former gas station will be redeveloped

This former gas station on Syracuse's south side, will be redeveloped as a Dunkin Donuts.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Score one for the self-proclaimed clout of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. Thanks largely to recent efforts of the senator, a former gas station on Syracuse's south side will be redeveloped.

The intersection of East Brighton Avenue and Seneca Turnpike is home to three vacant properties: two former gas stations and an old car wash. Two of them are owned by gas station chain Sunoco.

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2:06pm

Mon July 22, 2013
Business

Syracuse, Sunoco to meet to discuss vacant gas stations

Syracuse wants three former gas stations on the city's south side redeveloped.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse economic development officials and representatives from Sen. Charles Schumer's office will meet with executives from the Sunoco gas station chain next week. They will discuss the future of three vacant, former gas stations on the city's South Side.

Syracuse says the properties are an eyesore and accuses Sunoco of blocking their redevelopment in order to preserve the competitive advantage of its newer fueling hub nearby.

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8:13am

Mon July 15, 2013
Business

Endicott Interconnect files for bankruptcy, layoffs may follow

Southern Tier-based Endicott Interconnect Technologies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. The Broome County high-tech manufacturer, which employs approximately 600 people, plans to continue operations as it reorganizes.    

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8:10am

Fri June 28, 2013
Business

Port of Oswego shifts its business from water to land

Freight moved by rail and truck has risen to make up half of the Port of Oswego's business.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Jonathan Daniels warns it's about to get real loud just as a fork lift drops a huge block of aluminum. Sure enough, the block creates a thud as the forklift goes back to pick up another piece.

Daniels, the executive director of the Port of Oswego, is making his rounds. Despite the port's prime real estate at the end of the Oswego Canal and the first deep water port on Lake Ontario for ships coming in from the St. Lawrence Seaway, there aren't any ships docked here this day.

But workers are still busy. Inside a warehouse, another crew is filling up a railcar with grain.

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