The Upstate Economy

Business and economic developments affecting the central and northern regions of upstate New York.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

It was another step forward in the restoration of the historic Hotel Syracuse Thursday with the renaming of the iconic hotel.

    

It’s a transition from a name that’s meant memories for over 90 years in Syracuse, to a name travelers across the world recognize. 

"The Hotel Syracuse moniker, brand, is going to retire," declared hotel owner Ed Riley. "The new name of this hotel, and the new partnership we will have, will be the Marriott Downtown Syracuse.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Downtown Committee of Syracuse is celebrating its 40th birthday. The group that was created in 1975 is watching over a neighborhood that’s dramatically changed.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There’s another state-driven economic development competition taking place in central New York in coming months. This contest is based on a similar successful program in Buffalo called 43North.

Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the $3 million dollar GENIUS NY business competition open to data-centric technology companies from all over the world, and hosted by the The Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council is getting ready to put together a proposal for the latest competition for state economic development dollars.  

Tim Gee / Flickr

New York politicians are raising concerns that the sale of medical device manufacturer Welch Allyn could put central New York jobs in jeopardy.

When Hill-Rom announced Wednesday morning that it is acquiring Welch Allyn, it did not say that any jobs would be eliminated at the Skaneateles Falls-based company. But that's what was immediately on the mind of the lawmakers who represent the central New York in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) told reporters Wednesday he had a “call in” to company representatives to find out more.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News file photo

The city of Syracuse is moving ahead with a strategy to improve access to broadband for businesses and residents.  

The problem is there aren’t enough affordable, high speed internet broadband options for residents or businesses in Syracuse. And that means that Syracuse isn’t competing on a level playing field with other cities when it comes to economic development, says Ben Walsh, Syracuse’s deputy commissioner of neighborhoods and business development.

Connectologist / via Flickr

Central New York-based medical device manufacturer Welch Allyn is being acquired by Chicago-based Hill-Rom, also a medical device manufacturer, for $2.05 billion in cash and stock, the companies announced Wednesday morning.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

Syracuse Common Councilors have gone on record opposing the idea of resurrecting a junk yard along the shores of Onondaga Lake, near Destiny USA and the Inner Harbor development.  But they are at odds with the mayor’s office over how to do it.

AMSNY

Without sustainable federal investment in medical research, innovation in the field will be stunted say academic leaders. Colleagues from across the country join in their appeal to Congress.

New York medical school administrators join 17 others in a recent open letter in the Journal Science Translational Medicine.  The letter says unstable funding for biomedical research drives investigators out of the country.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The craft beverage industry is revitalizing the upstate economy with billions in revenue and tens of thousands of jobs. The nonprofit Syracuse First held its New Economy Summit this week to discuss improving the region's service and craft beverage industry.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Gaming facilities have some new competition in upstate New York. The Yellow Brick Road Casino has opened in Chittenango, a small town about 20 miles east of Syracuse.  

Gamblers started waiting along a yellow brick path in front of the casino, the night before the opening; From Albany, from nearby Syracuse and all around central New York.

Destiny USA

Tourism is growing in central New York, up 17 percent in the last five years, according to industry officials. And at a tourism roundtable in Syracuse Wednesday they agreed there are still more ways to boost tourism dollars.  

Travel spending in the five counties of central New York amounts to nearly $1.2 billion, employing 25,000 people. So it’s a huge industry already, according to David Holder of the Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Internet service may soon flow faster In New York

May 26, 2015
Bret Jaspers / WSKG News file photo

Despite the importance of the Internet to our daily lives, service can be unreliable, slow, or expensive, especially in rural areas. Local governments and businesses are waiting on details of how they can apply for $500 million of state money -- money that will be used, with private sector dollars, for broadband infrastructure projects.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

This weekend kicks off the summer travel season. And according to one travel group, it’s going to be a busy one.

Every year, AAA does a survey of members to find out if they’re traveling over Memorial Day. Results this year show it will the busiest Memorial Day on the road in the last decade, according to AAA of Western and Central New York Spokeswoman Diana Dibble. Estimates are that 32 million Americans will hit the road, in large part because of an improving economy and lower gas prices. This could bode well for a busy summer overall.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

As manufacturers across central New York and the entire state have trouble finding qualified workers, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) hopes a bill she supports in Congress can make a difference.  

Recent statistics show that almost a third of New York manufacturers have trouble keeping skilled workers. One of them is SBB, a DeWitt company that specializes in clean room technologies. General manager Brandon Bogart says they have openings for engineers right now that are going unfilled. And that's crimping the company’s future.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Manufacturing is far from dead in central New York.  But it can sometimes be a challenge for manufacturing companies to find qualified workers. A new pre-apprenticeship program has been designed to train more workers for these jobs.

Darco Manufacturing in Mattydale employs 36 people in the production machining business. They’ve hired eight people in the last eight months according to general manager Laura Miller, and only one had manufacturing experience.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council began to gather public input Thursday night on what should be included in its submission to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The program is a competition for $1.5 billion in economic aid that will be distributed to three out of seven regions in upstate New York.

Rob Simpson, president of Centerstate CEO is also is a co-chairman of the council, said some themes are already developing from the public’s input.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Television and movie actor Ron Perlman is bringing his movie production company to central New York. He’ll start making films at the sound stage, being built at the new Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

We all know that every time we buy something in a store we pay a percentage of the cost of that item in tax. That sales tax goes toward helping the county pay for anything from road repairs to staffing the local police departments. For the past two years, the money that Jefferson County earns through sales tax has been in a slow decline. County legislators are getting worried after seeing an even bigger drop at the beginning of the year.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There have been recent calls for the suspension of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Start-Up NY economic development program.  Those that do follow first-year statistics that show millions spent on promoting a program that’s created just over six dozen jobs.

According to the Start-up NY yearly report released earlier this month, $53 million was spent on marketing and advertising for the program. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul says to look further than just those numbers.

Central NY leaders get to work on entry for economic development competition

Apr 10, 2015

It's only been a little over a week since the state legislature approved an upstate economic development competition in the budget, but central New York community leaders are already beginning to try to figure out their entry. At stake is $500 million from the state to help revitalize the economy in the manner of the Buffalo Billion in western New York.

Credit njxw / Flickr

 

Many working parents may find it hard to imagine a daycare center right in the same building as their job. But Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) wants to change that. She has introduced a bill to increase tax breaks for businesses that build onsite child care.

Having child care at work could make a big difference for parents like Stephanie Walsh. Walsh says sometimes she barely leaves the house in over a week. She used to go to work every morning, as an accountant at a Southern Tier construction company. But then she had her son Jacob.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

With spring approaching, gas prices are on the rise across the country and in central New York.  And the increase may be a little more dramatic at pumps in the Syracuse area.

According to the AAA Western and Central New York, this region watched  the price at the pump jump an average of 22 cents a gallon last month. And that’s pretty typical for this time of year, as oil companies make the expensive switch from winter to summer blend fuels, and take some refineries offline for maintenance.  

Chris Caya / WBFO News

Buffalo's status as the "Queen City" of the Great Lakes started slipping with the St. Lawrence Seaway's opening in 1954. But after a recent meeting downtown with Seaway Administrator Betty Sutton, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state is resetting the relationship.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

There’s a big chunk of state funding on the table for investment in upstate New York’s communities and not surprising, there are a lot of opinions for what the funds should be spent on.

Rob Simpson is in charge of CenterState CEO. His organization represents 2,000 regional businesses. In the role, he’s close with both New York’s governor and local leaders.

ephesuslighting.com

This weekend’s Super Bowl won’t only be showcasing the NFL’s top football teams. It will also show off a new stadium lighting system that was created in Syracuse.  

  Ephesus Lighting founder Joe Casper is amazed at the publicity his company’s high-performance LED lights have been getting in the run-up to the Super Bowl. There’s been mention of the semi-conductor based technology in Forbes magazine, USA Today and the Washington Post.  And the enhanced lighting fixtures have even made their way into deflate-gate conversations.

Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

In last week's State of the State Address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.50 per hour across the state and $11.50 in New York City by the end of 2016. The increase isn't a done deal though.

State business leaders criticize the measure they say would force them to slow hiring and cut hours.

Sharon Stiller, a Rochester-based employment law expert, says any change will affect state businesses.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

There will be another competition for state economic development dollars, if the state legislature approves spending $1.5 billion for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed Upstate New York Economic Revitalization Competition. At least one Central New York Economic development official is ready for the challenge.

Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives his budget address next Wednesday, the state will begin the year with a $5 billion surplus -- a big change after years of budget deficits.

When Cuomo first came into office, the state was facing a $10 billion budget gap. Now, in 2015, the state has a $5 billion surplus, the largest since the 1940s.  The money is a one time windfall from various bank settlements over charges of improprieties during the financial crisis.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Going in to 2015, there is more confidence in central New York’s economy to be found in an annual business survey.

Last year, there was only limited optimism among economists and business leaders for economic growth in the region. But CenterState CEO president Rob Simpson says he has much more confidence for 2015.

Pages