upstate economy

7:27am

Thu July 3, 2014
Business

Schumer puts out the call for a downtown Syracuse supermarket

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., hold up a symbolic checklist for downtown Syracuse's needs.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

As the number of people living downtown continues to grow, so does the need for a grocery store in the neighborhood. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., says he can help lure one to the central business district.

Schumer says the heads of major chains will listen to him. He's reaching out to a number of chains, like Tops and Whole Foods, to try to convince them to locate downtown.

Many officials and residents say that as the neighborhood become more residential, a place to buy groceries is needed.

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7:22pm

Wed May 14, 2014
Business

Chobani now a registered company in Delaware; says its not leaving

messycupcakes Flickr

New York-based yogurt company Chobani has registered its company in Delaware. Chobani says it’s not going anywhere, but it’s increased rumors the company is going public.

Chobani's headquarters is in Norwich, in Chenango County and it's factory is in New Berlin. But for tax purposes, the company is now a resident of Delaware.

Many corporations call Delaware their home on paper, because the state has more lenient corporate policies than others. 

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4:47pm

Tue May 6, 2014
Business

'Busting at the seams,' Syracuse Co-op eyes downtown expansion

Jeremy DeChario, general manager of the Syracuse Real Food Co-op, at the market.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Downtown Syracuse could gain a grocery store in the near future, thanks to a market from a different part of town.

The Syracuse Real Food Co-op has been a fixture of the University area neighborhood for four decades. And business has been good.

"We do way higher, like four-times, the industry standard for sales-per-square feet. We are literally busting at the seams," said Syracuse Real Food Co-Op General Manager Jeremy DeChario.

Their small space makes growing any more nearly impossible, he said, but the grocery store has set its sights on downtown.

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8:16am

Wed April 2, 2014
Drones

Upstate N.Y. drone test site gets another $1 million in funding

Ryan Delaney WRVO

There's another $1 million in the recently passed state budget for upstate New York's new drone testing program, which means the site now has enough funding to get through at least its first year of operations.

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1:45pm

Thu March 13, 2014
Business

$1.2 billion offer for Remington Arms on the table

The Remington Arms factory in Ilion, N.Y.
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.

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8:30am

Thu March 13, 2014
Politics and Government

Syracuse lawmakers set to vote on comprehensive plan, after delays

After a year of delays and re-writes, Syracuse lawmakers are finally set to vote on a new comprehensive plan for the city.

City planners had been working on the vision for how the city should look in 2040 for two years. Then it went to the council, where lawmakers had a lot of questions and proposed changes, which caused them to continually delay voting on it.

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7:36am

Mon March 10, 2014
Regional Coverage

Cuomo cheerleads Adirondack, Lake Placid tourism

Governor Andrew Cuomo sleds in Franklin County on Sunday as part of his Adirondack Winter Challenge.
NYS Governor's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo led a group of lawmakers on a day-long visit to the Adirondack Park yesterday.

The Adirondack Winter Challenge is part of his administration's $60 million effort, launched last year, to boost upstate tourism. The event was also designed to build support in Albany for state-run tourism sites that cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a year to operate.

The day’s big photo op comes with Andrew Cuomo climbing on a sleek snowmobile, surrounded by snowy woods under a brilliant blue sky.

"Want to find which is the fastest," he says.

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7:46am

Thu March 6, 2014
Transportation

NY DOT looking at five options to speed up rail travel

An Amtrak train pulls into the Syracuse regional transportation hub.
hectate1 via Flickr

New York state transportation planners have opened the discussion about the best way to speed up train travel through upstate New York.

Passenger trains running between Buffalo and New York City right now run at about 50 miles per hour and are often slowed more by competing freight train traffic.

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11:46am

Thu February 13, 2014
Public Radio Presents

New York in the World

Join us Sunday, February 16 for an encore presentation of New York in the World. This documentary brings you stories of union workers in Buffalo, fashion designers in New York City, and farmers in the Finger Lakes - all talking about how they've found a place amid today's new economic realities.

From Niagara Falls to Long Island, from the North Country to the Southern Tier, Upstate, Downstate... we are nearly twenty million.

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7:32am

Fri January 24, 2014
Regional Coverage

Miner focuses on city development, proposed stadium in State of the City address

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner speaks with reporters follwing her annual State of the City speech Thursday.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Mayor Stephanie Miner is putting together a task force to consider the community and economic impacts of a new sports arena in the city of Syracuse. The mayor put the issue, which has had the town buzzing in recent weeks, in her annual State of the City speech.

"I am neither in favor of a stadium nor against a stadium, but there has to be a process where people can get their questions answered," Miner said.
 

The mayor says building a new stadium, to potentially replace the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University, is a huge decision that should be made together.

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3:57pm

Tue January 21, 2014
Business

'Next Great Idea' competition underway again in Oswego County

Lakeside Artisans accepts their award during the 2010 "Next Great Idea" competition. From left to right: Jeff Grimshaw, Larry Perras, Allen Bjorkman, Michele Southgate, Tim Ames, Austin Wheelock, and L. Michael Treadwell.

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.

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6:24pm

Mon January 13, 2014
Health

Clinic taking steps toward financial health

The North Country Family Health Center - formerly the North Country Children's Clinic - is restructuring to ensure long-term financial stability.
Credit Joanna Richards

A clinic in Watertown that serves many needy children is taking steps toward better financial health after nearly closing abruptly in October.

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7:06am

Wed December 25, 2013
Business

Refugee communities diversify upstate business environment

Somali Community in Western New York

The desire for familiar food, clothing, and other products from home is spurring refugee communities in upstate New York to start their own businesses. In response, a group in Rochester has organized a six-week startup business training course to help the Somali refugee community navigate the process.

“They can actually create their own little local economy where they can exchange, similar to what they had in Somalia,” says David Dey, president and CEO of the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship.

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8:34am

Sat December 7, 2013
Energy

Passive house takes on upstate winter

Model of a passive house.
Some rights reserved by Tonu Mauring

Think of a large thermos, large enough to put a family in. That’s a passive house. Passive houses are buildings that rely on their construction, insulation, and the environment to heat them in winter and cool them in summer.

They’re popular in Europe, but there are only a handful of them in the U.S. and one of them belongs to a family in upstate New York, who are getting ready to take on their first winter in their passive home.

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7:36am

Fri December 6, 2013
Agriculture

Auburn milk plant hopes to capitalize on export market

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D - N.Y.), second from left, speaks with dairy farmers outside a milk processing plant being built in Auburn, N.Y.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A new dairy processing facility under construction in Cayuga County plans to make most of its money on the export market and its owners are hoping trade rule changes don’t hinder that.

An $80 million dairy facility going up in Auburn plans to sell powdered milk to countries in Asia and North Africa, but current trade rules with some of those countries could make exporting their products difficult.

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10:11pm

Thu December 5, 2013
Regional Coverage

Work begins on Watertown's Woolworth building

Work begins on the Woolworth building in Watertown's Public Square.
Joanna Richards

Work has begun to revive a long-vacant eyesore at the center of downtown Watertown.

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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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7:29am

Thu November 21, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Refugees changing the face of an already diverse Syracuse Northside

A game of dominos at HopePrint's house on the Northside of Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Innovation Trail is taking a look at how the thousands of refugees coming to upstate New York are weaving their way into the region's economy.

Turnout may be low this night because of first snow, Nicole Watts tells those gathered in her entryway. Even as she tries to explain this, there's a near steady knock on the front door.

Every Tuesday evening, this home at 129 Lilac Street on Syracuse's Northside turns into a community center.

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6:46am

Thu November 21, 2013
Regional Coverage

SU bookstore project risks losing its controversial tax break

The renderings of a bookstore and fitness center planned for Syracuse University.
Cameron Group, LLC.

The construction of a new college bookstore on the Syracuse University Hill is in danger of losing its tax break if construction doesn’t start in the next month.

The university and the developer it selected, Cameron Group, won over Syracuse’s city council and industrial development agency (SIDA) for approval of the deal in August 2012.

But since shovels still haven’t broken ground on the project a year later, the city’s economic development agency this week voted the project in default of its contract. The developer has another 30 days to begin work.

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8:00am

Wed November 20, 2013
Energy

Anti-gas pipeline group warns residents of I-81 pipeline

The path the I-81 pipeline would take from Onondaga to the Binghamton area.
Stop I-81 Pipeline Group

Homeowners along an abandoned gas line across three central New York counties are getting advice about how to deal with gas companies who may come knocking.

The Millennium Pipeline Company is trying to get federal approval to build a 60-mile pipeline from the town of Onondaga down to the Binghamton area in order to connect several east-west natural gas pipelines. In order to do this, the pipeline company, which is an affiliate of National Grid among other energy companies, will need the help of homeowners.

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8:35am

Tue November 19, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Refugees revitalize Rust Belt city of Buffalo

At Journey's End Refugee Services, Bishnu Adhikari, right, tests his students on their vacuum skills.
Ashley Hirtzel WBFO

Upstate New York cities take in around 90 percent of all current refugee resettlements in the state. All this week, The Innovation Trail is taking a look at how that diverse population has weaved its way into the region’s changing economy.

In Buffalo, a handful of students from countries all over the world are sitting in a class at Journey’s End Refugee Services. They are learning how to become janitors for local businesses. The group nods as a student explains an assignment to them.

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8:13am

Mon November 18, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Refugee communities pump new energy into post-industrial Utica

Stepanda Zhushma in a community garden in Utica. She came to upstate New York from Belarus on Sept. 23, 1989, a date that rolls off her tongue.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Since 2004, upstate New York has taken 90 percent of all refugee resettlements in the state. This is the first part of the Innovation Trail reporting series looking at how upstate New York's refugee population is influencing the region's economy.

Utica has long seen itself as a city of immigrants. The arrival of Italians, Germans and Irish drove the city’s population to peak at around 100,000. During the mid 1970s in the wake of major changes to the city's industrial base and dwindling employment opportunities, the population fell by nearly half.

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4:52pm

Mon November 11, 2013
Transportation

Save I-81 group out with poll showing opposition to tear down

Zack Seward WXXI

A group of suburban politicians and business owners that support keeping Interstate 81 running through the city of Syracuse are out with a poll they say shows most residents agree with them.

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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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9:07am

Fri October 18, 2013
The Upstate Economy

More layoffs hit upstate N.Y. Lockheed Martin facilities

Lockheed Martin via Flickr

Workers at Lockheed Martin sites in central New York and the Southern Tier are being hit with another round of layoffs, but the company says the move is not tied to the government shutdown that just ended.

A total of 600 workers across the country will be out of a job early next month, according to the defense contractor.

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6:49am

Tue October 15, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Old prisons could become homes for business startups

The Butler Correctional Facility in Wayne County. The facility is slated for closure under the Cuomo Administration.
Google Maps

Some abandoned prisons in the upstate area could become home to start-up companies under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Start-Up New York initiative.

The initiative aims to provide major incentives for companies to relocate, develop, or significantly expand in New York by offering state and local tax-free zones on university and college campuses.

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5:01pm

Mon October 14, 2013
Agriculture

Three Finger Lakes wineries join forces to promote international sales

baristaj9 Flickr

Three upstate wineries have come together to create an import-export company designed to increase Finger Lakes wine sales in Europe. The new company, called New York Wines, will be registered in Belgium and the partners are hoping it will help to increase sales at home as well as abroad.

John Martini, president of one of the vineyards, the Anthony Road Wine Company, says the costs associated with overseas shipping can be prohibitive for a single winery. But shipping produce from several wineries in bulk makes it cheaper at both ends, he says.

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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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7:29am

Wed October 2, 2013
Agriculture

Farm Bill expiration worries New York's farmers

Doug Kerr Flickr

While the focus has been on the partial federal government shut down, another important piece of legislation, the federal farm bill, has also expired.

New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton said this is the third time in three years he’s seen negotiations go down to the wire and beyond on farm legislation that regulates crop subsidies, milk prices, and nutrition programs.

"It’s like déjà vu all over again," Norton said in a statement.

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7:49am

Mon September 30, 2013
Politics and Government

Opposition to gambling amendment heats up

Another anti-gambling group has released a study debunking Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature’s claims about the benefits of permitting more casino gambling in New York.  So far opponents have been more vocal than supporters about the November 5 ballot referendum.

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