upstate economy

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse has its first pop-up shop. The space is the result of an AT&T-sponsored competition for student entrepreneurs at Syracuse University.

An empty contained glass space near the front of Marshall Square Mall has become home to this pop-up shop thanks to Julia Haber, a sophomore public relations student at SU.

"A pop-up shop is a space that is occupied by individuals for a certain amount of time that comes and goes and kind of can be whatever it wants to be at the moment, said Haber."

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

There’s been an unusual focus on upstate New York among top state politicians from the downstate area in recent weeks.  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a speech in Utica Thursday, says downstate lawmakers -- who numerically dominate  the legislature -- have been unified in seeking aid and programs for New York City and Long Island. But he says upstate lawmakers are more balkanized and have been largely unsuccessful.

“There is no place called upstate,” said Cuomo, who said New Yorkers tend to identify with the city they leave nearest, like Syracuse or Buffalo or Rochester.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was in North Syracuse this week promoting a new bill that will help banks and investors loan more money to manufacturing businesses. The bill is meant to help keep manufacturers in the U.S. and New York state.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

If you’re near Fort Drum around lunch time, you might notice a big pink food truck parked outside one of the base’s gates.  The Military Moms Food truck sells the kinds of meals mom used to make – like sloppy joes and grilled cheeses. And it’s kind of famous. The truck appeared last year on The Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race. Now, it’s back home serving comfort food to soldiers and fans.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

New York state’s Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx native, has spent a portion of the summer touring upstate New York. The speaker replaced Sheldon Silver who was arrested on corruption charges earlier this year.

Heastie has been to Buffalo, Binghamton, Syracuse and Utica, the Thousand Islands and surrounding areas as part of a listening tour to familiarize himself with issues that might not be front and center in New York City.  

“I’m used to cement,” said, Heastie who said says he’s “gained an appreciation” of the beauty of upstate regions.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There are no issues too small for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who is expected to become the next majority leader in the U.S. Senate. Schumer visited central New York Monday to put some heft behind the complaint one small town has against a big corporation.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was in Syracuse this week promoting legislation that will give employers a $5,000 tax credit for training workers in an apprenticeship program in high-demand industries. Gillibrand said as the number of high-skilled jobs increase, employers are struggling to fill them.


Mike Folsom

Shipping traffic on the St. Lawrence River has resumed after a luxury cruise ship stuck in the Eisenhower Lock in Massena was removed Saturday. The ship struck a wall as it attempted to maneuver into the lock Thursday night.  Passengers on the MS St.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News


The Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce held what they're calling "chamber day" for the first time on Thursday. The goal was to connect local businesses in the Utica area to each other.


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.

Medical marijuana applications due

Jun 5, 2015
Spiritual Enlightenment / Flickr

The next step for New York’s new medical marijuana industry is today. Companies that want to grow or dispense the drug must submit applications to the state health department.

Only five licenses will be awarded to companies that want to grow and sell medical marijuana. But each company can have up to four dispensaries. So, as many as 20 places where New York patients could get the drug.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

Regulators in New York are moving ahead with a plan to prohibit hydrofracking within its borders. In the latest step, the state released its final environmental review last week. And New York’s unique stance on fracking could have wide-ranging effects.

Central New York’s business and economic development agency is starting a new chamber of commerce for minority-run companies.

According to CenterState CEO, the black and Latino communities in New York have $170 billion in buying power. That’s why, it says, it’s forming the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance, the only one in the region.

The news was announced at CenterState’s annual meeting. Edward Cuello will lead the new Upstate MEA. He says its mission will be to harness the minority community’s business and buying power.

Charles Atkelson / via Flickr

The central New York operation of Lockheed Martin failed to secure the third round of a lucrative Navy supply contract.

The first two rounds of funding for a new electronic warfare system known by the acronym SEWIP were given to Lockheed Martin’s plant in suburban Syracuse in 2013 and 2014. Last summers award was worth $147 million.

But the Navy decided to the award the third, and largest, part of the contract to competitor Northrup Grumman. The Navy says the contract is worth skywards of $300 million with all the options.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Winners of New York state’s casino competition celebrated Thursday. A statewide gaming board this week recommended gaming licenses for three developers across upstate New York, including the proposal from the Rochester-based Wilmorite Corporation to build the Lago Casino and Resort in rural Seneca County.  

While weather kept Gov. Andrew Cuomo from taking part in the Finger Lakes portion of a statewide casino victory lap, unions were out in full force in Seneca County. The potential for jobs for 55 out-of-work electricians has union rep Michael Davis happy.

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.

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.

Gino Geruntino

Fort Drum near Watertown is one of a handful of sites being considered as an East Coast missile defense site. A meeting was held Tuesday at Carthage High School to gauge the community's interest on the potential project.

Lt. Col. Chris Snipes, with the Missile Defense Agency, says the study being performed right now looks at a variety of factors when it comes to where the prospective site might go.

SUNY Oswego/Facebook

Eight months after submitting its first draft proposal for the Start-Up NY Program, SUNY Oswego can finally start approving prospective businesses that would like to create jobs on its campus.

Pam Caraccioli, with SUNY Oswego, says the college is targeting technology-based companies, including those working in robotics, computers and high-tech manufacturing.

“That’s been our goal from the beginning,” Caraccioli said. “To really, really try to tie into the industry sectors that are also being targeted by the economic development leaders in our entire region.”

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.

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. 

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.

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.

$1.2 billion offer for Remington Arms on the table

Mar 13, 2014
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.

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.

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.

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.

New York in the World

Feb 13, 2014

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.