The Upstate Economy

8:19am

Thu January 16, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Cuomo's tax relief proposal gains support in central New York

CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson; MACNY president Randy Wolken; Dewitt Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko; Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon; and taxpayer Robert Delorenzo, of Clay, discuss Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax relief proposal.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Central New York business leaders are very supportive about the latest tax reform plan coming out of Albany, and are lobbying for implementation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $2 billion tax relief proposal.

For CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson, January is usually a time he and other business leaders start playing defense; fending off budget proposals from Albany that include higher taxes and fees, and more government spending. But with the governor’s tax proposal on the table, it’s time to play offense.

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6:07pm

Tue January 14, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Buyout could mean growth for Watertown employer Stream

Convergys is buying out Stream Global Services in an $820 million deal.

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.

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8:38am

Sat January 11, 2014
Startups

Startup Labs starts second year with more physical products

Nasir Ali, left, and Clint Nelson discuss the startup scene in Syracuse at the launch of Startup Labs.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A product that could be straight out of a science fiction movie is one of the projects going through the Startup Labs business competition in Syracuse this winter.

The guys behind Crowsnest Labs, Mike Kruk and Ian Wilson from Rochester, are working to develop technology that will allow them to put tiny cameras inside, say, an ad in a subway station. Those cameras would analyze who stops to look at an ad and how interested they seem.

Remember that scene from the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report?

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5:14am

Wed January 8, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Block by Block: Revitalizing Oswego's Neighborhoods

A home on West Fifth Street in Oswego, NY.
Credit Leah Landry / WRVO

Describes an initiative by residents of the city of Oswego, in central New York State, intended to revitalize neighborhoods, raise housing values, reconstitute a tax base adequate to fund city services and build community pride, block by block.

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8:15am

Tue December 24, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Hanna urges OSHA to consider delaying surprise dairy farm inspections

File photo
Matt Richmond WSKG

Rep. Richard Hanna is urging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to delay its new random inspection program for dairy farms. He and six other upstate members of Congress, including Dan Maffei, Bill Owens and Tom Reed, signed a letter to the assistant secretary of labor for OSHA asking for consideration.

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10:28pm

Thu December 12, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Drum numbers likely dropping – but no cause for alarm

The 10th Mountain Division's Headquarters in the field during the division-wide Mountain Peak training exercise at Fort Drum, August, 2012.
Credit Joanna Richards

The Watertown area’s economy is heavily dependent on Fort Drum. With the federal budget sequester on and the Afghanistan war winding down, the numbers of soldiers assigned to the post and civilians working there is likely to decrease. But the outlook is more complicated than just doom and gloom.

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8:13am

Thu December 12, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Several regions win big at Regional Economic Development Council awards

Each region was given a portion of $715 million in state money for economic development.
acchamber.org

There were several big winners amongst the state’s Regional Empire Development Council, as five walked away with more than $80 million each, during the third annual set of awards announced Wednesday.     

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5:18pm

Wed December 11, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Central New York given $66.9 million in regional council awards

The former NYNEX building on East Washington St. in Syracuse was given $2.8 million for a conversion to mixed-use space, including apartments.
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.

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4:04pm

Wed December 11, 2013
The Upstate Economy

SUNY Oswego making plans to START-UP NY

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.

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6:34am

Wed December 11, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse land bank sells its first properties

This house at 257 South Collingwood Ave. in Syracuse is the first the city's new land bank sold.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

With a wish of “good luck” to the new owners, the board of the Greater Syracuse Land Bank sold its first house Tuesday. The buyers of the vacant home on the 200 block of South Collingwood Ave. are Shaqir and Zahidi Halimi.

The Eastwood neighborhood home was delinquent on property taxes and seized by the land bank, one of the 88 it's taken control of so far. There are more than 3,000 vacant and delinquent properties in the city.

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3:15pm

Tue December 10, 2013
The Upstate Economy

State subsidy system lacks transparency at regional level

Snapshot of IDA performance in central New York.
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).

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8:52am

Fri November 22, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Unique challenges for refugees becoming entrepreneurs

Martin Butts, left, goes over Ethiopian-born Fesseha Kahsay's business plan as part of the UP Start business incubator.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

7:35am

Wed November 20, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Refugees stepping into gap in health care services

Sarah Miner talks to Abdalla about his medicines.
Kate O'Connell Innovation Trail

The Innovation Trail is looking at how refugees have weaved their way into upstate New York's changing economy.

On a recent fall day, community health nurse Sarah Miner is welcomed warmly into the home of Somali refugee Abdalla. Miner works with HCR Home Care in Rochester and she’s been visiting Abdalla and his family for a while now.

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11:08pm

Tue November 19, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Work begins soon to bring Watertown landmark back to life

An old doorway tells the Woolworth building's history.
Joanna Richards

The state of Watertown's historic Woolworth building tells you a lot about the health of the city. And for years, the message hasn't been good. But the vacant eyesore is on track to re-emerge as evidence of the downtown's steady improvement.   

If you put a nose to the building's front window, you can see the story of decline. A big vault door surrounded by moldy clothing shows how a grand bank lobby gave way to a junk shop. And even that business is long gone. Water drips from the ceiling, pooling onto a mess of old merchandise on the floor.

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11:18am

Thu November 14, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse-area site safe from Lockheed Martin plant closures

Lockheed Martin via Flickr

The Lockheed Martin factory in suburban Syracuse was not on the list of factories the defense contractor announced Thursday it will close in efforts to reduce costs.

Workers in central New York could, though, be affected by the 3.5 percent workforce reduction the company also announced, which will equal about 4,000 jobs nationwide. The details of those layoffs will be finalized early next year, the company said in a release.

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7:36pm

Wed November 13, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Jefferson County entrepreneurs will have harder time finding startup funds

Business startup loans will be harder to come by in Jefferson County, as the Industrial Development Agency's micro-enterprise loan fund dries up.
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.

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6:00am

Wed November 13, 2013
The Upstate Economy

An “exciting time” in Clayton as hotel, other projects underway

The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel is slated to open in downtown Clayton in spring, 2014.
Credit Catherine Loper / WRVO

It's a busy time in the town of Clayton. New businesses, infrastructure and public amenities hold the promise of more tourism, a stronger economy, and a better quality of life for locals.

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5:21am

Fri November 8, 2013
The Upstate Economy

CenterState CEO rolls out new strategic business plan for region

Amy Liu of the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. The program helped CenterState CEO design a new business plan.
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.

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7:32am

Thu November 7, 2013
The Upstate Economy

145 workers let go at Lockheed Martin sites in upstate New York

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.

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11:32am

Thu October 31, 2013
The Upstate Economy

There was a 'secret plan' to close Lockheed Martin's Syracuse site

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.

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7:10am

Wed October 30, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Local food craze hits booze market, too

Sadie Wells helps a customer choose a beer at Skewed Brewing in Salmon Run Mall, Watertown.
Joanna Richards

The local food trend in the North Country is starting to fill a new niche: alcoholic beverages. And not only are brewers and winemakers crafting their products there, but they're also taking advantage of the rural region to double the local appeal, with homegrown ingredients. Several of these businesses just opened in Jefferson County.

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8:12am

Fri October 25, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Novelis commissions expansion at Oswego plant

Ford is only one of the companies Novelis does business with.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Novelis' aluminum plant in Oswego commissioned a new $200 million expansion, and created 100 jobs for Oswego County. The addition of two new production lines increased the company's North American capacity for producing aluminum sheet for cars by 240,000 tons.

Plant manager Chris Smith says the expansion features two new aluminum automotive sheet finishing lines, which will increase the company's ability to provide lighter material to address the automotive industry's need to improve gas mileage in the cars they produce.

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10:22am

Thu October 24, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Off the rolls: 27% of land in New York is tax exempt

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, left, talks with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

More than a quarter of all property in New York state is off the tax rolls, according to figures compiled by the state comptroller, who said it's a burden on local finances.

The 27 percent of un-taxed land in the state adds up to $680 billion in property value not being collected on, which is mostly concentrated in urban areas. The city with the most property off-limits is Rensselaer, with 65 percent.

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5:15pm

Fri October 18, 2013
The Upstate Economy

North Country communities awarded money for brownfields

Looking across Lyons Falls to the old Gould Paper Mill in Lyons Falls, NY.
Roy Saplin Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Three North Country communities were awarded grant money from New York state yesterday to address contaminated sites called brownfields.

The village of Lyons Falls in Lewis County received over half a million dollars to figure out a plan for 4 sites – including the old abandoned paper mill in the center of town.

Katie Liendecker is mayor of Lyons Falls. She says the mill is in pretty bad shape.

"Looking over at the paper mill you can see how some of the buildings have just collapsed. And thank goodness from our main street we’re not looking at that."

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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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4:40pm

Fri October 11, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Utica welcomes new hockey team, investments to city

The Utica Memorial Auditorium has undergone renovations to support the Comets.
Gino Geruntino/WRVO

The Mohawk Valley has had a hockey team for most of the last 90 years, but 1993 was the last time a professional hockey team took to the ice in Utica. Earlier this year, the city landed a new American Hockey League team, called the Utica Comets, and a chance to bring more than just hockey back to the city.

Frank DuRoss is co-owner of the new Utica Comets, a Vancouver Canucks affiliate. He says the new AHL team is one of many things giving the region a reason to cheer.

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4:29pm

Thu October 10, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Six companies will help make Utica 'second nanotech hub'

Officials view the chip packaging facility under construction at SUNY IT in Utica. It will now be expanded.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Utica finally looks ready to become New York state's second major hub of nanotechnology with the announcement of a six-company investment in the city on Thursday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on the campus of the State University of New York's Institute of Technology in Utica to announce a $1.5 billion investment. He predicted 1,000 new jobs would come to the computer chip facility under construction at the school.

"And the industry is just starting," Cuomo said.

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11:35am

Thu October 10, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Startup Labs returns to Syracuse with smaller competition

The team behind Rosie prepares to demo their startup during the first Startup Labs competition.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse chapter of a global startup competition will go into its second year with fewer teams.

Organizers say Startup Labs Syracuse will take three teams for 2014 instead of the five that went through the first round. The startup Participants get $20,000 in seed money and compete for a $200,000 grand prize.

Mitchell Patterson, who runs Startup Labs and other venture for the Tech Garden in Syracuse, says cutting the number of teams will allow the mentors to give the teams more attention.

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7:55am

Mon September 30, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Proposed legislation expected to boost apple production in NY state

Wendy Oakes-Wilson and Darrell Oakes operate LynOaken Farms.
Ashley Hirtzel/WBFO

Sen. Charles Schumer and a group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are pushing a bill that would lower the federal tax on hard apple cider. New York is the second largest apple grower in the nation, and the idea behind the bill is to give another source of income for small apple growers.

At LynOaken Farms in Medina, General Manager Darrell Oakes explains there are roughly 300 varieties of apples in the self-harvest section.

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