The Upstate Economy

9:27am

Wed April 4, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Light bulb maker taps state backing for new prototype

Joe Casper and his company, Ephesus Technologies, used resources at the Syracuse, Albany and Canandaigua Centers of Excellence to produce new LED lights built on diamonds.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A small Syracuse lighting startup was at it again Tuesday morning.

For the second time in a month, Ephesus Technologies was able to draw a big crowd for the unveiling of a LED lighting prototype. In March the company put on display a LED lighting system for use in stadiums.

But Tuesday’s event had a few more suits-and-ties as several state and local politicians and economic development officials were present.

“[Ephesus] I think has earned the distinction of tapping more assets across the state than any company I know of,” said Ed Bogucz, executive director of the Syracuse Center of Excellence, as he introduced the company.

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1:00pm

Mon April 2, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Young entrepreneurs pitch projects, for money and advice

Neil Lewis and his partner won $2,000 to develop their idea for a better camera mount for outdoor sports equipment.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Brian Page and Benjamin Onyejuruwa stood in front of the panel of judges with their hands full of groceries in an attempt to show how much easier their invention - an electronic ID and key programmed into a bracelet - could be.

The duo are roommates and freshman at Clarkson University. They made the trip down to Syracuse University on Friday to pitch QuickWhrist for a chance to win seed money from the university's Emerging Talk program.

Even as a freshman, Onyejuruwa already holds a patent for the technology.

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9:44am

Mon March 12, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Ephesus pioneers stadium LED lights for Syracuse racetrack

Ephesus president Joe Casper explains the technology behind his company's new stadium LED lighting.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

With the slide of a dimmer switch, Syracuse-based Ephesus is hoping to turn stadiums on to the next big thing in lighting.

Friday morning, Ephesus president Joe Casper used high-tech LED lights to show off the shine on two antique cars at the state fairgrounds. 

“We are looking at the most advanced technology and that’s the thing that we’re so excited about with this,” he says.

Amount of time Casper and his team of engineers needed to design the lights?

Just eight weeks.

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8:42am

Thu March 8, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Welch Allyn gets tax break for energy upgrades

Global medical device maker Welch Allyn was granted the first tax break for energy upgrades to part of its Skaneateles headquarters.
Connectologist via Flickr

After three years of waiting, the first-ever "energy efficient" tax break has finally been awarded by the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA).

And the winner is ... Welch Allyn, a global supplier of medical equipment to hospitals and doctor's offices.

Welch Allyn sunk $5 million into putting a LEED Gold certified addition on its research and development building at its Skaneateles headquarters.

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3:59pm

Tue March 6, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Auditor "comforted" by OCIDA fiscal health

An independent auditor who looked over the books of Onondaga’s County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) presented his findings to the OCIDA board Tuesday.

OCIDA board members liked what they heard. 

“I was very pleased,” says OCIDA Executive Director Mary Beth Primo. “It’s reassuring to know my board and the auditors realize the staff is doing a very good job.”

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10:58am

Tue March 6, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Gillibrand rallies against "unfair" Chinese trade practices

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand stopped by a United Auto Workers union hall in Syracuse Monday to trumpet support for new tariffs.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Standing in a Syracuse union hall that will close later this year, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced support Monday for a bill that would allow the U.S. government to slap tariffs on foreign-made auto parts.

United Auto Workers Local 624 and 2149 once supported about 4,000 workers at nearby New Process Gear. The factory, which makes parts for SUVs, is also slated to shut down later this year.

Union leaders say Gillibrand's efforts may be too late for New Process Gear, but they could help other plants in upstate New York.

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6:05am

Tue February 21, 2012
The Upstate Economy

CNY car dealers optimistic going into spring selling season

The month of March is around the corner, and in the minds of auto dealers, it not only brings warmer temperatures, but also customers back to their lots.

And after a few years of hard times and sluggish sales, they’re more optimistic going into their busy selling season.

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12:05pm

Fri February 17, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Tom Devine on The Campbell Conversations

There is nothing more powerful than the truth.  That’s the faith that has sustained Tom Devine’s three-decade campaign to promote and protect whistleblowers in the corporate and governmental realms.

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6:51pm

Wed February 15, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Walkability, new apartments draw residents to downtown Syracuse

For 29-year-old Garrett Peterson, the "nicest apartments in Syracuse" and proximity to his friends prompted him to live downtown.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The move to downtown Syracuse was three years in the making for Nicole Samolis. That’s how long it took her to convince her husband to forgo their home in the suburbs.

The couple lives in the newly renovated Dey’s Plaza. The building was once a large department store, and then failed as an office building.

But since it was converted to apartments a few years ago, there’s been a waiting list to get in. Samolis was sold on the place by its view of Syracuse landmarks like the county courthouse.

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6:23pm

Tue February 14, 2012
The Upstate Economy

New York struggling to boost construction job numbers

Rich Anderson has struggled to keep employment up at his family owned construction business, Vector. He's had to take contracts as far away as Albany.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Ken Simonson is on a road trip to lobby for an increase in government investment in infrastructure projects.

Tuesday morning he stood in front of equipment at Milton Caterpillar in Syracuse and said “It’s great to see all this magnificent construction equipment, but it would be even better to see it in action.”

Simonson is the chief economists for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), a trade group. He highlighted Syracuse as one of four metro areas that have struggled more than most to regain jobs in constructions.

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3:32pm

Tue February 14, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Why you love Upstate NY

vaula / via Flickr

We asked our friends on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere what they love about upstate New York, for a special upstate Valentine.  

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11:48am

Tue February 14, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Downtown Syracuse goes from retail to residential

VIP Structures will begin work this spring to convert the Wilson Building in downtown Syracuse into residential space. It's part of a growing trend of former commercial buildings being turned residential.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

For property developers Rich DeVito and Bob Doucette of Paramount Realty, the motivation for taking on large scale renovations of downtown Syracuse’s previously empty buildings was this:

“We wanted to make money,” says DeVito flatly, though Doucette chuckles at the simplicity of the answer. “It’s where the market is,” DeVito goes on to say.

And make money they did.

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4:45pm

Wed February 1, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Developer unveils big plans for Syracuse's Inner Harbor

While the industrial remnants have been removed, much of Syracuse's Inner Harbor remains unused. The city plans to go with a large redevelopment plan.
Dougtone via Flickr

New York’s Canal Corporation was 0 for 3 in its efforts to find someone interested in redeveloping Syracuse’s Inner Harbor.

Their last request for proposals, a few years back, garnered zero submissions.

But now, the City of Syracuse is in charge, after stepping up and asking to be put in charge of the project. And today the city made public its ambitious new plan to redevelop the harbor.

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4:36pm

Thu January 26, 2012
The Upstate Economy

IT company will keep offices in Syracuse thanks to tax break

An IT company will keep its local offices in Syracuse and create more jobs thanks to a state tax break.

The Empire State Development Corporation is giving ShoreGroup $3 million in tax credits over the next 5 years to expand its footprint and job force in Syracuse.

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5:36pm

Mon January 23, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Schumer continues push for Syracuse-area chipmaker

Sen. Charles Schumer holds up a bag of Syracuse-made Terrell's Potato Chips, and a prototype of a nano chip made by APIC, to illustrate the difference between the "chips."
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer is continuing his efforts to land a chip fabrication plant in central New York. Monday he visited a potential site, just north of Syracuse, with the CEO of chipmaker APIC.

A chip fabrication plant at Electronics Park in Salina isn’t a done deal, but Sen. Schumer said it’s just a matter of all the pieces coming together at a press conference Monday. The biggest hurdle is APIC first signing a contract with the US Navy.

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2:06pm

Fri January 20, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Rochester after Kodak

With Kodak embarking on a restructuring effort under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the future of the imaging icon remains unclear.

But one aspect of Kodak's legacy is already deeply imprinted onto the Rochester community.

Even as Rochester's most famous company struggled mightily to reinvent itself, the Rochester region steadily fought back - leading the state in job growth in recent years and outpacing its upstate peers in economic vitality.

One key reason: A long history of top-notch human capital flung into the community - willingly or not - as Kodak's fortunes withered.

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9:16am

Mon January 16, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse landing a chip fab hinges on Defense contract

Sen. Charles Schumer is using some political muscle to try and land central New York a high-tech chip maker. But the deal is contingent on the company first getting a contract from a spending-conscious Defense Department.

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7:11am

Mon January 16, 2012
The Upstate Economy

New York hopes to quadruple solar power usage

Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing that New York State quadruple the amount of solar energy it uses for power in the next year.  

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7:55am

Mon December 26, 2011
The Upstate Economy

Small business center hopes to help struggling community

A new small business incubator is now open for business in the city of Fulton. Officials say entrepreneurship is the key to job creation in a community that’s lost thousands of good-paying jobs.

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7:54am

Wed December 14, 2011
The Upstate Economy

Making the business case for "doing good"

Liz Brenna, founder of Socially Good Business. Brenna helps existing companies bolster their image by undertaking "corporate social responsibility" initiatives.
Zack Seward/WXXI

From toilet paper to soda pop, more and more companies are testing whether "doing good" can be good for the bottom line.

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7:44am

Fri November 25, 2011
The Upstate Economy

Holiday shoppers encouraged to buy local

Keeping your holiday shopping dollars local can also boost the economy of Central New York.  That's one reason Syracuse First founder Chris Fowler is encouraging shoppers to consider buying local as they head out to stores this holiday season.  

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11:19am

Mon November 21, 2011
The Upstate Economy

Expansion coming at Central New York brewery

The Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Baldwinsville will begin packaging products in 24-ounce cans starting next spring.  A$7.6 million investment in the brewery is also going to allow the plant to increase its production by 30% as well.  All this secures the long term future of the brewery in Central New York according to general manager Steve McCormick.   He says this recent expansion, that was precipitated by a $900,000  capital grant from New York State,  also means more announcements will be coming next year.

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9:47am

Wed November 16, 2011
The Upstate Economy

Sen. Gillibrand pushing "Upstate Works Act" in Senate

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced Tuesday that a package of measures to create jobs in upstate New York is now in the Senate Finance Committee.  The legislation would do five things: spur clean energy businesses, help farmers diversify their products, retrain workers for specific local manufacturer needs, invest in infrastructure and expand rural broadband access.

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8:44am

Mon November 14, 2011
The Upstate Economy

Destiny USA addition tease

You won't see many fully functioning stores as you walk into the addition from an entrance next to the Disney store. ..but you will get a taste of what destiny u-s-a is going to look like.  And the broad boulevard look underneath exposed steel beams doesn't appeal to everyone.

"it reminds my of New York City,  going through the bus station.  Port Authority,  that's what it reminds me of.  Said Sophie Lafontaine of Syracuse.

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1:11pm

Fri November 11, 2011
The Upstate Economy

David Aitken on The Campbell Conversations

David Aitken

The expansion of Syracuse’s Carousel Center Mall—the first stage of the grander and still-planned project called Destiny USA—seems to be getting some traction of late.  Parts of the expansion will be open later this month.  David Aitken, a Destiny executive and spokesperson, discusses the expansion and the future plans for the project, and reflects on why the Destiny project has been such a political and economic lightning rod for the region’s residents and the media.  He also discusses the exterior appearance of the expansion and the possible tensions—and synergy—between this project and t

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