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Western New York, May 2005

Business Expansions

New this Month

UPDATE: Erie County’s parks will reopen for the summer and fall, and an auto bureau will reopen in downtown Buffalo on May 31. Lawmakers voted to restore both services, even though there is still a $60 million gap in the 2005 budget. Two parks have already opened, and nine more are being readied. To pay for the reopening of the motor vehicles office, there will be a “cover page fee” charged in the clerk’s office from $5 to $15. The extra money will be used to hire staff in the auto bureau and in the registrar division to help with its backlog.

Meyer’s RV Superstore will open its newest location May 31 in Hamburg (Erie County). The new store will be four times larger than its existing store, will have 75 full- time and part-time employees, and is expected to rise to more than 100 by July 1. A Camping World outlet is also scheduled to open on the site on June 13, with 25 employees.

Ground for a third Fucillo Auto Dealership on Grand Island (Erie County) is scheduled to be broken later this month. The new store is expected to open in late summer or early fall. The new Hyundai operation will initially have 40 employees, but the number is expected to grow to 60 within months of its opening.

Wal-Mart has opened its first supercenter in metro Buffalo (Erie County). The store in Clarence originally opened in 1996, is now 60 percent larger and employs 300 more people.

Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute new offices and laboratory officially opened on May 12 in downtown Buffalo (Erie County). The Structural Biology Center is the first of three new buildings in the Buffalo Life Sciences Complex. Two scientists have been hired to date with the plan to add 45 more scientists and staff over three years, and more than a dozen graduate students.

Greater Buffalo Savings Bank (Erie, Chautauqua & Niagara Counties) is on track this year to open nine branches and hire more than 100 new employees.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (Niagara County) and the Navy Recruiting District Headquarters (Erie County) were included in the Pentagon’s proposal to close bases around the country. The Navy recruiting headquarters in Buffalo employs 37 people. The station has more than 800 full-time military and civilian employees and hosts 3,000 citizen airmen who train at the base every month. Annual payroll is about $50 million, making it the second largest employer in Niagara County, and pours about $150 million into the local economy through jobs on base, ongoing construction projects and the impact in local restaurants and stores.

American Locker Group a Jamestown (Chautauqua County) based manufacturer, is closing its Southern Tier facility by the end of the year. In February, the company suffered a big blow when it lost its U.S. Postal Service contract, which accounted for more than half of the company’s sales during each of the last four years.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Nothing to report.

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