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Western New York, October 2013

Business Expansions

New this Month

Trader Joe’s, a California-based grocery store, opened its first Western New York store I Amherst (Erie County) on Friday, October 11th.

Ground was broken on UB’s new $375 million medical school on October 15th. The project conincides with other developments in the Medical Campus’ five-block area, including Kaleida Health’s Gates Vascular Institute and UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center. When finished, the eight-story medical school will be a key component of a long-term vision to bring hospitals, research and doctor training facilities to one downtown location. The school is scheduled to open in 2016.

The owners of Shango, a University District Restaurant, are close to signing a deal with Isaklo Development to take over a vacant storefront in Downtown Buffalo (Erie County). The deal, which is expected to be completed this week, will bring a new seafood-themed restaurant that would open sometime this winter. The deal is the latest in a series of restaurants that have either been announced or opened their doors in recent months in the downtown area.

Fidelis Care New York plans to nearly double the size of its current office in Amherst (Erie County), bringing an estimated 385 new jobs to the health insurer’s facility. The company has been one of the fastest growing businesses in Amherst in recent years. In 2010, the company had roughly 430 employees. The hiring of 215 over the last three years led to the $15.3 million construction of its current office. The latest expansion will help the company accommodate additional growth and make its operations more efficient by allowing the insurer to consolidate its functions into one location.

Empire Specialty Cheese Co. , based in Conewango Valley, will renovate the former AFA meat processing plant in Ashville (Chautauqua County ) with a $6.37 million expansion. The development will allow the company to go from 45 employees to more than 200. The business will move next year when the work is slated to be completed.



Business Contractions

New this Month

Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving (Chautauqua County), an affiliate of Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York, will close Jan. 31, 2014 leaving 460 employees without jobs and eliminating one of Chautauqua County’s largest employers, hospital officials announced today. The health care center has struggled financially since its formation in 2008 through the merger of Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk and the TLC Health Network. The TLC Network operated Lake Shore and the Gowanda Urgent Care & Medical Center. Declining patient volumes and reimbursements have caused serious financial challenges for the Lake Erie Regional Health System, The health care center alone was expected to lose $7 million this year, following significant losses in the past few years.

Norse Energy Corp. has let go of the remaining eight employees at its Blasdell facility. Norse, which filed for bankruptcy in 2012, was planning to grow and hire 40 scientists, Ph.D’s and lawyers in 2008 to grow their business, investing money to develop the Marcellus Shale formation in New York. The company had decided to plan its future on land leases and get rich in New York, but because New York doesn’t allow the shale to be drilled, the company went bankrupt.

NCO Financial, a global debt collection company, will close its doors in Getzville (Erie County) beginning October 29th. A total of 104 jobs will be lost The company will continue to employ 278 workers at its CrossPoint Parkway facility office once the layoffs are completed on January 27, 2014.


Labor Disputes

New this Month

Members of the Teamsters Local Union 118 have voted to reject a contract offer from Wegman's that would change their healthcare coverage and move them out of the union’s retirement plans and into a company plan. The union, which represents more than 900 warehouse workers, drivers and other skilled trades, went back in for negotiations and have reached a tentative agreement. Members of the bargaining unit voted again on October 30 and rejected that contract as well. Wegman’s, headquartered in Rochester, operates 10 supermarkets in Erie and Niagara Counties. (October 30, 2013- The Buffalo News)


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