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Western New York, April 2007

Business Expansions

New this Month

Southern Capital Associates, a full-service collection agency, has opened in Lockport (Niagara County). The company has hired 30 people since mid-February and plans to have a payroll of about 75 to 80 by the end of the year.

West Herr Auto Group, the region’s largest automotive retailer, is opening its first Niagara County dealership and first Honda franchise. West Herr Honda will employ 30-40 people and will be open in late September 2007.

Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo (Erie County) announced plans Wednesday, April 4th, for a $91.7 million center for heart procedures, challenging a state order for the hospital to merge with Kaleida Health. The plan to construct the new facility on the Grider Street campus requires state approval at a time when the state has put in place a freeze on non-essential ECMC and Kaleida Health projects as merger negotiations continue. The Berger Commission made a Kaleida-ECMC reorganization a key recommendation that became law at the end of 2006.

Benderson Development plans to expand a distribution center in Cheektowaga (Erie County) with help from $1.2 million in incentives approved by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. The expansion project, estimated at $6.5 million, is projected to create at least 50 jobs if tenants in the distribution business fill the space, but the total could go as high as 150 if a manufacturer uses the space.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Bush Industries will close its plant in Little Valley, (Cattaraugus County) completing a year-long process of consolidating its manufacturing operations after declaring bankruptcy nearly three years ago. The Little Valley facility, a satellite plant for the Jamestown-based company, manufactures specialty parts for Bush Industries ready to assemble furniture. Half of the plant’s 100 employees will be offered the opportunity to transfer to Jamestown. The impending closure process is expected to take six months.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo will be closing its centers Northtowns site in Getzville. (Erie County) About 125 employees, including about 25 full-time positions, will lose their jobs.

First Niagara Financial Group announced plans to cut costs by slashing more than 100 jobs and closing some branches. The Lockport (Niagara County) based company is cutting staff and restructuring its operations to reduce expenses as it struggles to boost revenues. Statewide the bank employs about 1,900.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Steelworkers at Luvata Buffalo Inc. have approved a new three-year contract, avoiding an anticipated strike. The previous three-year contract expired on March 31st. United Steelworkers of America Local 593 represents about 500 workers at the copper and brass plant in Buffalo (Erie County).

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