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Western New York, June 2015

Business Expansions

New this Month

Six new companies have been accepted into the Start-Up NY tax breaks program through the University at Buffalo. The companies, which will invest a total of $325,000 and created almost 50 new jobs include:

• Rapt-It, a new graphics design company that provides customers with a unique way to customize, personalize and decorate their home doors in seconds. The company will be located in the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Company officials have pledged to create 12 new jobs and invest $60,000.

• Ignition Life Solutions, a new company whose goal is to provide innovative data population management services in the health-care industry, will locate in the UB Gateway Building, with an investment of $180,000 and 11 new jobs to be created.

• GlucoGuide U.S., a Canadian company expanding into New York state offering a user interface for smartphones which facilitates interactive communication with the company’s team of data analysts, will locate in the Innovate Center, create five new jobs and invest $15,000.

• ForaHealthyMe, a Canadian company expanding into New York state, offers a web and mobile platform for individuals and caregivers to help with the treatment and management of high-impact chronic conditions. The company will locate in the Gateway Building, projects to create five new jobs and invest $5,000.

• For-Robin, an existing biotechnology company targeting treatments of breast, colon, prostate, bladder and other cancers, will locate to UB’s Sherman Hall, create two new jobs and invest $5,000.

Almost 50 new businesses in the Buffalo region have been approved for Start-Up NY since the program was enacted in July 2014.

Alternative Medicine Associates is working on a $25 million development project that would see the dormant Tyson plant in Buffalo (Erie County) converted into a medical marijuana production facility. The deal hinges on whether the company is awarded one of the five licenses by the State Department of Health under its new medical marijuana program. Alternative Medicine’s plan calls for opening four dispensaries across the state, with all of them west of Syracuse to take advantage of proximity to the manufacturing site. Announcement from the DOH is expected by mid-summer. If approved, the company plans to hire 65 full-time workers and be distributing by January 2016.

M&T Bank is expanding its technology division in Downtown Buffalo (Erie County), hiring 100 new employees by the end of the year. The positions, mostly development-type jobs, are being added as part of M&T’s ongoing enhancement of its technology capabilities.

John W.Danforth Co. plans to build an operations hub and prepare more than 20 acres of land for other businesses across from the SolarCity factory. The company is paying $1 million to buy 26.6 acres from the Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corp. The deal is the first major transaction in the area around the SolarCity factory that is expected to employ 1,460 workers, with an almost equal amount working at companies that will supply and service the factory. The more than 20 acres of land that the John W. Danforth Co. will prepare could be a prime location for potential suppliers. The Danforth project is expected to also create 50 new jobs at the new operations hub and will include the capabilities for pipe and sheet metal fabrication, along with warehouse and office space.

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus leaders have projected that by 2020, jobs at the campus will likely hit 20,000. By 2017, the $270 million John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and the $375 million University at Buffalo School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences are slated to open on the campus, bringing thousands of jobs from other parts of the city. Jobs and the total square footage of development have risen steadily, growing from 7,000 employees in 2002 with $220 million in new investments on the campus to 12,000 jobs and $750 million in investments in 2013. By 2017, projections call for 17,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in total new investments.

Liazon Corp, a private benefits exchange provider, is expected to hire 50 new employees for its new offices in downtown Buffalo (Erie County). The company, which was accepted into the Start-Up NY tax breaks program, has pledged to create nearly 500 new jobs in total.

Dave’s Christmas Central will open its third retail outlet in a vacant, former Kmart store on Transit Road in Lancaster (Erie County). The store will feature seasonal items including holiday decorations and outdoor patio furniture. The store, which is expected to open this fall, will hire at least 30 new employees.

Business Contractions

New this Month

The FedEx Ground Transport in Hamburg, which is receiving $8 million in tax breaks for its $54 million plant in Hamburg, will not create the 400 or more jobs that elected officials have claimed. The shipping giant has projected only about 32, ½ new jobs will be created by 2020. Outside contractors which are used by the company may employ roughly another 175. After the completion of the project, according to the FedEx application for tax incentives, the company projected it will have 121 full-time equivalent positions—88 ½ of which will come from the Cheektowaga facility and includes 43 full-time and 156 part-time in Hamburg.

EarthLink Inc., an Atlanta-based tech company in Amherst (Erie County), has filed a WARN notice with the Department of Labor indicating that it will cut 65 jobs at its local facility beginning in late September.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Nothing to report.

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