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Western New York, September 2016

Expansions and Openings 

New This Month 

Empire Specialty Cheese, an Italian specialty cheese producer in Ashville, has been acquired by Nuova Castelli Group.   As part of the deal, Nuova Castelli has pledged to invest several million in new upgrades for the plant and will secure 80 full-time jobs and secure futures for more than 90 area milk producers that supply the Chautauqua County plant.  The cheese plant is one of the largest employers in Ashville.  


Geico Corp. will receive $4 million in state Excelsior Jobs tax credits and save $474,800 in sales taxes through the Amherst IDA as part of its $11 million renovation.  The company is renovating and equipping an 86,000-square-foot building that will add 600 jobs.  Geico has committed to hiring 278 new employees within two years, another 322 within six years and retain 2,705 full-time equivalent jobs to keep the benefits. Currently the company employs 2,700 people in Amherst-exceeding the original target of 2,500 that it promised when the company first came to the area in 2004. 

The Amherst IDA approved tax breaks for Amherst Alarms $3 million project to purchase, renovate and equip a new facility on Wehrle Drive.  The new facility will more than double its current space and will retain 65 jobs and add six more. 

Food manufacturer The Original Crunch Roll in Westfield (Chautauqua County) will reeive 150 kilowatts of low-cost hydropower from the New York Power Authority for a $3 million expansion project.  The maker of spicy fried chicken rolls plans to create 24 jobs this year and add another 24 by the end of next year. 

Layoffs and Closings

New This Month

  Page Ventures, the Western New York region’s major Dunkin’ Donuts franchise operators has closed half of its local operations.  The closed Dunkin Donuts sites are:
  • 2255 Colvin Blvd., Town of Tonawanda
  • 3155 Delaware Ave., Town of Tonawanda
  • 6405 Dysinger Road, Lockport
  • 598 Main St., Buffalo
  • 9430 Main St., Clarence
  • Route 5 and 20, Irving
  • 1280 Sweet Home Road, Amherst
  • 727 Maple Road, Amherst
  • 2155 Sweet Home Road, Amherst
  • 4395 Union Road, Cheektowaga
  • 5090 Genesee St., Cheektowaga
  • 4909 South Park Ave., Hamburg
  • 5760 Transit Road, Depew

The decision to close 13 of the 26 locations Page Ventures operates in Erie and Niagara counties was made by the franchisee and not Dunkin Donuts.  


PHH Mortgage Corp., a subsidiary of New Jersey-based PHH Corp., will lay off 91 of its 294 employees by the end of the year at its Amherst (Erie County) location.  The mortgage processing and servicing company is losing the servicing rights to more than 100,000 mortgages.  The company does not intend to keep its remaining operations at the Wehrle Drive site and will evaluate its “long-term need to maintain a presence in Williamsville.” The company expects to have more detail about the companies’ future by the end of the year.  


The Kmart store on Walden Ave. in Cheektowaga (Erie County) is among a group of 64 stores nationwide that will be closed.  The store will begin clearing out its inventory in a liquidation sale that will begin this week and will close by mid-December. Eligible associates will receive severance pay and the opportunity to apply at Sears and Kmart locations in the area.There are only 3 remaining Kmart locations in the region; one on Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo, in West Seneca and in Niagara Falls. 

Labor Disputes

New This Month

Members of the Communications Workers of America Local 1133 at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo (Erie County) ratified a new four-year contract with Catholic Health System.  The contract, which includes wage increases, increased staff and improved labor relations will cover more than 2,200 registered nurses, service, technical and clerical workers.    

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