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Western New York, September 2017

EXPANSIONS AND OPENINGS

New this month

Amazon is looking to build a new $5 billion headquarters, HQ2, and The Buffalo Niagara region is already requesting proposals from their counties economic development agencies to be submitted to Amazon to be in the running. Amazon has a list of demands for its second headquarters which the Buffalo-Niagara region can easily meet:

  • Must be 45 minutes from an international airport
  • Direct access to mass transit
  • 30 miles to a significant population center
  • an existing building of up to 500,000 square feet or about 100 acres of “Greenfield space”
  • Incentives by the state/province and local communities to offset costs

Another advantage for Niagara County is that it is home a Foreign Trade Zone, a legally defined piece of land that was authorized in the 1970s and is adjacent to the Niagara Falls International Airport. The Buffalo-Niagara metro region is home to 1.1 million people and the proximity to the Boston-New York-Washington corridor , which is just over 300 miles away, is a little over 200 miles to Cleveland and around 240 miles to Pittsburgh, where Amazon has a massive distribution center.

But, Amazon has one other high priority; which is locating in a state with a “stable and business friendly environment and tax structure” which puts New York at a disadvantage, as the state has a reputation for high property and payroll taxes and stiff regulations. Despite this, Amazon is beginning to develop a significant footprint in New York already with the new sortation center being built in Lancaster and the new distribution center on Staten Island that was recently announced. If Amazon decided to build its second headquarters in the area, it would bring 50,000 new well paying jobs. (September 7-The Buffalo News/WIVB.com)

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday September 8th that TimberFish Technologies will open a fish production facility at the Five & 20 Spirits Brewing location in Westfield (Chautauqua County). Wastewater from the distillery will be pumped into a tank to clean it and that water will then be used in growth tanks. The facility will be able to produce 20,000 pounds of fish each year that will be sold at local markets. 200-300 jobs are expected to be created at the facility. (September 8, 2017 –WIVB.com)

City of Buffalo leaders and owner Joe Dash broke ground on the new Dash’s supermarket on Hertel Ave. The 47,500-square-foot two story store will replace the existing store on Hertel. Demolition will begin at the site this month and the new store will open in October 2018. Employment at the new location will grow from 75 employees to 175. (September 8, 2017-WIVB.com)

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency approved a 12-year tax incentive package for a $20 million indoor waterpark that will be built in Niagara Falls (Niagara County). NFNY Hotel Management will construct the Niagara Daredevil Waterpark as an addition to the Sheraton at the Falls Hotel on a vacant lot owned by the City of Niagara Falls. Temporary construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs will be created as part of the project. (September 13, 2017-The buffalo news)

Buffalo manufacturer Graphic Controls announced that it will move 43 jobs from Vermont to Buffalo (Erie County) as it shifts its operations of a medical device maker that it acquired in 2015. The state will provide $500,000 in Excelsior tax credits to the company when it fulfills its promise to create the new jobs. (September 15, 2017-The Buffalo News)

Electric car maker Tesla has erected its sign on the South Park Avenue solar factory in Buffalo (Erie County) as it starts looking for production workers that will eventually make solar roof shingles. Panasonic, which is Tesla’a production partner, is currently making the solar products in the facility. Tesla has posted online listings for production associates at the Buffalo plant and held a job fair last week. Currently, there are listing for 26 positions at Tesla and 19 at Panasonic. (September 17, 2017-The Buffalo News)

“ The Purge” thriller series has begun filming its latest movie in Buffalo. The film, tentatively called The Purge: Island, will have cast and crew in the area through November shooting the movie. The movie is the fourth installment in the franchise and will employ several hundred people including cast, crew, extras and vendors. To date, this will be one of the largest movies ever filmed in the area. (September 25, 2017-WIVB.com)


LAYOFFS AND CLOSINGS

New this month

Stauffer Biscuit Co. Inc. in Cuba (Allegany County) announced on September 11th that it will close its plant by the end of the year. The animal cracker manufacturer will consolidate its production into its other facilities located in Pennsylvania and California. Employees at the plant are being given the opportunity to transfer to one of the other sites. (September 11, 2017-WIVB.com)

Big box toy retailer Toys ‘R’ Us has filed for bankruptcy protection ahead of the holiday shopping season. The New Jersey-based company is seeking relief from $5 billion of debt and is hoping to restructure its debts to set the stage for long-term growth. The store’s approximately 1,600 stores and nearly 65,000 employees around the world will remain open and continue to operate as usual for now. (September 19, 2017-WIVB.com)

Connecticut-based Greenwich Associates plans to close its Cheektowaga (Erie County) location by mid-November according to a filing with the Department of Labor. The provider of market intelligence and advisory services to the financial industry has been located in the AppleTree business Park for seven years. 149 workers will be laid off on October 28th with the closing completed on November 11. (September 20-The buffalo news)

Germany-based MD Electronics is planning to close its plant in Jamestown (Chautauqua County) by the end of the year. The cuts, which will eliminate 87 jobs, will begin in late December and be completed within two weeks. The company, which makes cables for the automotive industry will shift its work to Mexico. (September 28-The Buffalo News)


LABOR DISPUTES

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