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September 21, 2017 - 5:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Announcements, news, agriculture.

Press release:

WHAT: WNY Region -- Farmland Protection Forums for Community Leaders
WHEN: 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 6
WHERE: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, 420 E. Main St., Batavia

American Farmland Trust is hosting three farmland protection forums across New York in November.

Each forum will feature presentations from area experts about the resources available to protect farmland and strengthen farm viability in New York communities, as well as local issues identified by the Community Leaders Survey.

This is a great opportunity to network with other town and county leaders in your region.

Land-use training credits will be offered to local officials.

**Forums are free to attend, but space is limited!

Please RSVP at:
https://www.farmland.org/new-york-farmland-protection-forums

September 21, 2017 - 3:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, business, agriculture, GCC, drones.

Press release:

Are you fascinated with the exploding growth of drones and their applications across many fields, from emergency medical services to agriculture? Genesee Community College will take to the skies this fall with demonstrations and courses in flying drones or sUAS (small Unmanned Aerial Systems).

Whether you are new to drones, planning on starting a business utilizing drones, want to earn your FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Remote Pilot Certification, or just interested in the technology-GCC has a drone program for you!

GCC's BEST (Business and Employee Skills Training) Center will offer a series of noncredit programs starting with two Informational Sessions on drone opportunities. These events will give anyone interested in flying drones, starting a career and/or becoming an FAA-certified remote pilot, an ideal opportunity to talk to a professional drone pilot or with The BEST Center staff. If you are interested in flying drones as a hobby or a career, these open houses are a great start. Reservations are required by calling 585-345-6868.

  • Saturday, Oct. 7, 10 - 11 a.m. / Room T-119, Batavia Campus
  • Thursday, Oct. 12, 6 - 7 p.m. / Room T-119, Batavia Campus

"Introduction to Drones" is a three-day, 18-hour, intensive course covering all of the fundamentals of flying, piloting skills, safety, regulations and preparing one to take the FAA Remote Pilot Certification test. As part of their class materials, each participant will receive a small drone with camera and remote control. The course runs the following three Saturdays:

  • Saturdays: Oct. 28, Nov. 4 and 11, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. / Batavia Campus

Anyone using drones for business or other ventures is required to have a certification or operate under the supervision of a certified pilot. For those with flying experience, the one-day, "Remote Pilot Knowledge Test Prep" course is offered:

  • Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. / Batavia Campus to help prepare for the FAA certification test.

Lastly, in October, the 10-week "Introduction to Precision Agriculture" course explores the advanced technology of farming today and will include drone applications such as collecting data and other uses. The course is held with the option of attending the program at the Batavia Campus or online through WebEx.

September 20, 2017 - 4:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Love Beets, Dewey Farms, byron, batavia, business, news, agriculture.

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New York used to be the largest grower of beets in the nation, participants in today's Decision Makers Agricultural Tour, learned while visiting a processing facility in Byron.

Now we're number two behind Michigan, but most of the beets grown in the state that puts us in that position are grown in Genesee County.

As part of the tour, Mark Dewey, of Dewey Farms, talked about his company's processing facility and the beet industry.

The facility processes beets from 600 acres of farmland in the area, on five farms in Genesee County and two in Livingston County. There are no beets grown in New York outside of those counties.

This was the 28th annual ag tour sponsored by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

Most of the beets processed in Byron are handled for a U.K.-based company called Love Beets. 

Love Beets initially started selling beets in the United States by shipping them from Europe to a processing plant in New Jersey. When they learned about the Byron plant, which meets their mission-critical need for sorting by size, the company contracted with Dewey.

The plant processes beets year around. When the local growing season end here in the fall, beets are trucked in from the south through the winter. Dewey said they're working on getting more beets from Mexico for the spring and summer months.

Beets are pickled or canned or turned into juice. Some beets are organic. Others meet the dietary demands of Kosher.

Visitors were able to sample a variety of beet products, including a beet lemonade (really, it's good) that's sold at Tops.

The tour also included a stop by Oxbo International in Byron, where farm equipment is manufactured, and Vegetal, which grows sedum, a cactus-like plant that can be grown on roofs to help reduce energy costs (prior coverage).

NOTE: Oxbo asked that we not publish photos from inside the facility. First three photos are of Dewey Farms and below those is one of Christian Yunker, from CY Farms, which hosts Vegetal, at the Vegetal facility on Bank Street Road, Batavia.

UPDATE: Last photo is of John Easton, Oxbo employee, conducting a tour of the plant. Published with permission.

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September 19, 2017 - 3:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ellicott Station, Dellapenna Building, batavia, business, news, notify.

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A delay in securing financing through the New Market Tax Credit program for developer Savarino Companies has held up the state of the Ellicott Station project, which is the $18 million redevelopment of the former Della Penna property on Ellicott Street in Batavia.

Julie Pacatte, economic development coordinator for the Batavia Development Corp., said today that Savarino expects to close financing on the project in November.

The original target date was August. (For an explanation of financing for the project, click here.)

This week, survey crews are on site so preliminary engineering work can begin. The surveys will help with floodplain-related design work.

Once financing is done, environmental remediation work can begin. 

"Hopefully, we'll get some favorable days and favorable weather during the winter," Pacatte said. "There's also some work to do inside on Resurgence Brewery. By spring, we should be in full construction mode."

There will also be a workforce recruitment project beginning in the fall, in cooperation with PUSH Buffalo and the Genesee County Work Center aimed at finding jobs for hard-to-place workers.

Savarino, Pacatte​ said, is also inviting local contractors to bid on subcontracts. Bid specs will be available on the Savarino website once the purchase of the property is completed.

September 15, 2017 - 3:44pm

Press release:

The Chamber’s Annual Awards Committee has announced the 46th annual Award Ceremony -- for 2017 honorees -- will be held on Saturday, March 3, at The Quality Inn & Suites, Park Road, Batavia (formerly The Clarion Hotel). This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism.

Please note that a brief write-up will qualify your nominee for consideration. (Members of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors are NOT eligible for these awards.)

Nominations are now being accepted for:

  • Business of the Year -- The nominee must have demonstrated significant business stability, commitment to the business community, community service and leadership;
  • Entrepreneurial Business of the Year -- Leading the way in the development of business through opportunities created uniqueness of business ideas and initiation of the owner;
  • Agricultural Business of the Year -- Nominee must be considered an Agri-business and have demonstrated steady or increased growth in this industry;
  • Innovative Enterprise of the Year -- A business that is successfully generating and implementing new or novel ideas and methods;
  • Special Service Recognition -- Does not have to be a business. Can be an organization, club, government agency, educational institute or health care facility that is recognizing a major event or activity/activities. Must have had lasting benefit to the community at large for that organization;  
  • Geneseeans of the Year -- A person who has made an outstanding contribution to the community, contributed or volunteered beyond the call of duty; a true unsung Hero of today. Person must be a resident of Genesee County.

Business nominees must be a Chamber Member in good standing. (If unsure of your nominee, call the Chamber to verify.)

Nomination forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia, and can also be down loaded from the Chamber Website at www.geneseeny.com.

Nominations MUST BE RECEIVED BY Dec. 29 to be eligible for consideration.

If you would like more information, feel free to call Kelly J. Bermingham, director of Membership & Special Events, at the Chamber office, 343-7440, ext. 1026.

You can fill out a nomination form available at the chamber, located at 8276 Park Road, Batavia, of print out a nomination form from their website by clicking here.

September 15, 2017 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chapin Manufacturing, batavia, business.

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Chapin sponsored a golf tournament Aug. 10 and raised $15,000 for Crossroads House. Today, members of the Chapin team presented a check to Jeff Allen, director of Crossroads House.

Photo: Jeff Allen, Ann Blake, Peg Patterson-Case, Debbie Zawadzki, Norm Hubbard and Chris Rumfola.

September 15, 2017 - 1:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Announcements, agribusiness, beef, livestock.

Press release:

Empire Livestock Marketing with Cornell Cooperative Extension are hosting free Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training from 6 to p .m. on Friday, Oct. 13, at Empire Livestock Marketing, 357 Lake St., Pavilion.

Nancy Glazier, Small Farms/Livestock specialist with the NWNY Team will be leading the classroom portion of the training. Dr. Becky Silvanic, DVM with Perry Veterinary Clinic will be leading the chute side portion of the training.

By attending, a beef producer will become Level 1 certified. By having a signed Veterinarian Client/Patient Relationship (VCPR) form, a producer will be certified at Level 2.  He or she will have the opportunity to purchase a farm sign verifying the BQA certification.

Beef Quality Assurance is a national program that provides training to beef cattle producers in food safety, proper cattle handling techniques, handling of animal health products, injection sites, and record keeping. The goal of this program is to maximize consumer confidence and acceptance of beef by focusing the producer's attention to daily production practices that influence the safety, wholesomeness, and quality of beef and beef products.

Cost for the training is FREE, thanks to our BQA Month Sponsors. BQA manuals may be purchased for $10. Registration is required for dinner count by Oct. 6thSpace is limited so register early!

To register contact Cathy Wallace at [email protected] or 585-343-3040, ext. 138. For questions, contact Nancy Glazier at 585-315-7746 or [email protected].

The Beef Quality Assurance Program is supported by The Beef Checkoff.

September 15, 2017 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in p.w. minor, batavia, business, news.

P.W. Minor is doing what businesses do periodically, said owner Pete Zeliff this morning -- reorganizing. 

While the company's reputation was built on its orthopedic shoe line, rebuilding the brand and the business in that market is proving difficult, Zeliff said. Meanwhile, the "white label" shoe business is growing and shows promise for more growth.

"White label" means making shoes on the specifications and under the brands of other shoe companies.

Last week, the company laid off eight employees and more cuts are possible, Zeliff said, based on how things go in the coming months.

"We're cutting costs," Zeliff said. "Sales are down. Revenue is down. I can only keep writing checks out of my own pocket for so long. It's ridiculous to keep doing it."

Zeliff said many of P.W. Minor's former customers dropped the shoe line during the company's previous ownership and winning them back has proven tough. Many of those customers have gotten used to buying shoes made in China and seem willing to accept buying a new pair of shoes twice a year instead one pair every two years of a better quality shoe.

And those orders come in two and three shoes at a time, which make them more expensive to produce.

With "white label" contracts, P.W. Minor is able to produce larger runs of particular shoes at higher margins.

It can take 18 months, though, to land a new white label contract. That's how long it took P.W. Minor to go from introduction through samples to production for K-Swiss.

Zeliff said there are more white label deals coming. There's one company P.W. Minor has been working with for 20 months which will likely place an order soon. Another potential contract could mean increasing production by 40,000 to 50,000 pairs of shoes a year.

Before the recent layoffs, the factory was producing 180 pairs of shoes a day, sometimes 200 pairs. Since the layoffs, the factory has hit a production target of 200 pairs a day consistently.

"I think it opened some people's eyes," Zeliff said. "I've told them there will probably be more layoffs in the near future. Now all the production picks up. Nobody wants to be the guys getting laid off."

The 150-year-old company was about to close in 2014 when Zeliff and then partner Andrew Young stepped in saved it. Zeliff has been focused on revamping the business since, bringing in top marketers and designers and investing in new equipment.

In 2015, the company ended all production in China, bringing those jobs back to Batavia, with assistance from New York.

The other part of the P.W. Minor showing promise is the Abram Boots line and Batavia Boot & Shoe Company collection, introduced last fall. Both brands are showing sales growth, especially the boots, he said.

"I think we're on a good path," Zeliff said. "Has there been some pain? Yeah, but I've been sticking 200 grand into the business each month to keep it going and I don't know anybody else in this town who would keep on doing that."

September 14, 2017 - 11:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC, batavia, business.

Press release:

ummcnewmedicaloffier2017.jpgRochester Regional Health is pleased to announce Tara L. Gellasch, MD, has been named Chief Medical Officer for United Memorial Medical Center, effective Oct. 1.

Dr. Gellasch will oversee the medical staff office, graduate medical education, and pastoral care at UMMC. She will focus on the continued support and growth of the medical team and the facilitation of expertise sharing across Rochester Regional Health.

In addition to her role as Chief Medical Officer, she will serve as medical director of the Women’s Care Centers.

"We are looking forward to Dr. Gellasch joining our successful team and bringing her medical expertise and innovative perspective to United Memorial Medical Center,” said Dan Ireland, president. “Dr. Gellasch’s leadership will allow UMMC to further advance our clinical excellence and her passion for caring for each patient reinforces our commitment to the community and families we serve.”

Previously, Dr. Gellasch served as associate chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology and lead physician for The Women’s Center at Newark-Wayne Community Hospital. Prior to that she served as medical director for The Women’s Health Practice at the University of Rochester, where she managed clinical and administrative staff and coordinated continuity clinic for obstetrics and gynecology residents. From 2009 to 2012, Dr. Gellasch held faculty and committee positions for the Rochester General Medical Group (now known as the Rochester Regional Medical Group).

Dr. Gellasch earned her medical degree from McGill University in Quebec, Canada, in 2001 and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Emery University in Atlanta in 2005. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Gellasch succeeds Michael Merrill, MD, who resigned earlier this year.

September 13, 2017 - 3:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, business, agriculture.

Press release:

“Genesee County’s International Agriculture Connections” will be the theme of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s 28th Annual Decision-Maker’s Agricultural tour on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

The half-day tour will begin with a breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Kennedy Building at the Genesee County Fairgrounds, 5056 East Main Street Road, Batavia. Presentations by the Genesee County Economic Development Center and Bonduelle will take place at the fairgrounds before boarding the bus for stops at Love Beets, Oxbo International, and Vegetal. The bus will return to the fairgrounds by noon. 

“Most people know that the number one industry in Genesee County is agriculture,” said Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. “What many are unaware of is the number of international connections there are to local agribusinesses. All of the stops on this year’s tour have an international affiliation.”

The Decision Maker’s Ag Tour is open to the public and is free of charge. Participants should register in advance by calling the Chamber office at 585-343-7440 or by emailing to [email protected]

September 11, 2017 - 4:29pm

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Press release:

Please support the next fund-raising efforts of the Batavia Business and Professional Women's Club by joining us on Saturday Oct. 14 for the Basket & Live Auction and Dinner being held at the Ascension Parish Hall at 15 Sumner St. in Batavia. Doors open at 5 p.m. and Dinner will be served at 6. Basket drawings and live auction to follow.   

Tickets are pre-sale only on sale now until Oct. 7th for $20 each or two for $35, which includes an appetizer, dinner, dessert and a sheet of basket raffle tickets. All proceeds from this event will benefit the 2018 Genesee County scholarships and the service organizations awards.

This is sure to be a FUN event! Theme: Black & White. This is not a formal event.  his event is for men, women and is open to the public. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year.

To purchase tickets or if you cannot attend and would like to donate a basket, gift card or other item(s) to the auction, please contact Michelle at 585-297-0779 or send an email to:   [email protected]

Statement from the BBPW:

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club (BBPW) has been an active part of the community now for 96 years. The group works together to help improve the lives of others. Throughout the year, they raise money through various activities to provide scholarships for local high school seniors, Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) students and adult GCC students as well as provide Service Award donations to several local charitable organizations.  

This June 2017 Scholarship Award winners were: Olivia George (Alexander), Paige Hameister (Batavia), Alyssa Juliano (Batavia), Emma Smith (Le Roy), Riley D'Alba (Oakfield-Alabama) and Madison Rogers (Pavilion). Tyler Weaver (GVEP), Owen Thompson (GVEP) and Stacy Daniel (GCC ). The high school Students each received a $750 check to support their educational and career goals. The Genesee Community College (GCC) adult student received a $500 scholarship award and the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) students each received a $250 scholarship award.  

Additionally, BBPW club members awarded four Service Awards to be distributed this year. The $300 awards were given to Genesee Cancer Assistance, Crossroads House, Operation Injured Soldiers, and MS.

Pictured above from left are: Vice President Peggy Johnson, President Vicki Wolak, and Event Chairperson Michelle Gillard.

September 8, 2017 - 10:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) today adopted its 2018 budget at the agency’s Sept. 7 board meeting.

Revenues include $25.5 million in grants (remaining funds from the original $33 million Buffalo Billion allocation) that are earmarked for infrastructure at the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (WNY STAMP). The remaining projected revenue is comprised of project origination fees of $375,000; an allocation from Genesee County of $193,000; and, Revolving Loan Fund interest revenue of $4,600.   

Cash payments totaling $300,000 will be collected through project origination fee annuity streams that are attributed to projects that closed in prior years. Another $300,000 will be received from the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC) to support the agency’s overall Economic Development Program.

“We are always cognizant of our fiduciary responsibilities on behalf of the taxpayers of Genesee County,” said Lezlie Farrell, CFO of the GCEDC. “We continue to work hard to control and reduce operating expenses wherever possible despite a 12-percent increase in health insurance premiums in 2018 based on current estimates.”

As a public benefit corporation, the GCEDC generates fees from economic development projects and other sources to run the agency’s operations, programs, and services. Grant funds secured do not include any coverage for grant administration or other operating costs.

“For the last full year of data available in 2016, GCEDC projects contributed approximately $4.8 million in combined PILOT payments and property taxes to local taxing jurisdictions,” said GCEDC Board Chairman Paul Battaglia.

“This is a $22 dollar return on each dollar Genesee County allocates to GCEDC operations. We are extremely grateful for this support and believe it is providing the County with a significant return on its investment to our agency.”

September 8, 2017 - 10:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, Yancey's Fancy.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center approved incentives for development projects by Yancey's Fancy in Pembroke and Gateway GS LLC in the Town of Batavia at the agency’s Sept. 7 board meeting.

Yancey's Fancy is investing $5.5 million to renovate the original Kutters Cheese facility at 857 Main St. in Pembroke. The renovations will allow the company to nearly double its natural cheese making capacity by expanding the facility by 6,000 square feet, bringing the total size to 34,000 square feet. The project is anticipated to create 15 new jobs.

Yancey's Fancy was approved for approximately $173,000 in sales, and property tax exemptions. For every $1 of public investment, Yancey's Fancy will invest $117 into the local economy.

Gateway GS LLC is investing $2.6 million to construct a 25,000-square-foot shell spec built facility intended to attract warehouse, distribution, light manufacturing, technology and office space tenants. The building will be engineered as a shell so that prospective tenants will control the buildout, making it more flexible as compared to fitting out the entire building. It is expected that a complete build-out will occur in five phases.

Gateway GS LLC was approved for approximately $140,000 for sales tax and mortgage tax incentives. For every $1 of public investment, Gateway GS LLC will invest $6.90 into the local economy.

“As important as it is to bring new companies and investment to our community such as Gateway GS, it is just as important to help companies such as Yancey's Fancy that are already here to grow and retain and create new jobs,” said GCEDC Board Chairman Paul Battaglia.

September 7, 2017 - 1:06pm

Press release:

A new restaurant ownership training course is slated to begin in October featuring two monthly classes over the winter, or approximately 26 hours of training that concludes in February.

The program involves two juried tastings that each class participant is required to prepare. Registration opens online Friday, Sept. 8th at www.freshLabBatavia.com. Top contestants of the freshLAB Foodie Challenge may win free tuition to attend the freshLAB Boot Camp. 

A range of small business specialists and industry experts have been coordinated by the Batavia Development Corporation to prepare the aspiring restaurant owners for a business sector that is reported to have a multimillion dollar opportunity in Genesee County.

Genesseans are assumed to spend approximately $20,000,000 to eat, drink and be entertained some place other than Genesee County. The downtown strategy is to keep the dining dollars local by becoming a dining and entertainment destination that will capitalize on the market opportunity.

“We are hosting a Foodie Challenge Sept. 23rd to stir food creativity,” said Barb Shine, coordinator of the program and Batavia Development Corporation Board member. “Good flavors come first, we want creative cooks to consider opening his/her restaurant.

"To follow, we’ve assumed a bigger role to coordinate the Boot Camp. We’ve corralled the necessary resources and experts for talented and industrious operators to seriously consider the restaurant business.”

Research and local experience shows that a written business plan is not a sufficient judge of a candidate’s readiness to get started or grow. In fact, 59 percent of hospitality businesses fail within three years according to Restaurant Management Software POS Sector study. One reason for failure is noted as the lack of a strong concept setting the business apart from the competition.

The Boot Camp instruction has carved-out more than three hours to discuss the trends and market opportunities in food service, a highly competitive and shifting business.

“What’s your 'Because?” " asked Katie Frilllici, representative of JFS/Curtze food distributor. “You must have a compelling reason for people to select your eatery over another.” 

JFS/Curtze should know, they have been in the food business for 135 years. Frillici and her colleagues have been invited to participate as guest instructors for the Boot Camp where they, too, will share trade ideas to help develop a winning concept. JFS/Curtze is a full-line food service distributor now serving eight states.

Other select instruction will be led by Palmer Food Services, Chef Tracy Burgio of Batavia Career & Technical Education Center and Matt Gray, entrepreneur and owner of five restaurants. Legal, insurance and regulatory representatives in addition to agriculture business educators will be on hand.

Tentative Boot Camp program schedule:

  • October: Program Orientation and introduction of restaurant operations, concepts, etc.;
  • November: “Back of House” featuring inventory management, food safety in addition to a juried tasting prepared by Boot Camp participants;
  • December: Finance and accounting for the restaurant business, freshLAB support area;
  • January: Concept development and business pitch, topped with final juried tasting;
  • February: Independent study, final business plan due;
  • March: two candidates will each open a restaurant at freshLAB restaurant incubator turn-key space, pre-approved for a $30,000 special rate loan

Industry experts will lead the classroom training in operations, marketing and financial management. Other mentors will guide menu planning to inventory management, distributor purchasing to farm sourcing. Estimated Course Value more than $1,300 being offered for $349.

The Boot Camp is considered a prerequisite for entrepreneurs considering to lease space at the new freshLAB restaurant incubator foodhall now under construction on Main Street, Batavia. The Foodie Challenge will reward the top five competitors by offering TUITION FREE invitation to the Boot Camp.

freshLAB restaurant incubator was conceived to strengthen the local food service industry and capitalize on more than $20,000,000 that leave Genesee County each year when residents eat, drink and enjoy entertainment elsewhere.

The project is funded, in part, by USDA Rural Development to intentionally link regional agriculture to the menu. A program coordinated by the Batavia Development Corporation in cooperation with the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, Batavia Business Improvement District and Batavia Career & Technical Education Center. https://freshlabbatavia.com/

September 5, 2017 - 3:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider approving incentives for a $5.5 million capital investment by Yancey's Fancy and a $2.6 million capital investment by Gateway GS LLC. Both matters will be considered at the Sept. 7 GCEDC Board meeting.   

Gateway GS LLC has applied for approximately $140,000 for sales tax and mortgage tax incentives for the new company’s proposed 25,000-square-foot spec building at the Gateway II office park.

Artisan cheese maker Yancey's Fancy is proposing to invest $5.5 million to expand and renovate the Kutter's Cheese facility on Main Road in Corfu. The project is expected to create 15 new jobs. Yancey's Fancy has applied for approximately $1.2 million in sales and property tax exemptions.

All GCEDC Board meetings are open to the public. The Sept. 7 meeting will take place at 4 p.m. in the Innovation Zone board room on 99 Medtech Drive, Batavia.

August 31, 2017 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in STAMP, GCEDC, Alabama, business, batavia.

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More than a decade of planning, preparation, promotion, lobbying, public hearings, and approvals have finally culminated in the first shovel in the ground for the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in the northwest corner of Genesee County.

Contractors are making room for roads along with water, sewer, and electrical transmission lines, clearing brush and trees and grading the ground to specifications.

"We're pretty excited to be moving forward on infrastructure and breaking ground and turning it into a modern business park," said Mark Masse, VP of operations for Genesee County Economic Development Corporation.

The infrastructure project, which includes a new water main being installed down Judge Road in Oakfield to Route 77 and then out to STAMP, is covered by a $33 million budget appropriations in New York's 2014 state budget. 

The new sewer system is still in the design and approval process and electrical won't be completed until the first tenant -- probably 1366 Technologies -- designs its project and specifies its electrical needs, but all of that infrastructure will be covered by the 2014 budget appropriations.

The new Oakfield-Alabama water line will carry 200,000 gallons of water a day to the Town of Alabama and STAMP. A second water line will also be installed from Pembroke to STAMP, which will provide 600,000 to 800,000 gallons per day of capacity, giving STAMP access to nearly one million gallons of water a day.

As for 1366, the company continues to be engaged with GCEDC in preparations for construction of its solar wafer manufacturing plant, but is still awaiting final approval of a loan guarantee by the Department of Energy. The Trump Administration has yet to fill vacancies on the DoE's board, which must authorize final approval.

Rachael J. Tabelski, GCEDC's director of marketing and communications, said both Rep. Chris Collins and the office of Sen. Charles Schumer have been engaged in trying to help move the process along.

Tabelski also said tech companies looking for locations such at STAMP have shown a good deal of interest in the project. GCEDC has received 14 requests for information and hosted 10 site visits. The projects combined represent a total of $11.5 billion in investments.

"The sales funnel is full," Tabelski said. "There's a lot of interest in STAMP, so it's a matter of when not if."

When that when arrives, Genesee County and the entire region will be expected to provide the employees for these new companies, so GCEDC is also aggressively pursuing workforce development projects with area schools, colleges and universities, Tabelski said.

"There is going to be a need in mechatronics, nano technology, and STEM at all levels of these companies," Tabelski said. "We will have a need for all of these kinds of workers."

(STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering (and) Math.)

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August 29, 2017 - 12:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

anthonymancuso2017.jpgPress release:

Council Rock Wealth Advisory Group, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., announced that Financial Advisor Anthony Mancuso now holds the Accredited Portfolio Management AdvisorSM (APMA®) designation, certified by The College for Financial Planning.

Individuals who hold the APMA designation have completed a course of study encompassing client assessment and suitability, risk/return, investment objectives, bond and equity portfolios, modern portfolio theory and investor psychology. Following completion of the exam, individuals must sign a code of professional ethics, and complete a disclosure form attesting to their professional conduct. Designees are also required to renew their certification every two years by completing 16 hours of continuing education.

“By mastering the requirements of the APMA designation, I have expanded my qualifications and become a more knowledgeable financial advisor,” said Mancuso. “This will allow me to better serve my clients at every step of their financial planning process.”

As a financial advisor, Mancuso provides financial advice that is anchored in a solid understanding of client needs and expectations, and provided in one-on-one relationships with his clients. For more information, please contact Anthony Mancuso at 585.343.4551. His offices are located at 113 Main St., Batavia, N.Y. 14020 and 6622 Main St., Williamsville, N.Y. 14221.  

August 29, 2017 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business.

Press release:

Tompkins Bank of Castile has announced that Gilda’s Club Rochester is the winner of the fourth round of the quarterly Community Minute Challenge. Each quarterly winner is awarded $2,500, and through the program, a total of $10,000 has been provided in much-needed funds to local not-for-profit organizations.

Gilda’s Club Rochester was one of six organizations in the fourth and final round of the challenge. Gilda’s Club Rochester has been serving the Greater Rochester community since 1959, first as Cancer Action, Inc., and then in 2000 as Gilda’s Club. The organization’s mission is to create welcoming communities of no cost support to those living with cancer – men, women, teens and children – along with their families and friends. Gilda’s Club Rochester’s innovative program is an essential complement to medical care, providing networking and support groups, workshops, education and social activities.

The winning organization for each Community Minute Challenge is determined by public voting on the Tompkins Bank of Castile Facebook page, where visitors watch one-minute videos produced by participating non-profits and then vote for their favorite.

The other organizations that participated in round four included:

  • Delphi Drug and Alcohol Council Inc. (Monroe County)
  • Friends of Letchworth State Park (Wyoming County)
  • Friends of the Richmond Memorial Library (Genesee County)
  • Genesee Cancer Assistance (Genesee County)
  • Geneseo Parish Outreach Center (Livingston County)

Launched in August 2016, the Community Minute Challenge has now awarded $10,000 to date.

“As proud members of the communities where we operate, we’re thankful for the important services that are provided by not-for-profit organizations in our area,” said John McKenna, Bank President and CEO. "We’re thrilled to be able to bring attention to their positive work.”

The program has helped organizations with much-needed funds, and has increased exposure within their communities. The first-round winner of the Community Minute Challenge was Going to the Dogs Rescue in Wyoming County, an organization dedicated to helping homeless pets find loving forever homes.

The second-round winner was Arc of Genesee Orleans, a resource of choice for people with disabilities and their families in both Genesee and Orleans counties.

“We used the proceeds to purchase new equipment for our family support group,” said Donna Saskowski, executive director, Arc of Genesee Orleans. “Our participation in the challenge was a wonderful opportunity for everyone involved in our organization to rally together, from our staff to the families of the individuals we support.”

August 29, 2017 - 10:20am
posted by Becky LeFevre in batavia, farmer's market, business.

A walk around the Genesee Country Farmer’s Market and a chat with the farmers provides a snapshot of what fruits and vegetables are currently available in our region.  Nearing the end of August, there is a huge variety of local produce available, including:  tomatoes, corn, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, green beans, eggplant, onions, garlic, broccoli, beets, swiss chard, snap peas, peaches, plums, pears and early varieties of apples. 

Right now is the best time for canning or freezing.  I asked Sharon from Schwab Farm how long “canning season” lasts.  Sharon explained that, in her opinion, it depends on the weather.  Once the night time temperature begins to drop down into the 40’s, the flavor and quality of the fruits and vegetables isn’t quite as good as it is right now.  When we preserve foods for later use, we want to select fruits and veggies that are in their prime for maximum flavor later.  Weather permitting, we should have a few more weeks of prime canning season.  Cucumbers are available for pickling, tomatoes and peppers for salsa, and freestone peaches (where the pit is easily removed) are great for canning and freezing.  

Sharon also explained how she freezes corn.  She says the results are great and the process is easy.  

How To Freeze Corn:

Start with about 12-18 ears of corn.  Peel the corn, then use a large knife to slice the kernels off the cob.  In a large pot, add one cup of water and one stick of butter.  Heat it until the butter melts then add the corn.  Simmer the corn for a few minutes until the color has changed from looking raw to looking cooked.  Strain the corn, but reserve the cooking liquid.  Let the corn cool slightly then spoon it into freezer bags.  Add a few teaspoons of the cooking liquid to each bag, then seal and freeze.  Frozen corn can be reheated on the stove or in the microwave.

If you have a favorite use for local produce or a canning or freezing recipe, feel free to share it in the comments below.  

The Genesee Country Farmer’s Market is located at the corner of Bank St. and Alva Place (near JC Penney) in downtown Batavia, from 9am-4pm Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Fresh produce and baked goods are available every market day, but Friday has a larger variety of vendors and more craft and specialty items. 

August 28, 2017 - 4:06pm

Press release:

“Understanding the new Paid Family Leave Act” will be the subject of a small business workshop to be hosted by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Sept. 13.

This is the one of a series of business workshops held in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced business professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

Starting in January, the new Paid Family Leave Act takes effect for New Yorkers. Private sector employees will be able to take paid time off to bond with a new child, care for a seriously sick family member or address family matters due to a qualifying military deployment while still benefitting from job security upon the employee’s return to work.

“New York’s Paid Family Leave Act is one of the most comprehensive family leave programs in the nation,” said Tom Turnbull, Chamber president. “There are still many unanswered questions surrounding this program.

"Whether you’re an employer or an employee, you will find the most current information at this workshop on how this new mandatory benefit impacts you.”

Lawley Insurance is partnering with the Chamber on this workshop. Judy Karmens, Lawley compliance specialist, and Michael Szymoniak Jr., Lawley employee benefits consultant, will be the presenters.

The workshop will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia. The session will run from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and includes a question and answer period. Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee. Chamber members may attend all sessions free of charge but must make reservations to insure space for their employees.

To reserve a seat in any workshop or for more information, contact Kelly Bermingham at 585-343-7440 or by email at [email protected]

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