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March 26, 2018 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider approving incentives for two project as well as consider accepting an application for another.

Genesee Lumber Company will demolish an existing structure to make way to build a 7,158-square-foot warehouse addition to their operation in the City of Batavia. The $300,000 capital investment project would create three new jobs and retain 29 jobs. Genesee Lumber Company is seeking approximately $57,000 in incentives. If the project is approved, it will contribute to the Batavia to Prosperity (B2P) and Reinvestment Fund.

Town Center Plaza LLC is seeking to bring back a grocery store to the Village of Corfu on a site that also was a former grocery store that has been closed for several years. The new 20,000-square-foot facility is a $1 million investment that would create seven new jobs. The company is seeking approximately $77,000 in incentives.

While the grocery store is a retail project, it qualifies to apply for financial incentives because the store will be located adjacent to a highly distressed census tract. Town Center Plaza LLC also is claiming that they will provide unique goods and services to the community that otherwise are not available.

Finally, the GCEDC board will consider accepting an application from Xylem (Golden Pumps). The company is proposing to expand its existing facility of 18,282 square feet to 26,382 square feet. The expansion would result in a capital investment of approximately $800,000. Total incentives being sought are approximately $100,000 and as such would require a public hearing. Xylem is planning to consolidate Rochester operations into Batavia as well.

The GCEDC Board meeting is at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 29th, in the Innovation Zone at 99 MedTech Drive in Batavia. The meeting is open to the public.

March 24, 2018 - 7:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Eli Fish Brewing Company, downtown, batavia, news, business.


There was another large crowd at Eli Fish Brewing Company today as Batavia's first brewery in decades -- named after a brewery of a prior century -- held its grand opening.

Previously: Eli Fish Brewing Company ready for grand opening tomorrow


March 23, 2018 - 2:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, michael ranzenhofer, business, agribusiness.

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer today announced his support for the 2018 “Growing Strong” Plan. The “Growing Strong” plan will help strengthen agribusiness and create new jobs in the agriculture industry by expanding markets, reducing production costs, and investing in the state’s leading industry.

“Family farms are a major contributor to our state and local economies. Implementing these initiatives will help the agriculture industry thrive and expand a workforce of more than 100,000 men and women. This new plan will help make it more affordable for New York’s 35,000 farms,” Ranzenhofer said.

The comprehensive legislative package of initiatives includes:

• Examine burdensome regulations: Direct state regulators to study existing state regulations that are harmful to farming, unnecessarily increase costs, and prevent farm success.
• Repeal the Highway Use Tax for farm-registered trucks, and exempt farmers from any proposal to add new “tolling” to enter New York City, as a way to bring more New York-grown products into the nation’s largest consumer market. New York is one of just four states that still imposes such a tax.
• Help farmers invest in facilities and buy equipment: S7851 provides a tax credit for dairy farmers to encourage investment in facilities and equipment that will allow them to take advantage of a growing demand for “value-added” dairy products, like flavored drinks, yogurts, and other products that can satisfy existing demand.
• Help farmers by giving them access to IDAs: S2388 authorizes industrial development agencies (IDAs) to provide technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers that grow, harvest, or produce agricultural products in this state. 
• Create a “Lifeline Dairy Energy Assistance Program” for dairy farmers struggling with a prolonged slump in milk prices, directing $10 million in existing NYSERDA funds to install high-efficiency lighting, pumping and cooling equipment, and to promote investment in energy-producing biomass generators and digesters. 
• Expand agricultural P-Tech education programs that help prepare students for increasing technology demands of farming careers, restore funding for Beginning Farmer Grants that was cut from the Executive Budget, and increase support to establish new chapters of school-based Future Farmers of America programs in response to growing interest in agriculture. In addition, the proposal expands opportunities for success in agriculture by creating a specialized education certificate to acknowledge student achievement and training in the field.
• Encouraging more women to pursue farming careers: S7843 authorizes the Department of Agriculture and Markets to conduct a study to identify obstacles and impediments that prevent more women from pursuing agricultural careers. Attracting new farmers to pursue farming careers in New York is critical, and continuing to focus the state’s efforts on encouraging growing sectors of the agricultural economy, like women-owned farm businesses, is a very important step in that direction.

March 19, 2018 - 3:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, employment, GCC, job fair.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is pleased to announce another exciting Job Fair with more than 50 companies expected from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, at the College's centrally located William Stuart Forum.

Genesee's Career Services Center continues to solicit businesses from all types of industries to join the popular, two-hour event that introduces potential new employees to employers, and also provides businesses an opportunity to present their trade and services to the local community.

The event is free to employers and attendees.

Employers must register; job seekers are not required to register prior to the event but must sign-in upon arrival. Potential new employees are encouraged to dress for success, and bring their current resume.

As of today, March 19, the following employers are scheduled to be in attendance:

  • ARC of Genesee County
  • Baker Victory Services
  • Barnes & Noble College
  • Batavia Police Department
  • Carolina Eastern -- Crocker, LLC
  • City of Rochester
  • Conesus Lake Nursing Home
  • Episcopal Senior Life Communities
  • ESL Federal Credit Union
  • Frito-Lay
  • Genesee County Human Resources
  • Heritage Christian Services
  • Hidden Valley Animal Adventure
  • HomeCare & Hospice and Total Senior Care
  • Independent Living of the Genesee Region
  • Iroquois Job Corps Center
  • Jewish Senior Life
  • Lifetime Assistant Inc.
  • Living Opportunities of DePaul
  • Livingston County DSS
  • Manpower
  • Medical Staffing Network
  • Mental Health Association of Genesee and Orleans Counties
  • Monroe County Sheriff's Office
  • Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES
  • NYS Department of Corrections & Community Services
  • NYS Department of Labor
  • NYS Park Police
  • People Inc.
  • People Ready Inc.
  • Pioneer Credit Recovery
  • Premier Designs Inc.
  • ProAction of Steuben and Yates Inc.
  • Real Agency Pro LLC
  • Remedy Staffing
  • Rochester City Police Department / City of Rochester
  • Rochester Psychiatric Center
  • Select Custom Door
  • Southern Tier Security & Event Management
  • Sterling Tents
  • Sutherland Global Services
  • Tahoe Pines Custom Sewing & Design
  • Tender Loving Family Care Inc.
  • TL Cannon Applebee's
  • The Student Conservation Association
  • United Healthcare Community Plan
  • United Memorial Medical Center
  • U.S. Air Force Recruiters
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Vetco Clinics
  • WBTA AM & FM
  • Weed Man Lawn Care
  • Wright Beverage

For more information, visit: For a detailed listing of job opportunities by employer, please email a request for the list to [email protected]

March 19, 2018 - 3:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, batavia, GCC.

Press release:

Do you have a passion you'd like to turn into a business? Ready to start writing a business plan? Join us at Genesee Community College for a FREE Business Plan Basics workshop to get you started!

Great entrepreneurs of our time have great business plans! On Thursday, March 22, GCC will host a special workshop that teaches the basic components of a good business plan led by Sam Campanella of the Small Business Development Center. 

Business Plan Basics will take place on from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in room T121 of the Conable Technology Building at GCC's Batavia Campus.

Campanella will also lead a workshop on Idea Pitch Preparation on Thursday, April 12, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. to help you prepare to pitch your business idea.

This workshop is free and open to the public; you do NOT have to be participating in the Business Idea Pitch Competition to attend these workshops. To sign up for a workshop, please contact Amy Conley at [email protected].

Ready to test out your business idea? Consider participating in a Business Idea Pitch Competition! You could even earn a cash prize!

The first-ever local Business Idea Pitch Competition will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, April 19, in the Conable Technology Building at the Genesee Community College's Batavia Campus. The deadline for competitors to register is Friday, March 30.

Business Idea Pitch Competition details are available at To register for the Pitch Competition, please contact Lina LaMattina, Ph.D., at [email protected] or (585) 343-0055, ext.6319.

March 19, 2018 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, batavia, downtown batavia public market.

Press release:

The Genesee Country Farmers' Market located at the Downtown Batavia Public Market* opens for the season on Friday, June 8th, at the market's location on the corner of Bank Street and Alva Place in the Downtown Batavia Business District.

Market hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays with the season running from Friday, June 8th, through Friday, Oct. 26th.

"This year marks the third year of collaboration with BID (Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District)", says Market Manager Mike Bakos, "The Market, presently in this year's planning stages, is accepting new vendor applications."

Parties interested in joining the market to become a Seasonal or Day Vendor may obtain application forms by contacting Bakos at (716) 866-4958 or by email at [email protected].

The market also offers a FREE market stall to qualifying charities, service groups, or 501c3 organizations that would like to participate in the market. Contact the market for more information.

* Providing "Locally Grown" Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, and Specialty Items to the Greater Batavia and Genesee County Area for 44 Years.

March 19, 2018 - 3:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, business, news, notify.

Tariffs on steel and aluminum announced by the Trump Administration last week could put a squeeze on profits for local manufacturers, according to the executives at Graham Corp., Chapin Industries, and Liberty Pumps.

"Yes, we are adversely impacted by higher costs from imported carbon steel and stainless steel," said Jeff Glajch, chief financial officer for Graham. "We are also seeing significant increases in costs from our domestic suppliers. Making the situation more challenging is that our foreign competitors are not impacted, and if they import finished product, it is not affected by the tariffs."

While details of the tariff plan have not been released, the administration has said it plans to impose in just a few days a 25-percent tariff on steel and 10-percent tariff on aluminum. This would be a tax on all steel and aluminum imported into the United States from other countries. 

The tariff was announced under rules that allow a nation to impose a tariff for national security purposes in order to protect an industry considered vital to a nation's defense.

Even though the tariffs have not taken effect yet, manufacturers around the country are reporting that prices on steel and aluminum have been rising and are getting a bump by the anticipated tariff and are expected to rise further. Those price increases get passed on to consumers or profits must be cut.

"In steel, we use many many tons," said Jim Campell, CEO of Chapin. "Over the last 12 month, steel prices have already increased significantly. We have absorbed and offset these cost, however, we have not raised prices to our customers.

"If and when steel manufacturers raise prices again, it will impact our bottom line," Campell added. "Depending on the amount of the increase, we may be forced to raise prices, which in the end will truncate our sales and hurt our bottom line. As you know tariffs are a two-edge sword, helps some, hurts others (mostly the consumer)."

At Liberty Pumps, price increases so far have not had a big impact.

"I just had a conversation yesterday with Purchasing," said CEO Charlie Cook. "Yes, prices are going up. It has been widespread but so far just moderate percentages. When blended into the total cost of products including overheads, etc., it’s not something we’re going to react to yet. We really can’t anyway since we just imposed a price increase in January.

"Have to say," he added, "it will be good to see some U.S. furnaces cooking again."

The tariffs, however, come at a time when the steel industry in the United States is healthy. The sector is coming off of 22 consecutive profitable quarters, according to the latest report from the Department of Commerce (pdf), with net income (profits) of $869 million in the final quarter of 2017. 

In the final month of 2017, domestic steel production increased by more than 2 percent, from 6.6 million metric tons in November to 6.8 million metric tons in December while prices went up 6.7 percent. 

The tariffs are ostensibly aimed at China, which has become the world's largest steel producer, producing more steel than the United States, Mexico, Canada, the EU, and Russia combined, but China accounts for only 2 percent of the steel used in the United States. Seventeen percent of imported steel comes from Canada, 14 percent from Brazil, 10 percent from South Korea, and 9 percent from Mexico.

Even with all those imports, U.S. producers still control 70 percent of the domestic market, according to Scott Lincicome, an international trade attorney associated with the Cato Institute.

Many economists are predicting higher prices for consumers as a result of the tariffs. When President Barack Obama imposed a tariff on tire imports from China, it may have saved 1,700 U.S. jobs but at a cost to U.S. consumers of $900,000 per job saved.

Many economists have predicted that the new tariffs will unleash a trade war, but since the tariffs are being implemented under national security rules, the United States can make exceptions for countries considered allies. These include its foremost trading partners, allowing trade negotiators to zero in on China, leading Harvard economist Martin Feldstein to speculate that the real target of the tariffs is China's continued insistence on obtaining U.S. technology from companies trying to do business there. The tariffs, Feldstein speculates, could be used as leverage in trade negotiations over the issue.

The situation for aluminum is very different than steel for the United States, which imports 90 percent of its aluminum used in everything from beer cans to jet fighters, and imports are rising, according to The Washington Post. That said, higher prices for aluminum will mean higher prices for beer and soda pop.

None of the Genesee County companies anticipating higher prices on steel and lower profits anticipate layoffs as a result of the changing financial picture, even though some economists have predicted from 140,000 to 170,000 jobs lost across the country as a result of the tariffs.

Campell at Chapin said there will be no local layoffs. 

"We have not had a production layoff in the last decade," Campbell said. "We go to great lengths to keep our workforce intact. It may, however, slow some of our growth."

Glajch, at Graham, said even with the increased production costs, the business is growing.

"We are not anticipating layoffs," Glajch said. "On the contrary, we are hiring. Our core markets have shown early signs of some improvement and our Navy business is doing quite well. We are hiring for direct labor and certain engineering and sales roles."

March 19, 2018 - 3:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, business, news, Sleep Insights, sleep medicine.

Press release:

Sleep Insights, an established, local sleep medicine practice, recently expanded and moved to 47A Batavia City Centre in Downtown Batavia.

For people who struggle to regularly get a good night’s sleep, Sleep Insights provides a welcoming approach to help people sleep better: as an integrated practice, they diagnose and treat over 80 types of sleep disorders, provide physician appointments (ages 5+), offer home sleep apnea testing, overnight sleep testing and CPAP services—all at one site.

“This is the same clinical model we use at our Rochester site,” noted Dr. Jacob Dominik, Sleep Insights’ medical director, who sees patients at the Batavia site.

“It’s really a game changer when it comes to providing continuity of care, since we manage patients from start to finish. I personally meet with patients to determine the cause of their sleep problems as well as the appropriate next steps, which we can also provide.

“If people have problems sleeping or staying awake, testing isn’t always needed. So that definitely shouldn’t deter people from seeking help.”

Patients are seen at Sleep Insights for a variety of sleep disorders affecting their sleep quality and ability to function. Some of the most common conditions impacting sleep include snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, daytime sleepiness and fatigue, restless legs syndrome, shift work disorder, narcolepsy and parasomnias (abnormal behavior during sleep).

“Sleep is critical to emotional and physical health,” Dr. Dominik added. “We’re here to help anyone who isn’t regularly waking up and feeling refreshed. Our focus is on helping each patient as soon as we can, the best we can.”

In January, Sleep Insights moved from 653 E. Main St., Batavia, to 47A Batavia City Centre, Batavia. Their new location provides a soothing, upscale environment with expanded room for CPAP supplies and support from a Registered Respiratory Therapist.

In addition, three bedrooms for overnight testing are slated to be added by late spring. Their phone number remains the same: 585.219.4330. New patient appointments are available and no healthcare provider referral is needed.

About Sleep Insights

Founded in 2005 by Kenneth E. Plotkin, MD, and currently owned by Jacob Dominik, MD, Sleep Insights is a regional, comprehensive sleep medicine practice offering consultative, diagnostic testing and sleep therapy services. Sleep Insights is an independent sleep center, not owned by or affiliated with a hospital. The company’s main site is in Rochester, with eight locations throughout Central and Western New York.

March 19, 2018 - 1:02pm

Press release:

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club announces its annual scholarship and Community Service Awards and calls for applications.

Scholarships are open to all Genesee County High School Seniors (male or female). The students need to have maintained an 85-percent average, must complete the one-page application and attach a letter of recommendation from a school staff member.

The students will also need to submit a personal essay discussing their achievements and future goals as well as an essay from a parent. The application and details can be found and printed at the Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Website here.

All schools in Genesee County have been emailed packages on this program, which included the eligibility requirements, guidelines and applications. Parents and students are advised to seek out their school’s guidance counselor/department to receive the needed information and application.

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club has established a scholarship for a returning student from Genesee Community College also. The recipient is chosen by a college representative and the award is applied to their account in the fall.

Recognition is also given to two outstanding students from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership in a form of cash awards for their outstanding scholarship performance.

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club has given scholarships since 1961. The number and amount of scholarships given are dependent on the club’s annual fundraiser. 

In addition, the Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club will offer monetary awards for Service Groups in June. Any Service Group in the county may apply for this by sending a letter of request on the organization’s letterhead.

Deadline for both the Scholarship Applications and the Service Awards Letters are to be postmarked by Saturday, April 14.

Batavia Business and Professional Womens’ Club

P.O. Box 1778

Batavia, NY 14021

Any questions contact Peggy Johnson through email at [email protected] or 585-409-8769.

March 17, 2018 - 3:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in tompkins financial corporation, business.

Press release:

Tompkins Financial Corporation recently hosted a recognition luncheon to honor the significant career milestones reached by several of its employees across Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, and Tompkins Financial Advisors.

For 11 employees, 2017 marked milestones of 20 years or more working at Tompkins, including two who celebrated their 40-year anniversary with the company. 

40-Year Milestones

Frank Vitagliano, a senior vice president at Tompkins Insurance Agencies, began his insurance career in 1977 when he joined his family-owned insurance business. He operated the business for 18 years before combining it with Austin, Hardie, Wise. In 2001, the business became part of Tompkins Financial and a newly-formed entity: Tompkins Insurance Agencies. Vitagliano was an original board member of Tompkins Insurance Agencies, until his retirement in 2017. Among other roles, Vitagliano served as the chief operating officer of Tompkins Insurance Agencies for several years. During his career, he has been very active on numerous civic organizations, including serving as the vice president of the Wyoming County Community Health System Board of Managers and as a councilman for the Town of Castile. Vitagliano resides in Silver Lake and winters in Ft. Myers Beach, Fla.

Cathy LaDuca is an account manager for the Core Business Unit of Tompkins Insurance Agencies and began her career working in the Alden office as a personal lines and small commercial account manager. She worked in Alden for 25 years before transferring to the Attica branch. After two years in Attica, she moved to the Tompkins Insurance Agencies headquarters in Batavia and became the commercial lines marketing specialist. LaDuca resides in Alden.   

30-Year Milestones

Anthony Gugino is executive vice president and senior wealth advisor for Tompkins Financial Advisors, where he works with clients to identify financial strategies that address their specific needs. Gugino joined AM&M Financial Services in 1987 and became a shareholder of the firm, which was acquired by Tompkins Financial Corporation in January 2006. Gugino is committed to community service and helps fund a scholarship at St. John Fisher’s College. Gugino resides in Pittsford.

Janice Donovan is a wealth management assistant for Tompkins Financial Advisors. Her responsibilities include account administration, performance report preparation, client service, and providing support to wealth advisors.

As a Registered Paraplanner (RP®) and Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS®), Donovan is certified by the College for Financial Planning. She resides in Brighton.

25-Year Milestones

Don Herman is the chief financial officer and treasurer for Tompkins Insurance Agencies and works in the Batavia office. Herman started his career in the field of public accounting, and in 1992 joined the Austin, Hardie, Wise agency in Attica as a controller. The firm was later acquired by Tompkins in 2001. He resides in Attica.

Lee Landowski-Rice is a commercial credit services associate for Tompkins Bank of Castile. Landowski-Rice’s current role at the bank includes working with customers, branch managers and staff on a daily basis. She started out as a teller in the Perry branch and has worked in collections, consumer direct and indirect lending. Landowski-Rice resides in Perry.

20-Year Milestones 

Additionally, four employees celebrated 20th anniversaries with the company in 2017: 

  • Lisa Townes, BSA/AML and security officer at Tompkins Bank of Castile;
  • Donna Hummel, commercial insurance account manager at Tompkins Insurance Agencies;
  • Joan Johnston, assistant branch manager, Tompkins Bank of Castile in Avon;
  • Anna Rumfola, senior teller, Tompkins Bank of Castile in Avon.

# # #

About Tompkins Financial Corporation

Tompkins Financial Corporation is a financial services company serving the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania. Tompkins Financial operates in Western New York as Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, and Tompkins Financial Advisors. Further information is available at

Tompkins Bank of Castile is a community bank with 16 offices in the five-county Western New York region. Services include complete lines of consumer deposit accounts and loans, business accounts and loans, and leasing. Further information about the bank is available on its website,

Tompkins Insurance Agencies operates 17 offices in Western New York. It is an independent insurance agency offering personal and business insurance and employee benefits services through more than 50 of the nation’s leading insurance carriers. Further information is available at

Tompkins Financial Advisors is the wealth management firm of Tompkins Financial Corporation. With more than a century of experience in helping clients to build, protect, and preserve wealth, Tompkins Financial Advisors provides financial planning, investment management, trust services and estate administration. For more information, visit

March 14, 2018 - 7:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, business.

Press release: 

The New York State Senate’s one-house budget resolution– approved earlier today– establishes tax parity between the Batavia Downs and other gaming facilities across the state. The Senate Budget proposal increases the facility’s portion of net winnings to 42 percent.

Senator Michael Ranzenhofer has issued the following statement:

“I am pleased that the Senate Budget Resolution levels the tax playing field for Batavia Downs. Decreasing the tax rate for the oldest nighttime harness track in the nation will ensure a fairer share of revenues are returned to taxpayers through our local governments. Now, the Genesee County racino will be more competitive with other gaming facilities. I will continue working to address this issue in the final budget.” 

In January, Senator Ranzenhofer introduced legislation (S7397) in the State Senate that would lower Batavia Down’s taxes paid to New York State by increasing the facility’s portion of net winnings from 35 percent to 41 percent. The Executive Budget proposes increasing net winnings to 37 percent.

March 13, 2018 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, news, business, Le Roy.


Press release from American Dairy Association North East:

Do you have trouble adjusting to daylight saving time? If you do, then you aren’t alone. Dairy cows do, too.

“Like many of us, cows are creatures of habit,” said Natasha Stein Sutherland, dairy farmer and owner of Stein Farms in Le Roy. “That first week after the time changes takes a little adjustment for everyone on the farm – cows and farmers alike.”

To ease the transition, some farmers will make gradual adjustments to the cow’s schedules – shifting milking times in 30-minute increments over two days. Others find it’s just as easy to make the switch all at once.

“It really depends on the individual farm and their management practices,” said Stein Sutherland. “There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dairy farming. But, keeping cows comfortable and content is something we all practice every day.”

According to Stein Sutherland, research shows that more light helps cows produce more milk and ideally, cows should have 16 to 18 hours of daylight each day. Farmers use a variety of practices – including lights on timers – to ensure cows have the light they need.

This year marks the 44th year when clocks are set forward one hour. President Nixon signed into law the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act in 1974. The extra hour of daylight will last until Nov. 4.

Photo submitted by Stein Farms.

March 9, 2018 - 12:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, Western OTB, batavia, business.

Press release:

Yesterday, Sen. John Bonacic (R-Mount Hope), the head of the New York Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee introduced legislation that would pave the way for sports betting, should the Supreme Court knock down the federal prohibition. 

Western Regional Off Track Betting and Batavia Downs Gaming are perfectly positioned with existing infrastructure to deliver a sports betting platform to our customers in our 15 counties including the cities of Buffalo and Rochester.

As the only municipally owned gaming facility in the state, Batavia Downs Gaming is not only a strong economic driver for Central and Western New York, but it provides critical funding for community development which creates jobs, keeps families safe and helps to offset tax increases for residents.

Since its inception, Batavia Downs Gaming has generated more than $226 million to 17 municipalities and bringing sports betting to our locations will significantly increase these important contributions.

“If we are able to offer sports betting to our customers, we would see more resources flowing directly to our bosses – the millions of New Yorkers who live in the Western Region Off Track Betting counties,” said Henry F. Wojtaszek, president/CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming WROTB. “We’d be able to deliver critical funds to help local law enforcement, first-responders, and help in the fight to keep property tax hikes at bay.

"We want to thank Sen. John Bonacic for his leadership on this important issue. Our delegation in Albany and Governor Cuomo has always stood by our side to get our fair share out of Albany, and we hope it’s no different with sports betting."

Michael Nolan Chief Operating Officer Batavia Downs Gaming/WROTB said: “Operationally with our brick and mortar locations, Batavia Downs Gaming and WROTBC is a natural affiliate to deliver sports wagering to residents of Western and Central New York as we have delivered parimutuel wagering since 1974."

March 7, 2018 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business.

Press release:

While Batavia and Genesee County have long been recognized as one of the top micropolitan regions in the United States, the area received its highest ranking ever as it climbed all the way to number 2 among 575 micropolitans across the country.  The annual rankings are compiled by Site Selection magazine.

Batavia was the only town in New York State to be ranked in the top 40 of micropolitans. It is the 15th consecutive year Batavia and Genesee County have been recognized. The ranking of “Top Micropolitans” is based on cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment and it once again demonstrates the commitment and collaboration among the public and private sectors to bring new investment and jobs to the region and just as important assisting companies that are already here in expanding and retaining jobs,” said Steve Hyde, president, and CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

The GCEDC achieved 16 project “wins” in 2017 that generated approximately $240 million in investment.

Since 2003, the GCEDC has provided similar assistance and incentives for 449 projects which have generated $1.3 billion in capital investment and the creation and/or retention of approximately 4,528 jobs.

Full the full list of rankings, including some commentary about the region’s rise to second place, click here.

March 5, 2018 - 10:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in plumbers, batavia, business.

Press release:

The following is the list of City of Batavia Plumbers who have obtained their 2018 Plumbing Renewal License to do plumbing in the City of Batavia, NY.

Arthur Allen
2927 Main St.
Leicester, NY 14481

Richard Biegasiewicz
2 Burke Drive
Batavia, NY 14020

Jason Brownlie
100 Nassau St.
Rochester, NY 14605

Anthony Cellino
631 Bullis Road
Elma, NY  14059

Henry H. Cook, Inc.
3508 Rose Road
Batavia, NY 14020
345-0915 or 762-8064

Christopher Cook
3508 Rose Rd.
Batavia, NY 14020
345-0915 or 762-8064

James J. DeWald
JW Danforth
300 Colvin Woods Pkwy.
Tonawanda, NY 14150

Diegelman Plumbing LLC
4995 Ellicott St.
Batavia, New York 14020

Michael Dollendorf
140 Cooper Ave.
Tonawanda, NY 44150

James Ficarella
19 Warren St.
Batavia, NY 14020

Timothy Fortin
JW Danforth
300 Colvin Woods Pkwy.
Tonawanda, NY 14150

Joseph Grasso
2690 Wilson-Cambria Road
Wilson, NY 14172

Ricky Hale
28 Swan St.
Batavia, NY 14020

Warren Herdic
5769 Herman Hill Road
Hamburg, NY 14075

Matthew Kandefer
2215 Broadway
Buffalo, NY 14212

Richard Lovria
150 Ross St.
Batavia, NY 14020

Michael Mager
8939 Alexander Road
Batavia, NY 14020

Robert Marvin
Tradestar Mechanical
764 Flower City Park
Rochester, NY  14615

Carl McQuillen
8171 E. Main Road
LeRoy, NY 14482

Philip Martorana
64 Hickory Hill Road
Williamsville, NY  14221

Fredrick Mruczek
1 Valle Drive
Batavia, New York

Thomas Mruczek
3 Valle Drive
Batavia, New York

Dave Muskopf
3198 Union Road
Orchard Park, NY 14227

Mark Napoleon
44 Morrow Ave.
Batavia, NY 14020

William Penepent
7182 Kenyon Ave.          
Basom, NY 14013

David Pero
Charles R. Pero & Sons
121 Trumbull Pkwy.
Batavia, NY  14020

John Pestillo
8486 Seven Springs Road
Batavia, NY 14020

Erich K. Postler
615 South Ave.
Rochester, NY 14620

Alfred Rosemark
27 West Ave.
Elba, NY 14058

Gabriel Sepi Jr.   
25 Ganson Ave.
Batavia, NY 14020

Walter Szczesny
24 Wood St.
Batavia, NY 14020

Mark Taylor
8734 Stahley Road
East Amherst, NY 14051

Larry W. Toal
3670 S. Main Street Road
Batavia, NY 14020

Ryan Toal
3670 S. Main Street Road
Batavia, NY 14020

Joel Tucciarone
202 Roosevelt St.
Tonawanda, NY 14150

March 5, 2018 - 9:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Whiteford Dental Lab, batavia, Harvester Center, news, business.


Up until now, according to Noah Whiteford, local dentists, when working with a lab on crowns, implants and dentures, would have to call on a large firm from outside the area.

There was a certain personal touch missing.

Whiteford and his partner think they've solved that problem with their new business, Whiteford Dental Lab, which they just opened in the Harvester Center.

"One of advantage is we're located in Batavia and we can service the local doctors," Whiteford said. "A lot of people can do pick up and delivery but what we can do is be chairside with the doctor, helping out with treatment plans and doing custom shades and things like that, which this rather underserved market doesn't ordinarily get -- a technician who will be there to help them along the way."

Another advantage, Whiteford said, is the knowledge and experience of himself and partner Dave Vining. 

"I've been doing this for 18 years," said Whiteford (seated in the photo with Vining). "My best friend's father owned a dental lab and I learned from him and then I went to courses across the country learning my trade and working in different laboratories. Dave actually went to went to ECC for this and got a two-year degree in dental technology. We've both been in the field for 15 to 18 years."

They see their market as all the dentists, not just in Genesee County but the surrounding counties as well, which means they can provide personal service they don't think is otherwise available. 

Vining said by keeping it local they will be able to build up relationships that will ultimately benefit patients.

"We're really gunning for great customer service," Vining said. "It's tough to compete with the big market shares so we're going offer something a little bit more personal."

Whiteford Dental is located on the third floor of the Harvester Center and can be reached at (585) 813-5726.

March 4, 2018 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, business.


The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards dinner on Saturday night to honor five local winners for their contributions to the community.

Previous stories about this year's winners:

Photo by Mark Gutman / Courtesy the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce

March 2, 2018 - 11:49pm


This is the fifth in a series of five stories about the honorees at this Saturday's annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Ceremony. The ceremony is being held at the Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia.

Pouring concrete is a young man's game, said Tom Baltz, co-owner of Baltz Concrete Construction in Pavilion.

"We have a lot of knowledge and ability to keep (the business) running, but I certainly couldn't go out and do concrete anymore," said the 64-year-old Baltz. "We have a lot of tough guys. You have to be tough to do concrete work."

Baltz employs between 40 and 50 people regularly, usually more in the summer. They have to work in all kinds of conditions. This isn't school where you can count on a few snow days during the winter. A Baltz construction worker works in the hot and the cold, the wind and the rain, the snow and the bright light of an August afternoon.

"They're working outdoors in all possible conditions," Baltz said. "We only took one weather day off this winter. They're out there in the mud and the water and they still have to think clearly and get a job done, and get a job done in a manner that it's going to stand up. It really is an amazing thing what these guys are capable of doing and what they're willing to do to get the job done."

It's been 45 years since Tom's dad, Robert Baltz, started the company, which his three sons eventually took over. Since then it's continued to grow and increasingly become a bedrock business of the community.

That's why Baltz Construction was selected by the Chamber of Commerce at the business of the year.

"I was only 19 when I started," Baltz said. "I came home from college and got out in the sun and got working, I just put my head down and did it. To be honest with you, I just never looked back. I just loved the physical work of it."

Baltz Construction specializes cast-in-place concrete. In other words, Baltz workers go to a construction site and fill casts with concrete, rather than bring in pre-poured castings. 

Clients include schools and factories.

"If it's concrete, we do it," Baltz said. "We don't do a lot of residential work because that's kind of a different gear than what we're set up to do. We have bigger equipment with more overhead, so we don't do a lot of residential unless it's a large job."

Robert Batlz was working for the B.R. DeWitt Corp. driving a cement truck when it struck him that maybe that was the kind of work he could do for himself.

"He saw a lot of concrete being poured and thought it looked like an opportunity so he decided to give it a try."

He started out with small jobs on the side but by 1973, Baltz Concrete became his full-time job.

That's when Tom went to work for him.

In a couple of years, Robert Baltz bought the Howard Brown Precast Company and Tom's brothers went to work for him there and Tom ran Baltz Concrete.

When the precast company was sold to Kistner, Baltz Concrete became the business of Tom and his two brothers.  

When one of the brothers wanted out, Tom and his brother Nicholas decided to make James Logdson a partner.

"James was looking for a summer job when he came to work for Baltz Concrete," Baltz said. "He worked one summer, he graduated, but he impressed us a lot. I talked my brothers into chasing him down and making him an offer to come to work for us. That was in the 1980s. He's been with us ever since."

Baltz said the company has always valued its employees and they try to treat them right.

"We take jobs that are anywhere within an hour-and-a-half of Pavilion," Baltz said. "We don't go much further than that because we need our people to be home every night. We hire family men. It's important that we get them home every night to be with their families."

They also support some of their after-work hobbies. They might sponsor stockcar or go-kart or some other activity.

"You get involved with the people you work with in a ton of different ways," Baltz said. 

There's a lot of charity support flowing out of Baltz Concrete. They sponsor youth baseball, soccer, softball, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, the Pavilion Community Chest and the Arc of Genesee Orleans.

"Being part of the town and being in a position to do something, you feel like you have the opportunity to help and helping always makes you feel better," Bartz said.

Both Tom and Nicholas are married. Tom and his wife don't have children. Nicholas is a stepfather to the children of his wife, but he and his wife are also parents to three foster children they plan to adopt. 

"So he has many children," Baltz said. "He lives and breathes for them, that's for sure."

What makes the company successful, Baltz acknowledged, is its people.

"We're not like a factory," Baltz said. "There's not a lot of equity in equipment. Most of the equipment we use has little or no market value. When all is said and done, with this place, if we shut it down, there's more worth in the building and the driveway then there is in the equipment.

"With our company, it is the people who are the only real value."

That's why some of the best employees in the company, such as Logsdon, have become partners.

The two new junior partners are Jaret Geitner and Jeremy Trzieceski.

The best workers, Baltz said, are the ones who have a dedication to their job and take pride in what they do. Those are the people who get promoted.

"When you have pride, you do something right for its own sake," Baltz said. "You don't do it for your boss or for your company. You do it for your own pride. You can teach a guy to do a job right but you can't teach a guy to care about his job."

The guys who care are easy to spot, Baltz said. They're the ones who see the boss working with estimating software, so they go home and play with it just to see if they can figure it out. 

"You know who the ones are that wake up in the middle of the night and think, 'Wow, did I get that measurement right?'"

That's why those employees get a shot at being a partner.

"There is a self-motivation in certain people that you have to recognize because if you don't recognize those people, they will go someplace else quick enough."

March 1, 2018 - 6:46pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in The Firing Pin, bergen, news, Chamber Awards, business.


This is the fourth in a series of five stories about the honorees at this Saturday's annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Ceremony. The ceremony is being held at the Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia.

The Firing Pin in Bergen is a friendly place to visit. Owner Brandon Lewis is a big reason why. Open and gregarious, he's eager to help his customers and ensure when they come to use the range they do so safely and get the most enjoyment from it as possible.

The store is brightly lit, clean and well-stocked.  

It's no wonder, the Firing Pin was selected by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce as the Innovative Enterprise of the Year.

Lewis, the owner, said he was humbled to receive the award.

“When you go into business, you never know what’s going to happen,” Lewis said. “To be recognized for the work you do is the icing on the cake. It can’t get better than that.”

Lewis started planning to open The Firing Pin in 2011. He wanted to offer a facility with a full range of products and services, that was not a typical gun shop. He felt it was something the community needed, and the public responded well to the business.

“We cater to those who are afraid of guns, and those who use guns,” Lewis said. “We cater to every skill level. We’re a destination for anyone who is looking to be better.”

The facility, located at 8240 Buffalo Road, was built in 2013 and opened in 2014.

Lewis went to Alexander High School when he thought of the idea of running his own place. The idea took time to develop, so he went to St. John Fisher College.

He took a job at Gander Mountain, and decided he wanted to open a place that gave more training, the right training, and safe training.

Lewis is an eagle scout, a certified NRA pistol and rifle instructor, a certified GLOCK Armorer and a black belt in Taekwondo.  

“Everywhere down south there are gun shops and ranges,” Lewis said. “It is popular down south and it’s something I felt we needed.”

The Firing Pin is open seven days a week, Monday from noon until 8:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 8:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. They offer group rates, memberships and firearm rentals, in addition to one-on-one training with NRA certified instructors.

More information and pricing can be found here.







March 1, 2018 - 5:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Eli Fish Brewing Company, batavia, business, news.


Eli Fish Brewing, the new downtown restaurant and brewery going into the former Newberry building, was adorned with its new sign on the front of the building today.

Inside, managers and more than a dozen new staff members were busy with training and setup.

The business should be open to the public within a couple of weeks.


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