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September 19, 2021 - 12:04pm
posted by Press Release in Freed Maxic, Jonathan Tretter, business, batavia.

Press release:

Freed Maxick is proud to name Jonathan Tretter as a new Director in the Firm’s Enterprise Advisory Services Practice. Jonathan is one of five new Director promotions this year.

Jonathan is a graduate of Canisius College, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.

His focus is on taxation and planning for C corporations, S corporations, Partnerships and LLCs, and high-net worth individuals. He also has extensive knowledge of federal and state tax credits and incentives, methods of accounting, UNICAP 263A, estate and business succession planning, along with tangible property and cost recovery. Additionally, Jonathan has been a leader in the Firm’s response to federal legislation surrounding the CARES Act, including the Paycheck Protection Program and the Employee Retention Credit.

“I am excited and honored to be named a Director at Freed Maxick. I am also extremely humbled to be part of a firm that recognizes the hard work and dedication displayed by their employees, and hope this highlights the opportunity available to each and every member of our Freed Maxick family,” says Jonathan.

Jonathan is also devoted to employee enrichment and is heavily involved in his community. He is currently the Treasurer of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia, a campaign cabinet member of the United Memorial Medical Center, a member of the Business & Accounting Advisory Committee at Genesee Community College, an alumnus of Leadership Genesee, and a committee member of the Batavia Development Corporation.

“I am proud to welcome this next generation of leaders to the Director group,” states Henry Koziol, CPA, Managing Director and Chairman of the Board. ”I look forward to watching Jonathan excel in this new position.”

September 17, 2021 - 12:19pm
posted by Joanne Beck in batavia, baker's frontier kitchens, business.

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Signs and kitchen cabinets may not seem to have much in common, but for one Batavia business owner, they are a perfect complement to each other.

Dan Ewing, who purchased Baker’s Frontier Kitchens in April of this year, has found a niche for his engineering degree that involves both. The Macedon resident owns a sign shop in East Rochester and has moved westward with ownership of the kitchen business at 8392 Lewiston Rd., Batavia.

“I liked the design aspect of engineering,” he said this week during an interview with the Batavian. “A friend of mine introduced me to Tim Baker, and I thought it was a good fit. (Baker and his wife) are just wonderful people. It’s very, very important to do business with people that have your same value system.”

That value system includes “high-quality cabinets at a very good price,” and taking care of the customer, he said. Whether he is designing a sign — with all of the specifications involved of font, color, size — or crafting a kitchen layout of cabinets, countertops, and perhaps even a matching vanity style for the bathroom — Ewing has found his calling.

He appreciates this area’s “buy local” attitude, and a steady supply of Candlelight Cabinetry products to meet that request. Manufactured in Lockport, Candlelight kitchen cabinets are featured in the showroom’s 20 kitchen displays with finishes of white, cherry, and rustic hickory. His staff can pick up and deliver cabinets, which saves on freight costs, and Frontier Kitchens has a good relationship with the manufacturer, Ewing said. Those are important benefits of the “buy local” presence here in Batavia, he said.

While the Baker’s part of the business name will go away, Ewing committed to retaining Frontier Kitchens and what the name means for this community. There will be some changes coming in the next few months, he said, including a new logo and signage along with a spruced-up exterior, a new phone system, computers, and an overhaul of the internal business system that “lets us serve the customers,” he said.

He has been quite pleased with a steady stream of orders, he said, and added additional staff positions of a delivery person and office manager. A revamped showroom and a new website and kitchen-in-progress are being designed. Frontier is even being prepped for its debut in TV commercials as part of a new marketing and advertising strategy.

“Everything’s in process right now,” Ewing said. “I took what Tim built … I’m very sensitive to taking care of customers while accelerating and enhancing the business. It’s been phenomenal; there are a lot of kitchens in process.”

He said that it’s about a 50/50 split between creating kitchens for new homeowners and renovating older ones, and all with a promise of “very reasonable pricing on a full custom kitchen.” Unlike other designers that charge for every single detail, Ewing provides free consultations, quotes, and printouts of design ideas, he said. A design project can include countertops, sinks and cabinets, and installation by local contractors.

When he’s not drafting a kitchen blueprint, Ewing is a “hardcore golfer” and enjoys fishing and boating in warmer weather, he said, and switches to hunting when the temperatures get cooler. He and his wife Safiye have two boys, Connor and Adam.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and evenings and weekends by appointment. For more information, go to bakersfrontierkitchens.com or call 585-343-0760.

September 13, 2021 - 10:41am
posted by Joanne Beck in batavia, business, Ryan Pyatt.

Ryan Pyatt is building his empire one business at a time.

The Batavia native and resident just purchased his third company, and he sees no end in sight with his life motto firmly in place.

“Leave a legacy. Life is what you make it,” he said during an interview Thursday. “Everybody has the opportunity to accomplish (their goals) if they’re motivated and disciplined. I really want this thing to blow up.”

This “thing” happens to be WNY Pressure Wash, in its fourth year and 800 customers strong. Pyatt bought out Batavia Exterior and Roof Clean and rolled it and a few hundred base customers into WNY Pressure Wash, at 8145 East Main St. He plans to reach out to those customers and notify them of the change in ownership. The 10-year-old company was competition for him, so buying it “was a big move for us,” Pyatt said.

“We definitely want to continue to grow,” the 28-year-old entrepreneur said. “Our goal is to be the largest exterior pressure washing company in this area. Growth is one of the major things … I just really want to be the premiere pressure washing company.”

Not exactly a newcomer to the pressure washing field, Pyatt worked for Sparkle Wash since he was 17, and then purchased the company four years ago. For three of those years, he went with the name RNP Services using his own initials. But the evolving student of marketing and branding decided it was time to name it what it was: a pressure washing company. That, and more extensive advertising on Facebook, Angie’s List, and other home services websites, gave him the boost he was looking for, he said.

Pyatt, a 2011 Batavia High School graduate, admits that his time spent in obtaining an associate’s degree in business at Southern New Hampshire University didn’t give him as much foundation as did practical, hands-on experience.

“People ask me what my hobby is, and I say ‘I like to acquire businesses,’” he said, adding that it’s not even so much about the money. “How can I take a failing business and continue to grow it.”

He and fiancée Natalie Cervone bought Great Kutz, in Valu Plaza, in November 2020. Cervone runs the salon while Pyatt concentrates on his other ventures. It hasn’t always been a smooth ride, he said, as there is a learning curve with business ownership.

In other words, there was “a lot of trial and error,” he said.

“We made mistakes, that’s inevitable,” he said. “Finding out why those mistakes happen, and if you can learn and grow from them, that’s the name of the game.”

It was while providing services to home and commercial property owners that prompted Pyatt to pursue other career avenues. During those services, he’d hear people say that they wanted to sell their places but didn’t have a real estate agent. So Pyatt became an agent at Keller Williams in Batavia. Pressure washing and property sales seemed a natural fit to him.

“I’m getting your property ready, so I might as well finish it for you,” he said.

WNY Pressure Wash offers an array of services, from washing building exteriors, sidewalks, and driveways to back decks, roofs, garden pavers, and gutters. There are soft washes for roofs and other more delicate materials, and pressure washes that spit out 5-1/2 gallons per minute. He couldn’t come up with a most difficult job to date but named the oddest request so far: tombstones.

Pyatt has become a bit of a gunk connoisseur — blogging on the site about the benefits of pressure washing and potential damage that can result from leaving roof algae and artillery fungus alone. Artillery fungus comes out as tiny black dots near the bottom of siding; it’s a wood-decaying fungus that, like algae, can cause long-term damage to your home’s exterior, his blog states.

As he has become more versed in the entrepreneurial world, Pyatt came across a belief that there are three levels a business owner should reach for 30 feet is completely hands-on, when Pyatt was actually out there pressure washing people’s homes; 300 feet is about being in the office maintaining the day-to-day needs; and 3,000 feet is overseeing the business as a whole, taking care of the financial end of matters and customer acquisition. He alternates between 300 and 3,000 feet, he said, as profits have been continuously reinvested for the business with eight staff, four vans, two trailers, seven washing units, a building with a full bay for repairs, two offices, and an employee break room.

The keys to success are providing a quality job, good customer service, and communication, he said.

“That’s what we pride ourselves on -- quality,” he said.

He is offering 10 percent off gutter and roof cleaning services for new customers, valid until Oct. 31. For more information, go to wnypressurewash.com or call 585-888-WASH (9274).

Photo by James Burns. Ryan Pyatt checks out a pressure washer at his site on East Main Street, Batavia.

September 10, 2021 - 2:16pm
posted by Press Release in liberty pumps, GCEDC, bergen, pembroke, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved a final resolution for incentives supporting Liberty Pumps for a $13.7 million expansion at the company’s operations in the Town of Bergen the board’s September 9, 2021 board meeting.

Liberty Pumps will invest approximately $13.7 million to build a 107,138 sq. ft. materials facility in the Apple Tree Acres business park. The proposed facility is anticipated to contribute to the continuing growth of the company and will create 30 new full-time jobs with an average salary of $52,000 annually plus benefits. It is estimated that the project will generate $29 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of approved incentives. The project will receive sales and property tax exemptions of approximately $1.5 million.    

The GCEDC Board of Directors also accepted an initial application for a $4.5 million project proposed by Valiant Real Estate USA, Inc. (New York Bus Company). The company plans to build a new 20,000 square-foot facility at the corner of Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia.

The project would create 24 full-time employee positions with an average salary range of $30,000 - $75,000 annually plus benefits. The project is requesting approximately $430,000 in sales, mortgage, and property tax exemptions. The project is estimated to generate $50 into the Genesee County economy for every $1 of requested incentives.

Finally, the Board accepted an initial application for incentives from J&R Fancher Property Holdings LLC.  The company is proposing a $1.7 million capital investment for a 14,000 square foot building located at Buffalo East Technology Park in Pembroke, NY.

J&R Fancher Property Holdings LLC plans to build six market-rate one-and two-bedroom apartments along with a 7,000 square foot commercial space.. The project is requesting approximately $254,000 in sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions.

As both projects are requesting incentives of over $100,000, public hearings will be scheduled prior to final consideration of incentives.

September 7, 2021 - 2:35pm
posted by Press Release in GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider resolutions advancing three projects with a combined capital investment of approximately $19.9 million at its board meeting on Thursday, September 9, 2021.

The GCEDC Board will consider a final application for incentives from Liberty Pumps for its proposed $13.7 million expansion at its operations in the town of Bergen at the Apple Tree Acres industrial park. The company plans on constructing a 107,138 sq ft. materials center, creating 30 new jobs with an average salary of $52,000 annually plus benefits.

Liberty Pumps is seeking property and sales tax exemptions of approximately $1.5 million.  It is estimated the expansion project would generate $29 of private investment into the local economy for every $1 of public investment. A public hearing regarding the project incentives was conducted on August 26, 2021.    

The Board also will consider accepting an initial application from Valiant Real Estate USA, Inc. (New York Bus Sales.)  Valiant is proposing a $4.5 million capital investment to construct a 20,000 sq. ft. facility on Saile Drive in the town of Batavia. The project would create 24 new jobs with an average salary ranging from $30,000 – $75,000 annually plus benefits.

Valiant Real Estate USA, Inc. is seeking sales, mortgage, and property tax exemptions of approximately $430,120. The project is estimated to generate $50 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of public investment.

Finally, the Board will consider accepting an initial application from J & R Fancher Property Holdings LLC which is proposing to construct a two-story mixed-use building on 2.6 acres at Buffalo East Tech Park in the town of Pembroke. This is the first of three phases of development that Fancher is proposing at the tech park.

The $1.7 million investment would include six market-rate 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments on the second floor and a first floor comprised of a 7,000 sq. ft. vanilla box interior intended to attract commercial tenants. The total planned square footage of the facility is 14,000 sq. ft.

J & R Fancher Property Holdings LLC is requesting sales, mortgage, and property tax exemptions totaling $254,336. and is estimated to produce $4 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of incentives.

If the initial applications for Valiant Real Estate USA, Inc. and J&R Fancher Property Holdings LLC are accepted, public hearings on the proposed project incentives agreements will be held prior to consideration of the final resolution.

The Sep. 9 GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. at 99 Med-Tech Drive, Suite 107.  The meeting also will be available online at www.gcedc.com.

September 2, 2021 - 12:07pm
posted by Joanne Beck in pizza 151, batavia, business, news.

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Doubling the space, adding a self-serve beer wall, and providing international entertainment might just put Pizza 151 on the map for craft beer destinations, owner Eric LeVan says.

“It’s a completely different look and feel; we’re very competitive for craft beers,” LeVan said during an interview Tuesday. “I think football season is going to bring in quite a bit. The Tap Room at 151 has 14 taps of all craft beer, and we’ll have bottles of domestic beer as well.”

Not to leave the cider lovers out, the Batavia Tops Plaza restaurant will have one cider available and he is considering some craft seltzers. Though he’s not a big drinker, LeVan has sampled some product and said the cider is pretty good.

“It’s literally like drinking an apple soda.”

LeVan had a partnership when the site was Mark’s Pizzeria in 2012. He later broke out on his own and renamed the place Pizza 151 a day after the Super Bowl in 2019. The entrepreneur owns another branch in North Chili and is co-owner of Bushido Martial Arts in Batavia.

LeVan more recently opted to lease 3,000 more square feet in the adjacent former Family Video site. It has made the space “nice and open” with a more expansive dining area that went from accommodating 20 to at least 100 people, he said.

There are seven televisions, including one with an 85-inch screen, a dine-in menu with about five or six yummy appetizers coming this fall (think soft chewy Bavarian pretzels), and a wireless dartboard system. Not your grandfather’s dartboard game, this one has two cameras that show the player and the board to prevent cheating. Patrons can try their luck with a local or someone across the globe, LeVan said.

“You can see anyone from the world,“ he said, adding that he just played such a game. “He was from Belgium.”

Now for the Tap Room at 151. Set up with an IPourIt draft technology system, diners select from 14 craft beers, which will be on a changing rotational basis per season. The current summer ale will soon be replaced with an Oktoberfest brew. According to IPourIt’s website, Pizza 151 is only one of three places in New York with the same self-serve system and the only one in this region. 

Customers scan their driver’s license to ensure proof of age, get a bracelet, then scan that to make a selection. Contrary to other establishments LeVan has experienced, “nobody’s pushing you out the door,” he said. 

“You’ll have the freedom of ordering how much you want,” he said. “And you can try two ounces of beer to get the taste. (The customer) pours their own beer.”

It’s the type of business for craft beer enthusiasts, he said, versus those who just want to drink. Quality versus quantity type of set-up. That’s not to say you can’t purchase quantity.

“We can make a crowler of any beer on tap,” he said. “(Patrons) can see the whole process. We’ll have some pre-canned of our bestsellers.”

He’s working on offering some tastings to include other area breweries, such as Eli Fish, Rohrbach Brewing Company, and Three Heads Brewing. A beer wall craft beer from Eli Fish, in downtown Batavia, would be a perfect addition, he said.

Two other embellishments are just as enticing, LeVan said. Instead of buying a 20-ounce pop, he now has a Pepsi fountain machine. And all of that drinking may steer people into two nice new bathrooms near the dining area. The rooms each have a TV so that nobody has to miss the action of a game. Recycled kegs for urinals and beer tap handles at the sink are bound to be a topic of conversation.

LeVan expects to hire more people as the pizza shop/taproom gets busier. He already hired a former employee who has beer lessons and expertise under his belt to serve as taproom manager. It has all come together in a fitting environment, LeVan said.

“This is a nichey little area for pizza and beer,” he said.

Pizza 151 is 8351 Lewiston Rd. to the left of the Tops gas station. It is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Check it out at pizza151.com or call (585) 344-2400.

Photos by Howard Owens

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August 31, 2021 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Steve's Styles, batavia, business.

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Steve Barnett, owner of Steve's Styles in Eastown Plaza, Batavia, has announced his retirement after 37 years in the salon business.  

Tomorrow, Karen Tauscher, a stylist, and manager of the shop, takes over as owner.

She's been with Steve's Styles for 30 years.

"Batavia and the surrounding communities have always been very supportive of our Salon since we opened our doors Sept. 1, 1984 -- first as Fantastic Sam’s then May 24, 2004, as Steve’s Styles, Barnett said. "When we opened our doors I was a young 28 years old and today as I retire a young 65."

He said Tauscher is a talented and experienced leader who will oversee a staff of 13 stylists with many years of experience among them.

"I want to thank the staff for all their hard work and friendship thru many years," Barnett said. "In addition, I am very grateful to all our guests who throughout the years kept Steve’s Styles a caring and community-based salon."

Submitted photo.

August 28, 2021 - 5:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chapin International, batavia, business.

Press release:

Chapin International, Inc. announces its continuing growth with another expansion in Kentucky. Following the successful startup of its Mount Vernon facility, due to business volume, there became an immediate need to further expand operations in order to meet continued demand for sprayers. The State of Kentucky once again sprang into action to assist Chapin in its need for space and dedicated employees. This culminated in the purchase of 1857 S. Danville Bypass, adding an additional 500,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehousing space. With this, Chapin now has more than 1.75 million square feet of production facility space in New York, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky combined. It will grow to have over 600 US-based employees and will be twice the size of any US-based sprayer producer and is positioned to compete with off-shore sprayer manufacturers well into the 2030s.

“As Covid continues to be an issue in the United States and the world, the increased demand for sprayers continues and the need to fight the spread is even more imperative. At the same time, people have had more opportunities to be at home and are enjoying gardening and improvement projects more than ever before. At the start of the pandemic, Chapin was at planned capacity. That was quickly overwhelmed by demand. With our recent expansion into Kentucky, we will now be able to produce over 12 million yearly sprayers in the United States as long as raw materials and labor is available,” said Jim Campbell, President.

“While adding capacity, Chapin has also expanded its capabilities and automation. Some of the new molders are larger and will allow us to produce sprayers up to 100 gallons. Chapin will expand the breadth of product for the homeowner, but also light agricultural use,” said Doug Platt, Plant Manager for Mount Vernon and the new Danville location. “The addition of five blow molding machines brings that facility up to twelve. The molders range in size from the smallest being a five-pound triple to the largest being a dual 40-pound molder. Most of those machines had been purchased from other companies. Previously tooled for automotive production, they will be rebuilt and put right into service making sprayers.” 

“This new capacity will put Chapin’s capacity on par with the largest manufactures in Europe, South America, and Asia. Chapin has become the predominant US Sprayer manufacturer. We continue to lower the cost of products through mass production making us the sure thing in the North American market. Whatever category Chapin enters, the consumer wins, with higher quality and lower costs,” said Bill Campbell, Vice President of Business Development.

“When we first went to Kentucky and met with the Judge (Holbrook) and Jeff Van Hook we told them we prefer to plan conservatively and move forward as fast as possible, the 10-year employment goal for 100 new jobs in the first 5 years was met in less than 12 months from the initial meeting,” said Jim Campbell.

The incentive program approved in Kentucky today provides additional tax abatements based on a new 300-person employment goal for the combined projects. Over the next 10 years, Chapin’s investment in Kentucky will surpass $16 million dollars. In addition to the tax abatement the city of Danville, Kentucky has been a great resource.

“The people of Rockcastle and Boyle Counties are ready to work!” Campbell attributes this to the prudent state economic policies and the exceptional work ethic of the Kentucky people. This is why business is thriving in Kentucky and continues to rank highly, nationally. “We are excited to be part of the continued growth of business in Kentucky”.

Chapin International is based in Batavia, New York.  The company is a leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of industry-leading high-quality compressed air sprayers used in home, garden, and commercial applications. Chapin also makes a full line of spreaders, irrigation products, and accessories. Chapin was established in 1884.  The company also conducts business via Chapin Custom Molding in Elyria, Ohio, and three additional Chapin International operations in Coopersville, Michigan, Clarence, New York, and Mount Vernon, Kentucky. 

August 27, 2021 - 10:23am
posted by Press Release in Oak Orchard Health, batavia, business, breastfeeding, Health Care.

Press release:

In support of Breastfeeding Month, today the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) held a virtual ceremony for its WIC Breastfeeding Award of Excellence winners in the Northeast Region, including seven in New York.

“USDA established the award program to recognize local WIC agencies that have provided exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support to WIC moms,” said Lizbeth Silbermann, Northeast Regional Administrator for USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service. "The intent is to provide models to help other WIC clinics strengthen their breastfeeding programs to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates nationwide.” 

A major goal of the WIC Program is to improve the health of babies and moms through breastfeeding; WIC serves about half of all babies born in the country and is uniquely positioned to help moms successfully breastfeed.

In New York the following WIC clinics received Gold awards: 

  • Catholic Charities WIC of Buffalo, Buffalo
  • Oak Orchard Health WIC, Batavia
  • Ryan Health WIC Program, NYC
  • Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center, Brooklyn
  • Morris Heights Health Center WIC, Bronx
  • SBH Health System, Bronx
  • Northwell Health Staten Island University Hospital, Staten Island

“Peer counselors have a unique ability to relate to participants and play a key role in providing support beyond the office when parents need it most, especially throughout the pandemic,” said Corie Nadzan, WIC Director for New York State. “These awards highlight the dedicated efforts of WIC staff to empower families to meet their breastfeeding goals beginning prenatally, through delivery and beyond. Having worked in a local agency myself, I know this is no easy feat, and I am incredibly proud of these agencies for their outstanding services.”

The award is given at three levels of performance that build on one another: Gold, Premiere, and Elite. 

One hundred and one awards were handed out across the country throughout the month of August, including 16 awards presented today to clinics in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children - better known as WIC - serves to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating including breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health care. More information about WIC can be found at www.fns.usda.gov/WIC.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) leverages its 15 nutrition assistance programs to ensure that children, low-income individuals, and families have opportunities for a better future through equitable access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food while building a more resilient food system. Under the leadership of Secretary Tom Vilsack, FNS is fighting to end food and nutrition insecurity for all through programs such as SNAP, school meals, and WIC. FNS also provides science-based nutrition recommendations through the co-development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To learn more, visitwww.fns.usda.gov. 

August 20, 2021 - 9:09am
posted by Press Release in Tompkins Insurance Agencies, batavia, business.

Press release:

Tompkins Insurance Agencies has been named among the Top 100 largest independent property/casualty agency in the nation by Insurance Journal.This is Tompkins Insurance Agencies’ seventh consecutive appearance on Insurance Journal’s top 100 list, with a 2021 ranking of 87thlargest.

Agencies included on Insurance Journal’s Top 100 list are ranked by total property/casualty agency revenue for 2020 and comprises only those agencies whose business is primarily retail, not wholesale.  This year’s report was published in the August 5 issue.

Tompkins Insurance operates 18 offices in western New York, six offices in central New York, and seven offices in southeastern Pennsylvania. A part of Tompkins Financial Corporation, (trading as TMP on the NYSE - MKT), the agency is affiliated with Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Trust Company, Tompkins VIST Bank and Tompkins Financial Advisors. It is an independent insurance agency offering personal and business insurance and employee benefits services through more than 50 different companies.

August 11, 2021 - 11:50am

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Rob Credi did something unusual last summer -- he opened a physical location for his business -- Pub Coffee Hub, which up to that time had been purely mobile -- in the middle of a pandemic.

It hasn't hurt business at all. In fact, Credi said yesterday the business is doing well.

But it did mean there was no ribbon-cutting with the Chamber of Commerce.

That item on the business-opening checkbox was ticked off yesterday.  

Previously: Moon Java to become new location for Pub Coffee Hub under ownership of Rob Credi

Photo courtesy the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

August 6, 2021 - 9:19am
posted by Press Release in liberty pumps, GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved incentives for five projects with a total capital investment of approximately $28 million and accepted an initial application for a proposal by Liberty Pumps for a $13.7 million expansion of the company’s manufacturing facility at its August 5, 2021 board meeting.

The GCEDC Board approved incentives for Gateway GS LLC for the build-out of a third 27,000 square-foot building at the Gateway II Corporate Park in the town of Batavia. 

Gateway GS LLC will invest approximately $2.36 million. The proposed facility is anticipated to be completed in 2022 and will create 21 new jobs with an average salary of $42,000 annually plus benefits. It is estimated that the project will generate $28 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of incentives. Gateway GS LLC will receive mortgage, sales and property tax exemptions of approximately $386,000.

The GCEDC Board of Directors also approved final applications for incentives for four community solar projects with a combined generation of 15.65 megawatts.

Trousdale Solar, LLC and Trousdale Solar II, LLC is building two projects that total $14.8 million of investment on Ellicott Street Road in the town of Batavia. The projects will generate 5 MW and 4 MW of electricity and over $930,000 in future revenues to Genesee County and the Batavia City School District over 15 years. The projects will receive approximately $2.5 million in property and sales tax incentives. 

Batavia Solar, LLC (YSG Solar) is building a $3.5 million solar project at the Upstate MedTech Park in the town of Batavia.  The project will generate 1.65 MW of electricity and over $150,000 in future revenues to Genesee County and the Byron-Bergen School District. The proposed project agreement is estimated to provide approximately $500,000 in property and sales tax incentives. 

NY CDG Genesee 1 LLC will build a $7.3 million solar project on Oak Orchard Road in the town of Elba. The project will generate 5 MW of electricity and over $518,000 in future revenues to Genesee County, the town of Elba, and the Elba Central School District. The project is estimated to provide approximately $1.2 million in property and sales tax incentives. 

The Board approved an application for consideration of incentives from Liberty Pumps. Liberty Pumps is proposing to make a $13.7 million capital investment to expand its manufacturing operations at the Apple Tree Acres business park in the town of Bergen.

The family- and employee-owned company is proposing to build approximately 107,000 square feet of new warehouse and manufacturing space to accommodate the continued growth of the business.  The project is expected to create approximately 30 jobs over 3 years while retaining its current employment of approximately 280.

The company is requesting approximately $1.4 million in property and sales tax exemptions. The project is estimated to produce $29 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of incentives.  A public hearing will be conducted since incentives total more than $100,000.

August 5, 2021 - 1:04pm
posted by Press Release in Tompkins Insurance, batavia, business.

Press release:

Tompkins Insurance Agencies is pleased to announce that it has received a 2021 Rochester Business Journal Reader Rankings Award for “Best Insurance Company.” 

The Reader Rankings Awards are a reader-driven contest to identify favorite companies and organizations in dozens of categories through a two-step nomination and voting process. This year, there were 16,000 total nominations and about 44,000 total votes throughout the contest.

Tompkins Insurance has also been consistently ranked among the Top 3 commercial insurance brokers in the Rochester area by the Rochester Business Journal, as well as ranked among the Top 100 commercial insurance agencies and the Top 50 personal insurance agencies in the country (according to Business Insurance and Insurance Journal magazines’ national rankings).

August 3, 2021 - 11:52am
posted by Press Release in liberty pumps, GCEDC, news, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider final resolutions for six projects at a capital investment of approximately $41.7 million at its August 5, 2021 board meeting.

The GCEDC Board will consider a final application for incentives for Gateway GS LLC.  Gallina Development of Rochester is proposing to build out a third 27,000 square-foot building at the Gateway II Corporate Park in the town of Batavia. Gateway GS LLC will invest approximately $2.36 million. The proposed facility is anticipated to be completed in 2022 and will create 21 new jobs with an average salary of $42,000 annually plus benefits.

Gateway GS LLC is seeking mortgage, sales, and property tax exemptions of approximately $386,000, and is estimated to produce $28 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of incentives. A public hearing on the proposed agreement was held on July 23.        

The GCEDC Board of Directors also will consider the approval of final applications for incentives for four community solar projects with a combined generation of 15.65 megawatts.

Trousdale Solar, LLC and Trousdale Solar II, LLC are proposing two projects totaling $14.8 million of investment on Ellicott Street Road in the town of Batavia. The projects would generate 5 MW and 4 MW of electricity and over $930,000 in future revenues to Genesee County and the Batavia City School District over 15 years. The proposed project agreement is estimated to provide approximately $2.5 million in property and sales tax incentives between the two projects. A public hearing on the proposed agreements was held on July 23.

Batavia Solar, LLC (YSG Solar) is proposing a $3.5 million project at the Upstate MedTech Park in the town of Batavia.  The project would generate 1.65 MW of electricity and over $150,000 in future revenues to Genesee County and the Byron-Bergen School District. The proposed project agreement is estimated to provide approximately $500,000 in property and sales tax incentives. A public hearing on the proposed agreement was held in September 2020.

NY CDG Genesee 1 LLC is proposing a $7.3 million project on Oak Orchard Road in the town of Elba. The project would generate 5 MW of electricity and over $518,000 in future revenues to Genesee County, the town of Elba, and the Elba Central School District. The proposed project agreement is estimated to provide approximately $1.2 million in property and sales tax incentives. A public hearing on the proposed agreement was held on May 17.

Finally, the Board also will consider accepting an application for consideration of incentives from Liberty Pumps.  If the proposal’s application is accepted, a public hearing will be conducted on the proposed agreement.

Liberty Pumps is proposing to make a $13.7 million capital investment to expand its manufacturing operations at the Apple Tree Acres business park in the town of Bergen.

The family- and employee-owned company is proposing to build approximately 107,000 square feet of new warehouse and manufacturing space to accommodate the continued growth of the business.  The project is expected to create approximately 30 jobs over 3 years while retaining its current employment of approximately 280.

The project has requested a $911,273 property tax exemption and a $578,160 sales tax abatement. The project is estimated to produce $29 of investment into the local economy for every $1 of incentives.

August 5, 2021, the GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 3 p.m. at 99 Med-Tech Drive.  The meeting also will be available online at www.gcedc.com.

July 26, 2021 - 11:05am

Press release:

ITHACA -- Tompkins Financial Corporation (NYSE American:TMP) announced today that its Board of Directors approved payment of a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.54 per share, payable on Aug. 13, 2021, to common shareholders of record on Aug. 3, 2021.

July 26, 2021 - 10:58am

Press release:

ITHACA -- Tompkins Financial Corporation (NYSE American: TMP) reported diluted earnings per share of $1.54 for the second quarter of 2021, up 6.9 percent from $1.44 per share in the second quarter of 2020. Net income for the second quarter of 2021 was $22.8 million, compared to $21.4 million for the same period in 2020.

For the year-to-date period ended June 30, 2021, diluted earnings per share were $3.26, up 65.5 percent from $1.97 for the same year-to-date period in 2020. Year-to-date net income was $48.5 million for the six month period ended June 30, 2021, up 64.9 percent compared to $29.4 million for the same period in 2020.

President and CEO, Stephen Romaine, said, "We are pleased to continue our favorable earnings trends in 2021 with another strong quarter of earnings. Though the current interest rate environment resulted in a narrowing of our net interest margin, our revenue for the first half of 2021 compared favorably to the prior year in all three of our primary business lines of banking, insurance, and wealth management.” 

SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE SECOND QUARTER:

  • Diluted earnings per share of $1.54 represents the best second quarter in the Company's history, and is up 6.9 percent over the same period in 2020.
  • Provision for credit losses was a $3.1 million credit for the second quarter of 2021, compared to an $877,000 expense in the same period last year.
  • Total deposits amounted to $6.8 billion at June 30, 2021, an increase of $459.5 million, or 7.2 percent over June 30, 2020.

NET INTEREST INCOME

Net interest income was $54.8 million for the second quarter of 2021, compared to $56.4 million reported for the second quarter of 2020. Interest income for the second quarter of 2021 included $1.9 million of net deferred loan fees associated with PPP loans, compared to net deferred loan fees of $2.3 million in the second quarter of 2020. Interest expense for the second quarter of 2021 was negatively impacted by an accelerated non-cash purchase accounting discount of $650,000 related to the redemption of $5.2 million of trust preferred securities.The net interest margin was 2.91 percent for the second quarter of 2021, compared to 3.45 percent reported for the same period in 2020, and 3.01 percent for the first quarter of 2021.

For the year-to-date period ended June 30, 2021, net interest income of $109.9 million was in line with the comparable six month period in 2020. For the year to date period in 2021, net deferred loan fees associated with PPP loans were approximately $4.7 million as compared to $2.3 million in the same period of 2020.

Average loans for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 were in line with the same period in 2020. Asset yields for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 were down 71 basis points compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2020, which reflects the impact of reductions in market interest rates over the trailing 12-month period as well as a greater percentage of earning assets being comprised of lower yielding securities and interest bearing balances due from banks, when compared to the same period in 2020. 

Average total deposits for the second quarter of 2021 were up $622.1 million, or 10.1 percent compared to the same period in 2020. Average noninterest bearing deposits for the three months ended June 30, 2021 were up $294.0 million or 16.4 percent compared to the three months ended June 30, 2020. Average deposit balances continue to benefit from the PPP loan program, as the majority of the proceeds of the PPP loans we funded were deposited in Tompkins checking accounts.

For the second quarter of 2021, the average rate paid on interest-bearing deposit products decreased by 20 basis points from the same period in 2020 due to the overall decline in market interest rates. The total cost of interest-bearing liabilities was 0.40 percent at June 30, 2021, a decline of 19 basis points from June 30, 2020.

NONINTEREST INCOME

Noninterest income of $18.9 million for the second quarter of 2021, was up 9.8 percent compared to the same period in 2020. For the year-to-date period, noninterest income of $38.8 million was up 7.5 percent from the same period in 2020. Growth over the same quarter last year was supported by increases in all fee income categories (insurance commissions and fees were up 11.0 percent, while investment services income was up 20.3 percent, service charges on deposit accounts increased 17.9 percent, and card services income was up 29.3 percent).

Noninterest income represented 25.6 percent of total revenues for the second quarter of 2021, as compared to 23.4 percent of total revenues for the second quarter of 2020.

NONINTEREST EXPENSE

Noninterest expense was $47.4 million for the second quarter of 2021, up $1.8 million, or 3.9 percent, from the second quarter of 2020. For the year-to-date period, noninterest expense was $92.0 million, up $1.0 million or 1.1 percent from the same period in 2020. Salaries and employee benefits for the second quarter of 2021 were up 5.9 percent when compared to the same quarter last year. The increase in noninterest expense for both the second quarter and year-to-date periods was primarily attributable to normal annual increases in salaries and wages, and increases in health insurance expense.

INCOME TAX EXPENSE

The Company's effective tax rate was 22.1 percent for the second quarter of 2021, compared to 20.5 percent for the same period in 2020. The effective tax rate for the six months ended June 30, 2021 was 21.3 percent, compared to 20.2 percent reported for the same period in 2020.

ASSET QUALITY

The allowance for credit losses represented 0.92 percent of total loans and leases at June 30, 2021, down from 0.93 percent at March 31, 2021, and 0.98 percent at Dec. 31, 2020. The ratio of the allowance to total nonperforming loans and leases was 88.3 percent at June 30, 2021, down compared to 103.4 percent at March 31, 2021, and 112.9 percent at Dec. 31, 2020.

The provision for credit losses for the second quarter of 2021 was a credit of $3.1 million compared to an expense of $877,000 for the same period in 2020. Net recoveries for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 were $884,000 compared to net recoveries of $26,000 reported for the same period in 2020. Provision expense for the six months ended June 30, 2021 was a credit of $4.9 million, compared to an expense of $17.6 million for the same period in 2020.

Nonperforming loans and leases totaled $53.8 million at June 30, 2021, compared to $47.7 million at March 31, 2021, and $45.8 million at Dec. 31, 2020. The increase in nonperforming loans and leases compared to prior year were mainly related to one commercial real estate relationship totaling $9.1 million, which was previously reported as Substandard, and downgrades of credits in the loan portfolio related to the hospitality industry, which was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonperforming assets represented 0.67 percent of total assets at June 30, 2021, up from 0.59 percent at March 31, 2021, and 0.60 percent at Dec. 31, 2020.

Special Mention and Substandard loans and leases totaled $171.3 million at June 30, 2021, reflecting improvement from $185.2 million at March 31, 2021, and $189.9 million reported at Dec. 31, 2020.

As previously announced, the Company implemented a payment deferral program in 2020 to assist both consumer and business borrowers that may be experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. As of June 30, 2021, total loans that continued in a deferral status amounted to approximately $129.4 million, representing 2.5 percent of total loans. At March 31, 2021 loans in deferral status totaled $195.6 million, and at Dec. 31, 2020 loans in deferral status totaled $212.2 million. Included in nonperforming loans and leases and Substandard loans and leases at June 30, 2021, were 9 loans totaling $22.1 million that remained in deferral status.

The Company began accepting applications for the PPP loans on April 3, 2020, and had funded 2,998 loans totaling approximately $465.6 million when the initial program ended. On Jan. 19, 2021, the Company began accepting both first draw and second draw applications for the reopening of the PPP program and as of July 19, 2021, the Company had funded an additional 2,481 applications totaling $261.2 million.

Out of the total$695.2 million of PPP loans that the Company had funded through July 19, 2021, approximately $471.4 million had been forgiven by the SBA under the terms of the program.

CAPITAL POSITION

Capital ratios at June 30, 2021 remained well above the regulatory minimums for well-capitalized institutions. The ratio of Total Capital to Risk-Weighted Assets was 14.62 percent at June 30, 2021, unchanged from March 31, 2021, and up from 14.39 percent at Dec. 31, 2020. The ratio of Tier 1 capital to average assets was 8.79 percent at June 30, 2021, compared to 8.89 percent at March 31, 2021, and 8.75 percent at Dec. 31, 2020.

During the second quarter of 2021, the Company repurchased 80,004 common shares at an aggregate cost of $6.5 million. These shares were purchased under the Company's previously announced 2020 Stock Repurchase Program. During the first six months of 2021, the Company repurchased 101,535 shares at an aggregate cost of $8.0 million.

July 22, 2021 - 2:30pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel has been selected one of four statewide recipients of "The Arc New York 2021 Employer of the Year Award," acknowledging the value of employing people with disabilities in their place of business

Arc of Genesee Orleans Director of Development Shelley Falitico says Batavia Downs has been a longtime friend of the agency, hosting Arc Night at the Races and Arc’s annual awards banquet.

Batavia Downs Values the Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities

In addition, through a partnership with Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, an onsite training on "The Benefits of Hiring a Person with a Disability" was held at the Arc Walnut Street location. Several employees from Batavia Downs HR Department were in attendance and were excited to begin collaborating with Arc’s Vocational Services team. 

“Our first request of The Downs was to allow us work with Community PreVoc participants at Batavia Downs to assess their skills,” said Arc Director of Vocational Services Melissa Cotter.

“A true partnership for employment and opportunities for people we serve was definitely developing. Unfortunately, COVID hit and Batavia Downs shut down along with some of our day services and the rest of the globe."

When Batavia Downs reopened, Arc of Genesee Orleans picked up where it left off and had a perfect candidate – Caleb Miller, for an Environmental Services technician position.

Caleb’s Mom, Debbie Miller, said in a letter supporting the award nomination, “My son is 20 years old with a diagnosis of autism. When COVID hit and shut the world down, Caleb could no longer attend college.

"He was attending Genesee Community College for Graphic Arts, but online classes did not work for him. Although he did try to find a job, Caleb also knew working directly with the public would not be easy for him. Enter Arc of Genesee Orleans and Batavia Downs,” Miller said. 

Naturally, as a mother, Miller said she had fears of how the job was going to work out, but is thankful that Batavia Downs for took a chance on her son and supported him as he landed his first job. 

“Batavia Downs has now hired Caleb directly – he is on their payroll now. And he is continuing to do well. His schedule is set, he knows the busy days of the casino and the slower days. He knows some of his ‘regular’ customers and they know who he is.

"Batavia Downs has given Caleb a sense of pride and self-worth. Caleb is a normal, working 20-year-old adult. He has his own money now. What a difference the Downs has made in Caleb’s life.”

One question in the award nomination asked how does the nominee ensure that employees with disabilities are fully integrated and supported in their company’s workforce.

Cotter said the people Arc supports at Batavia Downs Gaming are not separated by what they wear, ID badges, expectations or benefits.

“They wear the same uniforms, carry the same credentials and are expected to perform the duties that they were hired for,” she said. “The supervisors and coworkers have been very warm and welcoming to the people we support. From day one, from top managers, to security guards, to every other employee, all employees have been receptive to our presence there and offer the people we support any assistance they can to be a successful employee."

Arc of Genesee Orleans representatives will be on hand at the Downs on Thursday, July 29, at 6 p.m. for the Zoom award presentation from The Arc New York state offices. The award will be presented to Henry Wojtaszek, president & CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming.

Top photo: Caleb Miller, Environmental Services technician at Batavia Downs Gaming.

July 19, 2021 - 11:32am

Press release:

St. Ann’s Community is proud to announce that the organization is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all new and current team members.

This new minimum wage will be fully implemented by the end of 2021.

The impacts of COVID-19 have fundamentally changed the workforce -- this wage increase demonstrates St. Ann’s commitment to existing and future team members, who care for the most important people on Earth.

In 2019, St. Ann's acquired The Greens of Le Roy. The independent living facility for seniors is now known as St. Ann's Community at The Greens. It is located at 1 West Ave., Le Roy.

In New York State, the minimum wage increase to $15 is being phased in. New York City large employers -- 11 or more workers -- were the first required to make the increase as of Dec. 31, 2018, followed by NYC small employers on Dec. 31, 2019. Long Island and Westchester are now at $14 an hour and will go up to $15 the end of this year.

The remainder of the state, including the Finger Lakes Region, went to $12.50 an hour at the end of last year.

Continuing increases until the $15 hourly minimum wage is met for the remainder of the state will be announced annually by the NYS Department of Labor on or before Oct. 1.

The raise will be based on percentage increases determined by the director of the Division of Budget, based on economic indices, including the Consumer Price Index. Therefore, it is undetermined when $15 an hour will be the requirement in this region.

July 16, 2021 - 7:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pok-A-Dot, batavia, news, business.

dotsatthepok2021.jpg

Paulette Pastore, Leona Pastore, and Phyllis Pastore-Beers, admire the front of the Pok-A-Dot after the former handpainted dots had been replaced by new brigher vinyl dots.

Mike Hodgins, of John's Studio (pictured below), installed the new dots.

Whereas the old dots were all done in pastels, the new dots are in primary colors and should last longer. It's been at least 25 years since the dots were replaced on the legendary diner.

Leona and Phyllis are co-owners of the Pok-A-Dot.

The Pok-A-Dot, serving Batavia and its fans from throughout the world for 68 years, has undergone several improvements and upgrades over the past two years.

dotsatthepok2021-2.jpg

July 16, 2021 - 12:16pm
posted by Press Release in Tops Friendly Markets, business, SNAP, Instacart.

Press release:

Tops Friendly Markets is pleased to now offer Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible customers the ease of shopping online with Instacart.

SNAP shoppers can now pay for their same-day pickup or delivery orders with their EBT card while shopping online at Tops that partner with Instacart in New York State.

Tops offers Instacart services at 126 convenient New York locations.

“Tops Friendly Marketsis excited to pilot these services in our largest market of Instacart stores,” said Jill Sirica, manager, digital marketing for Tops.

“At the core of Tops mission is combating food insecurity and this will help bridge that gap of helping families gain accessibility to healthy and affordable food, something we have strived for since we began our partnership with Instacart. We are truly excited to see it come to fruition.” 

David Healy, who is in charge of retail partnerships at Instacart, said “Providing people access to the food they love is at the core of Instacart’s mission. We’re proud to partner with Tops Friendly Markets to provide more families with a convenient and accessible way to get their fresh food and pantry staples.

"Expanding EBT SNAP to reach same-day online grocery delivery and pickup is important to help people access the food they need, and we look forward to expanding this payment integration to even more retailers ...”

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program that provides assistance for low- and no-income U.S. residents to purchase food. SNAP benefits are processed through the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) debit card system.

By associating your EBT card to your Instacart account (either website or mobile app), you confirm that your card information is current and valid. To successfully use your EBT card at a Tops location online, a credit or debit card must be linked to your Instacart account to cover non-food fees, such as bottle deposits in some states, taxes, delivery tips, and any other non-EBT SNAP-eligible items that you may want to purchaseper federal SNAP guidelines.

Customers can then enter their zip code to determine if they are near a participating Tops, and begin shopping and selecting items from Tops’ EBT-eligible products. Once items are added to their cart, customers will be able to select how much of their benefits they would like to allocate to the order. Orders for delivery and pickup can be placed by customers for receipt in as fast as an hour or scheduled several days in advance. 

To help subsidize costs for EBT SNAP participants, Instacart will waive delivery or pickup fees through Sept. 16 on up to the first three EBT SNAP orders for each customer with a valid EBT card associated with their Instacart account. For more information about EBT SNAP on Instacart, visit www.instacart.com/ebt-snap.

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