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November 29, 2022 - 12:08pm
posted by Press Release in solar farms, Hecate Energy Cider Solar, Business, elba, Oakfield.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) board of directors will consider final resolutions for solar projects that would generate $576.5 million of capital investment at its board meeting on Thursday, December 1, 2022.

Projects to be considered at the meeting include Hecate Energy Cider Solar LLC’s proposed $550 million utility-scale solar project and community solar projects estimated at $26.5 million.

Hecate Energy Cider Solar LLC’s 500-megawatt utility-scale solar is proposing to create approximately 500 full-time construction jobs and will have the capacity to supply 920,000 hours of renewable electricity annually and provide power to up to 120,000 homes.

Agreements negotiated for Hecate Energy Cider Solar LLC project also would generate approximately $73.5 million through PILOTs and host community agreements with the Town of Elba, the Town of Oakfield, the Elba Central School District, and the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District, including:

  • $13.18 million to Genesee County
  • $19.38 million to the Town of Elba
  • $12.92 million to the Town of Oakfield
  • $16.85 million to the Elba Central School District
  • $11.24 million to the Oakfield-Alabama School District

“This project will generate significant financial benefits to the host communities and I want to acknowledge the leadership of the various taxing jurisdictions in working collaboratively and successfully to reach agreements matching the scale of this historic renewable energy project for our region,” GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde said.

The GCEDC Board also will consider final resolutions for three community solar projects totaling 10.5-megwatts of energy generation that would result in up to $2 million in payments for the various host communities.

  • AES Rt 5 Storage LLC is proposing to construct a 5-megawatt community solar project on West Main Road in Le Roy. The $11.01 million project would generate $597,180 in payments to Genesee County, the town of Le Roy, and the Le Roy Central Schools.
  • RPNY Solar 6 LLC is proposing to construct a 3-megawatt community solar project on Alexander Road in Batavia. The $5.97 million project would generate $447,748 in payments to Genesee County, the town of Batavia, and the Alexander Central Schools.
  • RPNY Solar 7 LLC is proposing to construct a 2.5-megawatt community solar project on Alexander Road in Batavia. The $3.55 million project would generate $373,124 in payments to Genesee County, the town of Batavia, and the Batavia City Schools.

Finally, the board will consider an initial resolution from NY CDG Genesee 4 LLC for a 4.275 MW community solar farm in the town of Pavilion on Shepard Road.  The $6.5 million project would generate approximately $500,000 in PILOT, host community, and real property tax payments to Genesee County, the town of Pavilion and the Pavilion Central Schools. If the resolution is accepted, a public hearing on the project agreement would be scheduled in the town of Pavilion.

The Dec. 1 GCEDC board meeting will be held at 4 p.m. at the MedTech Center’s Innovation Zone, 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia. Meeting materials and links to a live stream/on-demand recording of the meeting is available at www.gcedc.com.

November 19, 2022 - 8:05am
posted by Joanne Beck in Business, chamber of commerce, batavia.


Tom Turnbull had déjà vu Thursday at Terry Hills in Batavia.

The formerly retired president and current interim president of Genesee County Chamber of Commerce didn’t think he would again be front and center at the agency’s annual meeting. Turnbull stepped in earlier this year for Erik Fix when he left the position to become assistant manager for the city of Batavia.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Turnbull said Thursday to the room of attendees. “Now first thing that comes to mind from this year was the Chamber's 50th year anniversary … those of you that don't know the story, the Batavia Chamber of Commerce and the Leroy Chamber of Commerce merged in 1972, and they were smart enough to merge two chambers to make it not just the Batavia-LeRoy Chamber of Commerce, but a county wide Chamber of Commerce, and it was a great move, and that happened 50 years ago this year.”

He reminisced about the three celebration events the Chamber hosted, including an open house at the Chamber office on Park Road; a founding fathers reception with John Dwyer and Jim Benson representing the Batavia and Le Roy chambers, respectively; and the annual chamber awards dinner.

Other events have been an agricultural dinner; a popular Batavia-based Home Show; a golf tournament; ribbon-cuttings and welcomes to new businesses; and a monthly podcast.

“Obviously, these last two years have been a challenge for tourism, with the pandemic. But our staff has been very creative. And they’ve done a very good job and had to change their strategy a little bit for the past couple of years,” he said. “And this year, this is just an example of one of the things they did, we can't focus on international, or even our Canadian travelers, for the last couple of years, so we had to focus on more local, more day trip type of people that were coming into the county. And the dining guide was part of that. So we did a giant dining guide promotion and a lot of different portions of what's going on in the county.”

Those efforts seemed to pay off. Each household in the county would need to be taxed an extra $600 to replace the visitor-generated taxes received by New York State and local governments in 2021, he said. From lodging — at $17 million— to food/dining, retail and tourism payroll at $48 million, $16 million and $62 million, respectively — visitors will have brought an estimated $184 million to the county this year, he said.

As for business news, Quality Inn has been purchased and will be replaced by Holiday Inn and Candlewood Suites, he said. A $12 million renovation will re-open the site with a revamped hotel and Palm Island waterpark, he said.

“We have a lot of great hotels in this area. But that's really been the flagship hotel, and I think with the Palm Island, it's really important that that busy building doesn't stay there empty,” he said. “I think it's going to be really good for the community when they get better.”


He switched gears a bit from the work of the Chamber to the people of the Chamber, including veteran staff members Kelly Bermingham, and Kelly Rapone. He also introduced newly hired president Brian Cousins, who lives with his wife Cherie in Corfu.

“I think one of the things that we're really looking forward to next year is new leadership,” Turnbull said. “Brian Cousins is currently the director of accommodations at Six Flags, with over 25 years of dedication to helping families have fun and create lifelong memories. Holding various roles in marketing operations, entertainment and accommodations has provided him with a wide variety of skill sets throughout the hospitality, tourism and theme park industry.”

A humble Cousins admitted that Turnbull was a hard act to follow. The incoming president is looking forward to this opportunity with the chamber and Genesee County, he said.

“I’ve lived here for a very long time with my wife, over 25 years, we've lived in the county and it's been great. I look forward to meeting everyone as much as I possibly can,” Cousins said “I’m very humbled and very honored to be able to follow Tom's footsteps.”


Top Photo: Interim Chamber of Commerce President Tom Turnbull looks back over the past year during the agency's annual meeting Thursday at Terry Hills in Batavia; newly hired President Brian Cousins says a few words about his new role and the future; and Turnbull shows several photos of past community events. Photos by Howard Owens.

November 18, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in Business, Grow-NY, bergen, notify.


After two days of enjoying himself at a Grow-NY convention, Paul Guglielmo knew it was time to get serious. He was approaching his time to be on stage pitching for up to a million bucks to expand his Craft Cannery business.

Enter Alexander Hamilton. Or at least the soundtrack of the famed Broadway musical about America’s founding father. No wonder Guglielmo chose this piece of music to pump him up before his turn came: “I’m not throwing away my shot,” begins one of the tunes in a spunky rap-sung style.

And he certainly didn't. He just learned Wednesday that his pitch won a $500,000 prize. 

“It really worked. By the time I stepped on stage I was really psyched,” Guglielmo said Thursday about giving his pitch during the Grow-NY competition in Syracuse. “There was so much energy.”

The news was embargoed until Thursday, but Guglielmo figured there’s always the “mom rule,” so he confided in her before the news became public.

“She screamed at the top of her lungs,” he said. “We did a lot of practice, I’d say at least 50 times; it was well-rehearsed, but not memorized. There were six judges, sort of six disciplines all related to the food and agriculture business. The $500,000 is a really, really big deal, of course, but also having six people at the absolute tops of their field in food and agriculture give you that kind of validation, hearing your plan and say ‘we believe in that plan,’ that’s a big deal too. It really is a big deal.”

He received the award Wednesday night on behalf of the Bergen-based company. The top three priorities he pitched involved job creation, expansion of the building on Appletree Avenue, and the purchase of needed equipment. Most likely, it won’t happen in that order, though, as a building expansion needs to be done first in order to fit more equipment and then hire additional people to help operate everything.


Guglielmo (inset photo left), has been supported throughout his entrepreneurial journey by his wife Ryann, who assists with the company’s marketing, and partner Tom Riggio (inset photo, right). For more, go to the company website.

First up on the task list is to hire an architect and move forward with an expansion, Guglielmo said. That should be happening during the next several months, he said.

“Monday, we’ll have our first set of meetings, and have a goal of that being done in a year,” he said. “We have the land to do 10,000 square feet."

With a personality that tends to be “all over the place,” one big lesson he has learned from this experience is to focus. The judges homed in on various elements of his pitch, and pointed out an area he hadn’t really thought about, he said: the diversity of his staff. While clients and the advisory board are diverse groups, his staff looks like Bergen, he said: nine white people. He has attempted to recruit temp workers from an Afghan-based employee pool, but workers didn’t have transportation. He appreciated the panel’s point.

tomriggio1.jpeg“The efforts have been made. And there's barriers that need to be broken down, specifically with the transportation, because I've heard a couple of times, well, where's the nearest bus stop, and we don't have one. And so that's a barrier,” he said. “So it's something that I would like to pay a lot more attention to and do a better job of.”

Once expansion and new equipment purchases happen, then Craft Cannery will be looking to hire “realistically between two and five people,” the Brighton resident said. Although the “B2B” company produces well-known products, it sells to businesses versus directly to the public. As a result, it hasn’t garnered a whole lot of attention — until now. Guglielmo knows how challenging it can be to pursue a business dream, and he wants entrepreneurs to know that Craft Cannery is there to help.

“The first thing I ever thought when I wanted to start my pasta sauce business was that it was almost for sure that the answer I would get would be that it was impossible. And I couldn't believe it when I finally started to have some people take me seriously, like the people at Cornell University and their food venture center,” he said. “When they took me seriously, I was like, ‘Oh my God, somebody's actually taking me seriously that I want to bottle this sauce. This is so cool.’”

State recognition
Governor Kathy Hochul announced the winners of the Grow-NY business competition Thursday, including the top prize recipient ProAgni of Lavington, Australia, for the $1 million grand prize.

Now in its fourth year, the program once again attracted exceptional startups and entrepreneurial talent from around the globe to compete in its business development accelerator and two-day pitch competition at the Grow-NY Summit, Hochul’s press release stated.

ProAgni and Craft Cannery were two of eight finalists to take home prize money. The winning teams must commit to operating in the Central New York, Finger Lakes, or Southern Tier regions for at least one year while providing Grow-NY with a small equity investment stake in their entity. Funding for the competition, which is administered by Cornell University's Center for Regional Economic Advancement, is provided through the state's Upstate Revitalization Initiative. 

"Congratulations to all of the forward-thinking entrepreneurs that took part in the fourth round of the Grow-NY competition," Hochul said. "This competition not only helps these companies continue to innovate, but it further supports New York State's regional economies by drawing even more worldwide attention to our globally renowned food and agriculture industry.”

In all, 390 startups applied from 52 countries, including Singapore, Australia, and Sri Lanka. In the U.S., 25 states were represented, including 92 entries from New York. The 20 finalists, including Craft Cannery, received dedicated mentorship from hand-selected regional business advisors leading up to the competition.

Those selected as winners will now immediately get to work executing their business plans in New York state, leveraging the connections made and regional knowledge gained from the competition, the release stated. 

More than 1,200 people registered for the fourth annual Grow-NY Summit. The 20 finalists gave highly-anticipated business pitches to a panel of six judges reflecting a depth and breadth of agriculture, food production, and venture development expertise, who listened to each pitch and asked probing questions, before deliberating to determine the top winners, it stated.

"Grow-NY has become one of New York's finest annual traditions, shining a spotlight on the many diverse, innovative, exciting agricultural and food businesses across the State,” Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said. “I thank Governor Hochul for her continued support of the Grow-NY competition and send my congratulations to all of the winners and participants this year. I look forward to seeing you create the technologies and jobs of the future while continuing to provide a boost to our local farmers." 

Craft Cannery promotes itself as taking cherished recipes from your kitchen to the shelves of grocery stores, restaurants, farmers markets and beyond, specializing in the contract manufacturing of sauces, dressings, marinades, and more. 

Grow-NY judges based award decisions on the following criteria: 

  • The viability of the startup's business model 
  • The diversity, quality, readiness, and completeness of the startup team  
  • The value that the startup offers customers 
  • The agrifood innovation that that the startup has invented

Prior coverage includes:

Top photo submitted of Paul Guglielmo, center, celebrating his win Wednesday in Syracuse. 



November 17, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tractor Supply, batavia, Business, notify.


The Town of Batavia Planning Board voted unanimously on Tuesday night to appoint itself the lead agency in the environmental review process for a new Tractor Supply location at 8727 Lewiston Road.

Tractor Supply is planning a 24,000-square-foot building to replace its current store at 4974 East Main Street Road.

Not only will the new location be larger, but Tractor Supply will also own the land and building.  The company leases the current location.

"The main effort is to expand into a larger space and be an all-inclusive store that competes more with The Home Depot, Lowes, and those types of stores," said attorney Ryan McCarthy.

Real Estate broker Tony Mancuso said previously that he has potential tenants already considering the former Tractor Supply location, so it may not go vacant long.

The current location is owned by 1515 Management Company Inc., which appears to be a company based in Iowa with principles living in Boca Raton, Fla.

Tractor Supply is acquiring 5.08 acres, a portion of a 50-acre farm field owned by the Call family and actively farmed by MY-T Acres.  The five acres will be divided into four parcels.

Tractor Supply will occupy a parcel 340 feet from Lewiston Road.  There will be another parcel between that parcel and Lewiston Road.  It's expected that the parcel, zoned commercial, will be developed at some point, as well as the other two parcels being acquired by Tractor Supply, but there are no firm plans for development at this point.

The new location will have 110 parking spaces, which is 10 fewer than required by ordinance, which means Tractor Supply will need to apply for and receive a zoning variance.

McCarthy said Tractor Supply, which operates nationwide, knows the flow of its business well, and the store will not need 110 spaces, which means less land to cover with asphalt.

Plans to convert the farm field into commercial development have been on the books for more than 20 years. As part of the project, Tractor Supply will start construction of a road -- initially a driveway into the new store -- that will eventually connect Lewiston Road to Veterans Memorial Drive on the north side of The Home Depot.

A planning board member asked if it will be necessary to install a traffic light at the new road and Lewiston Road, and Mancuso said, "not yet."  Not until a planned roadway is installed directly opposite the location that will connect Lewiston Road with West Main Street Road.  That vacant land, in the town's Comprehensive Master Plan, is designated for commercial development.

The proposed project will be back before the board in a month when the board will review the environmental impact report.

November 16, 2022 - 3:20pm
posted by Press Release in Tompkins Financial, Business, batavia.

Press release:

Tompkins Financial Advisors in Western New York, based in Rochester, has added Batavia native Margaret Brown as a wealth advisor. In this post, Brown is responsible for building and maintaining client relationships, as well as lending expertise through executive financial planning, wealth management and estate planning.  

“Over the last 20-plus years, Margaret’s experience in wealth management, along with consulting and educating professionals and leaders, makes her a superb asset to the company and its team-based approach to client service,” said James Sperry, Tompkins Financial Advisors senior vice president and managing director for the region. “We know she’ll continue to grow in this role.” 

Prior to joining Tompkins Financial Advisors, Brown served as a vice president and financial advisor at Citizens Securities. She has her Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) series 6, 7, 63 and 66, along with Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) and Life & Health licenses in various states and is currently completing her Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification.   

Brown is actively involved in her community and volunteers alongside her family at Bethel Express, a Rochester-based youth ministry.   

November 14, 2022 - 11:41am
posted by Press Release in Brian Cousins, chamber of commerce, Business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced that Brian Cousins has been selected as their new President.  Cousins will succeed Erik Fix, who left to take a position with the City of Batavia.

“The Board of Directors is excited to work with Brian,” said Board Chair Mickey Hyde. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership skills from his previous career.  The Board has been very impressed with his vision and enthusiasm for Genesee County and the Chamber of Commerce.”

Cousins is currently the Director of Accommodations at Six Flags Darien Lake.  He has over 25 years of experience at Darien Lake where he has held various roles in marketing, operations, entertainment and accommodations.

Cousins is a graduate of Genesee Community College and SUNY Fredonia, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Communications.  He is a graduate of Leadership Genesee, Class of 2018.    

Cousins lives in Corfu with his wife, Cherie.  His start date with the Chamber is Dec. 19.  

November 8, 2022 - 8:10am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Business, batavia, downtown, notify.


When it comes to psychics and the metaphysical world, there’s likely a skeptic for each believer, and Kristopher Kelly was no different in the beginning of his journey.

That’s hard to fathom, given his obvious absorption of various healing methods and communications with and connection to other worldly existence through the use of personalized therapies, meditation, crystals and oils.

“Each stone is going to emit a certain energy. And to keep it simple, people are antennas, we absorb energy from anything, what’s around our environments, people around us, things like that. So, when you start involving healing crystals in your life, you're going to match the healing crystal with the healing need that you have,” Kelly said during an interview with The Batavian Monday at his Ascension Outpost shop on Center Street, Batavia. “Once you’re open, you start to gravitate towards certain stones … and are much more plugged in.”

Kelly was not at all plugged in when he was perishing as a broken person both physically and mentally, severely disabled from an accident and addicted to opiates that barely dulled the pain, he said. He had gone to more than 50 doctors, and had unsuccessful surgeries during his seven-year course of trying to survive.

Although he didn’t really believe in this stuff, he was intrigued — and desperate enough — to learn more, he said. He kept hearing a voice telling him to go to Lily Dale, and he eventually went with his mom. A psychic told his mom that she was a healer, but said nothing about Kristopher.

His curiosity — and perhaps dander — was piqued, and he wanted to learn more. While at a Universalist Unitarian Church service, the reverend pointed to him and said that he had a gift. He followed up by attending intuitive classes and reiki — which, he said. was the only thing that helped his pain besides the strong dosage of opiates.

“I saw a doctor for every single joint in my body besides my hips. I mean literally every single one. Then I was going to counseling, I started developing severe depression, anxiety PTSD, ADHD,” he said. “I was planning my death, the pain was so bad. I couldn’t walk, I was living on the floor. I couldn’t stand for more than two minutes.”

He felt that his body was deteriorating, and that nothing medically was working, he said. He was introduced to reiki attunement, an energy healing which he describes as “ having a switch flipped on inside your body,” he said. “It helps your body rapidly regenerate.”

After level one of self-healing, he went on to the second level, which is healing others, he said. He attributes the various psychic modalities for his own recovery, which included stretching, meditation, crystals and oils on a daily basis. Not being able to work, the now 34-year-old took classes and obtained certifications three to four days a week, he said.

He said can perform theta healing, which is repatterning the subconscious mind. Using brain waves, this technique can create “instant healings,” versus integrated energy therapy, which uses the power of angels to pull out negative energy and imprint forgiveness, he said.

“They quite literally feel different because they are different. They do not have the energy from the traumatic experiences bogging them down anymore. It's like throwing off that 10-pound sack on your back, and they literally feel 10 pounds lighter,” he said. “So they immediately walk out my doors and start acting different, feeling different, their relationships will be different, and they'll have better experiences come into their life.”

The crystals, such as rose quartz and Kelly’s favorite, labradorite, have individualized energies to them, he said. Labradorite, a glossy black stone with blue streaks — depending on how the light hits it — “awakens psychic abilities such as telepathy and prophecy,” an accompanying card states.

“When people come to see me, they’re getting something more advanced,” he said. “My passion is getting people to understand themselves. I channel different spirit guides so that people start rapidly changing their lives (through self-recognition).”

If customers are seeking guidance, he can recommend books to read, oils to use, and crystals for what he believes have healing and strengthening power.

Kelly’s upcoming classes are wide-ranging, from How to Connect With Extraterrestrials to How to Purge Emotions and Balance Your Energy.

There are others who teach additional classes because Ascension Outpost is not just about healing, he said, rather, it’s also about connecting the community, providing opportunities to socialize and promoting local artists.


The wall mural in the shop — a bright, colorful array of symbols and scenes as a “depiction of the path to enlightenment” — was painted by Megan Dysinger of Buffalo. Her work is “very powerful,” he said, and she has artwork, jewelry and tarot cards, with an expectation to do tarot card readings within the next two months.

Kelly’s shop houses Glass Roots’ items, plus CD chantings, necklaces, bracelets, and many types and colors of crystals and polished stones.

He has one employee, Sierra Browne, in Batavia, and they are very passionate about “what we’ve been through and healed from,” Kelly said.

“We have overcome a lot, and now that we’ve hit a certain point, now I’m able to start going to jails, healthcare and rehab facilities,” he said, inviting others to share their experiences and have a comfortable place to visit. “To be able to say, ‘this is my story, this is what I’ve overcome.’ This is somewhere they can come to, it’s accountability, and keep moving past this.”

The Batavia shop is at 12 Center St. and is open noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. For questions or to set up an appointment, call 716-638-7187.

Top Photo of Kristopher Kelly with one of his favorite stones, labradorite, at his shop, Ascension Outpost in Batavia; photo above is Kelly next to a portion of the mural painted for him at the store on Center Street. He also owns Ascension Outpost at 21 Main St., Attica. Photos by Joanne Beck.

November 7, 2022 - 10:48pm
posted by Press Release in Tompkins Community Bank, Business.

Press release:

Following the kickoff of National Financial Planning Month in October, Tompkins Community Bank has announced the launch of Smart Spend, a unique new checking account that qualifies for “Bank On” certification.  

The new product aims to expand community access to banking through the elimination of overdraft fees for account holders. In addition to minimizing opportunities to overdraw, the Smart Spend accounts have no minimum balance requirement, making it one of Tompkins’ most inclusive banking options for underbanked or previously unbanked community members.   

“Offering Smart Spend will make banking more equitable and accessible for all in our community, and it’s an important step in the right direction,” said John McKenna, president of Tompkins, Western New York and CEO of Tompkins Community Bank. “It’s our hope that Smart Spend will cater to the ever-growing diversity of financial needs we serve, and allow more individuals to establish a financial footprint, securely build their credit history and develop healthy saving and spending habits.” 

As part of its ongoing commitment to offering financial education, Tompkins hosts an ongoing series of free, virtual webinars on a variety of topics, including fraud protection, first-time homebuying, and overall financial wellness. For a schedule of upcoming events and instructions on registering, please visit https://www.tompkinsbank.com/about-us/community-events

Smart Spend is now available in all 16 branches serving the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wyoming and Erie Niagara counties in Western New York. Key features of the account include a monthly maintenance cost of only $5.00, no overdraft or nonsufficient fund fees, the ability to pay bills and make purchases, and federal deposit insurance. In addition to the new program, Tompkins has also developed a corresponding Smart Spend savings account, available only to Smart Spend checking account holders. For more information, please visit https://www.tompkinsbank.com/

Smart Spend is officially certified by the national Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards for 2021–2022. The national safe account Standards, co-created by consumer advocates, leading national nonprofit organizations, civic leaders, and other financial institutions, designate both core and strongly recommended features that ensure low cost, high functionality, and consumer safety. 

November 7, 2022 - 10:44pm
posted by Press Release in Tompkins Financial, Business.

Press release:

Tompkins Financial Corporation ("Tompkins" or the "Company") reported diluted earnings per share of $1.48 for the third quarter of 2022, up 2.1% from $1.45 per share in the third quarter of 2021.  Net income for the third quarter of 2022 of $21.3 million was essentially unchanged when compared to the third quarter of 2021.   

For the year-to-date period ended September 30, 2022, diluted earnings per share was $4.53, down 4.0% from $4.72 for the same year-to-date period in 2021.  Year-to-date net income was $65.5 million for the period ended September 30, 2022, down $4.3 million, or 6.2%, from the same period in 2021.  The year-to-date net income variance was primarily attributable to the provision for credit losses, which was an expense of $1.4 million in 2022, versus a credit of $6.1 million in 2021, resulting in a pretax variance of $7.5 million. 

Tompkins President and CEO Stephen Romaine commented, "We noted several favorable trends during the third quarter of 2022.  Revenue increased for the second consecutive quarter and grew at an annualized rate of 8.3% over the second quarter of this year. Our total loans grew at an annualized rate of 3.8% during the quarter, although that growth rate is somewhat slower than the 7.8% growth we experienced in the second quarter of this year.  Our team did an excellent job supporting business in our communities with PPP loans and we are pleased that our loans outstanding under that program totaled less than $1 million as of September 30, 2022."  


  1. Total loans at September 30, 2022 were $5.2 billion, up $45.9 million over the immediate prior quarter, reflecting an annualized increase of 3.6% from June 30, 2022.   
  2. Net interest margin of 3.04% for the quarter ended September 30, 2022 was down as compared to the 3.09% for the quarter ended June 30, 2022, but increased from 2.89% for the same period in 2021. 
  3. Total deposits at September 30, 2022 were $6.9 billion and were up 2.5% compared to the second quarter of 2022, and down 2.2% from the same period of 2021. 


Net interest income was $58.1 million for the third quarter of 2022, which was in line with the most recent prior quarter.  The third quarter of 2022 showed increased interest income in both the loan and security portfolios, but was slightly offset by higher funding cost on both deposits and other borrowings.  Net interest income for the third quarter of 2022 was up $2.0 million, or 3.6% from the same period in 2021. Net interest income for the current quarter included $88,000 of net deferred loan fees associated with PPP loans, down from net deferred loan fees of $873,000 for the quarter ended June 30, 2022, and $3.3 million of net deferred loan fees in the third quarter of 2021. 

For the year-to-date period ended September 30, 2022, net interest income was $173.0 million, up $7.0 million or 4.2% compared to the year-to-date period ended September 30, 2021.  For the year-to-date period in 2022, net deferred loan fees associated with PPP loans were approximately $3.0 million, down from $8.0 million in the same period of 2021.   

Average loans for the quarter ended September 30, 2022 increased $70.0 million or 1.4%, compared to the same period in 2021.  The increase in average loans as compared to the same period prior year was mainly in commercial and residential real estate loans, which were up 7.6%, and 5.9%, respectively.  Commercial and industrial loans were down 21.1%, mainly driven by lower PPP loan balances.  Interest earning asset yields for the quarter ended September 30, 2022 were up 9 basis points from the second quarter of 2022 and up 17 basis points compared to the same period in 2021.   

Average total deposits for the third quarter of 2022 were down $137.4 million, or 2.0% compared to the same period in 2021.  Average noninterest bearing deposits for the quarter ended September 30, 2022 were up $84.7 million or 3.9% compared to the quarter ended September 30, 2021.  For the third quarter of 2022, the average rate paid on interest-bearing deposits of 0.36% was up 18 basis points from the second quarter of 2022, and 14 basis points from the same period in 2021.  The total cost of interest-bearing liabilities of 0.45% for the third quarter of 2022 represented an increase of 23 basis points over the second quarter of 2022, and an increase of 6 basis points versus the same period in 2021.   

Noninterest income of $20.7 million for the third quarter of 2022 and $59.6 million for the year-to-date period were both in-line with the same periods in 2021.  For the third quarter of 2022, total service-related fee categories were up $665,000 or 3.5% over the same quarter prior year, mainly driven by growth in  insurance commissions and fees, and service charges on deposit accounts, which were partially offset by lower wealth management fees. The decline in wealth management fees is mainly a result of market conditions. Other income was down from the same quarter last year, mainly due to lower earnings on bank-owned life insurance, which was down $603,000 compared to the same quarter in 2021, as certain separate account policies were unfavorably impacted by decreases in the market value of the underlying assets.  

Noninterest expense was $49.6 million for the third quarter of 2022, down $578,000 or 1.2% from the third quarter of 2021.  For the year-to-date period, noninterest expense of $145.6 million was up $3.4 million or 2.4% from the same period in 2021.  Growth in noninterest expense for the year-to-date period was primarily driven by increases in salary and wage expense and other noninterest expense. Other noninterest expense for the three months ended and year-to-date period ended September 30, 2022, included nonrecurring expenses of $196,000 and $1.2 million, respectively, related to the consolidation and rebranding of the Company's four banking charters.  

The Company's effective tax rate was 24.1% for the third quarter of 2022, compared to 23.7% for the same period in 2021.  The effective tax rate for the nine months ended September 30, 2022 was 23.4%, compared to 22.1% reported for the same period in 2021.   

The increase in the effective tax rate for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022, over the same periods in 2021, is largely due to the anticipated loss of certain New York State tax benefits.  The Company's banking subsidiary has an investment in a real estate investment trust that provides certain benefits on its New York State tax return for qualifying entities.  A condition to claim the benefit is that the consolidated company has qualified average assets of no more than $8.0 billion for the taxable year.  The Company expects average assets to exceed the $8.0 billion threshold for the 2022 tax year.  As of September 30, 2022, the Company's consolidated average assets were slightly over the $8.0 billion threshold, as defined by New York State law.  The Company will continue to monitor the consolidated average assets during 2022 to determine future eligibility. 

The allowance for credit losses represented 0.86% of total loans and leases at September 30, 2022, up from 0.85% at June 30, 2022 and down from 0.91% at September 30, 2021.  The allowance coverage as a percentage of  nonperforming loans and leases was 128.27% at September 30, 2022, down compared to 147.95% at June 30, 2022 and improved from the 76.15% reported at September 30, 2021. 

The provision for credit losses for the third quarter of 2022 was an expense of $1.1 million, compared to a credit of $1.2 million for the same period in 2021.  Provision for credit losses for the nine months ended September 30, 2022 was an expense of  $1.4 million, compared to a credit of $6.1 million for the same period in 2021.  The increase in provision for credit losses for both the three and nine month periods is mainly driven by current economic forecasts coupled with loan growth. 

Nonperforming assets represented 0.45% as of September 30, 2022, up from 0.40% at December 31, 2021, and down compared to 0.75% at September 30, 2021.  At September 30, 2022, nonperforming loans and leases totaled $34.9 million, compared to $31.2 million at December 31, 2021, and $60.7 million at September 30, 2021.   

Special Mention and Substandard loans and leases totaled $106.7 million at September 30, 2022, reflecting improvement from $137.6 million at December 31, 2021, and $115.0 million at June 30, 2022.  The decrease in Special Mention and Substandard loans, compared to the most recent prior quarter, was mainly due to improved asset quality in the hospitality industry as occupancy rates continue to increase. 

The Company funded a total of 5,140 applications for PPP loans totaling $694.1 million in 2020 and 2021. As of September 30, 2022, there were fourteen outstanding PPP loans totaling approximately $875,000.  Total net deferred fees on the remaining balance of PPP loans amounted to $18,000 at September 30, 2022.

Capital ratios at September 30, 2022 remained well above the regulatory minimums for well-capitalized institutions. The ratio of Total Capital to Risk-Weighted Assets was 14.26% at September 30, 2022, compared to 14.23% at December 31, 2021, and 14.21% at September 30, 2021. The ratio of Tier 1 capital to average assets was 9.14% at September 30, 2022, compared to 8.72% at December 31, 2021, and 8.54% at September 30, 2021.  

During the third quarter of 2022, the Company repurchased 18,182 common shares at an aggregate cost of $1.3 million. These shares were purchased under the Company's Stock Repurchase Program announced in the third quarter of 2021. For the nine month period ended September 30, 2022, the Company repurchased 197,979 common shares at an aggregate cost of $15.4 million.   

Tompkins Financial Corporation is a banking and financial services company serving the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania.  Headquartered in Ithaca, NY, Tompkins Financial is parent to Tompkins Community Bank and Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc., and offers wealth management services through Tompkins Financial Advisors. For more information on Tompkins Financial, visit www.tompkinsfinancial.com

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: 
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Forward-looking statements may be identified by use of such words as "may", "will", "estimate", "intend", "continue", "believe", "expect", "plan", or "anticipate", and other similar words. Forward-looking statements are made based on management’s expectations and beliefs concerning future events impacting the Company and are subject to certain uncertainties and factors relating to the Company’s operations and economic environment, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the control of the Company, that could cause actual results of the Company to differ materially from those expressed and/or implied by forward-looking statements. The following factors, in addition to those listed as Risk Factors in Item 1A of our Annual Reports on Form 10-K and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, are among those that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements; changes in general economic, market and regulatory conditions; estimated GDP growth and inflation trends; the ongoing dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact; the impact of the interest rate and inflationary environment on the Company's business, financial condition and results of operations; other income or cash flow anticipated from the Company’s operations, investment and/or lending activities; changes in laws and regulations affecting banks, bank holding companies and/or financial holding companies, such as SEC rule making, The Dodd-Frank Act, Basel III, and state and local government mandates; technological developments and changes; the ability to continue to introduce competitive new products and services on a timely, cost-effective basis; governmental and public policy changes, including environmental regulation; reliance on large customers; uncertainties arising from national and global events such as the war in the Ukraine, including the potential impact of widespread protests, civil unrest, and political uncertainty on the economy and the financial services industry; and financial resources in the amounts, at the times and on the terms required to support the Company’s future businesses. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update its forward-looking statements. 

November 7, 2022 - 10:40pm
posted by Press Release in Tompkins Insurance, Business, batavia.

Press release:

Tompkins Insurance Agencies has once again been designated a “Best Practices” Agency, recognizing it as part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies across the United States. The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) has included the Batavia-based agency in its “Best Practices” group for the fourth consecutive year. After a full review of its financial stability and operational excellence, Tompkins Insurance was one of the 282 agencies to qualify, chosen from more than 2,600 independent agencies nationwide.   

The Big “I” and Reagan Consulting of Atlanta, Ga., have collaborated since 1993 to conduct this annual study of industry-leading independent insurance agencies. The study focuses on business practices, including revenue growth and profitability, financial stability, expense management, and sales and operations productivity.  

“To be named a ‘Best Practices’ agency for the fourth year running is an honor we don’t take lightly,” said David S. Boyce, president and CEO of Tompkins Insurance. “It proves, for us, that our mission to offer local, personalized and independent services for clients in communities within Western New York, Central New York and Southeastern Pennsylvania is working. And we aim to continue serving businesses within these communities at a high level for years to come.” 

This recognition comes on the heels of Tompkins Insurance being ranked again this Fall among the Top 100 commercial insurance agencies in the U.S., by both Business Insurance and Insurance Journal

November 5, 2022 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in VivIFY Hydration Lounge and Medispa, batavia, Business.


Vivify Hydration Lounge & Medispa is celebrating its first year in business this month and besides the balloon display, created by Balloons by Sherri, Vivify is holding an open house on Nov. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. with raffles, demos, and promotions.

Vivify is located at 413 E Main St, Batavia.  

Call (585) 449-9258 by Nov. 12 to RSVP for the open house.


Video Sponsor
November 4, 2022 - 7:38pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Business, batavia, notify.

jake_koch.jpegJake Koch’s family has been involved in the heating and cooling business for decades.

With experience that dates back to when the cold was literally delivered to homes, Koch feels confident now as the new president and owner of Turnbull Heating and Air Conditioning in Batavia.

“I’ve been in the industry ever since I was a kid. I'm the fifth generation in my family to be involved in the industry. My great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather ran an ice delivery business; they were salesmen. My dad and my uncle ran a refrigeration company and my family has been involved in it for a while,” Koch said during an interview Friday. “So we purchased the company and the building, and the goal is to keep everything the same and grow it.”

Koch, a resident of Hilton, has owned Triton Mechanical in Monroe County with his father Jeff and friend Kevin O’Connell for more than six years. The company originated organically, he said, and the team — which also includes mom Wendy — has worked to make it a successful heating, ventilation and air conditioning operation, he said.

“I wouldn't change a thing. Everybody said that you shouldn't go into business with family or friends. And we we've made it work, and it's fantastic,” he said. “We have great conversations and mom and dad are great. And Kevin is fantastic. Kevin is really, he's a strong leader, and I don't know, it's just perfect.”

He met former Turnbull owner Bill Hayes a couple of years ago, and was introduced to the company at 50 Franklin St., Batavia, more thoroughly after Hayes decided to put it up for sale. One selling point was that Koch wanted to become as fully involved with the community as Hayes has been, the new owner said.

“And when we met Bill, we looked at the company and the team and reputation and just decided (they wanted to purchase it), and he decided also, because he was looking at other folks to buy the company,” Koch said. “And we both agreed that this would be the right move to allow him to stay on and continue the vision of the company.

“We’ve been given a chance to grow a company on a very strong foundation and partner with someone who cares … someone like Bill who cares a lot about the community and family and team the way that we do,” Koch said. “We have similar visions as business owners and similar values as family.”


With its founding in 1966, Turnbull already has a solid track record, and Koch and his leadership team have no plans to change what’s working. The staff of 31 and current services will remain, and the only shift may be additional growth of the residential and commercial offerings, he said.

Triton will retain its name, but the company has been merged with Turnbull, as evident on the new website. Hayes will remain as project manager/designer and consultant for at least a year, per the contract, he said. 

He can’t help but see how fate played a role in this new professional relationship, as Hayes bought Turnbull Heating from Roy Turnbull after a chance meeting at Grand Cayman Island, and now Koch and his team have purchased it from Hayes. In each scenario, the owner was eyeing retirement with a goal to find the right people to take over.

For Hayes, it was a former employee — Pat Roberts, a student who worked for three summers while attending college — who helped to broker the deal via an introduction of Hayes and Koch.

“I am truly blessed to find these guys and the guy that brought us together,” Hayes said. “This guy was a mentor between two companies; he was watching out for my welfare and for Triton’s welfare.”

What inspired Hayes to seek retirement now? It’s quite simple, he says: seven grandsons, all under the age of 10. While Hayes can remember chats he had with his own grandfather, he wants to be that older and wiser mentor for his two daughters’ children. He also feels that he found the right professional team to take over.

“They come with a strong service background. And the fact that they had the same mission as I do, which is taking care of the customer at all costs. If there's any concerns, they can lean on me, and the customers can still call me,” Hayes said. “The bonus is the fact that they'll listen to what I have to say, because a lot of times, that usually doesn't happen, but we really have come together now. It’s working like a dream.”

The deal was signed June 1, and as for business, it has been “phenomenal,” Hayes said, surpassing anything in his 30 years of owning the company. Ringing phones has meant hiring two additional staff members to answer calls and set up appointments, he said.

He attributes it at least in part to the merger and reputations and territories of each. Turnbull reaches beyond Genesee County, into Orleans and Wyoming, and expanding into Erie and Niagara counties, while Triton is in Ontario, Monroe and Oneida counties.

“You have two powerful service companies come together, and on the other end of two counties … it’s just going to take off,” he said. “I wanted the right person or persons to take over, I wanted the same mindset.”

Koch added that Hayes will remain part of the business “to get us used to running the company.”

“He knows everybody around here in Batavia and Genesee County, he's very well connected, and he's gonna continue selling and designing HVAC systems and business as usual,” Koch said. “I love running the service business. I like helping other people. And I love being involved in the community. We've done that with our company from day one. And we're going to do that with Turnbull.

“Now that that's our company too, we’d like to support the community and give back to small businesses," Koch said. "It's not easy, a lot of folks have helped us along the way. And we want to give that back.”

Top Photo of Jake Koch; Jeff Koch, Bill Hayes, Kevin O'Connell and Jake Koch at the newly merged business site in Batavia. Not pictured is former Turnbull Vice President JoAnn Hayes, who has been "my rock" for husband Bill, he says. Photos courtesy of Jake Koch.

November 3, 2022 - 7:30am
posted by Joanne Beck in batavia, Business, notify, Ascension Outpost.


Kristopher Kelly and staff celebrated the opening of the second Ascension Outpost location this week at 12 Center St., Batavia.

The shop offers several services, including psychic readings, reiki healings, integrated energy therapy, past life readings, Shamanic healings and an emotional code work/subconscious reprogramming through Theta reprogramming.

Kelly is a certified Reiki Master, IET attuned and certified, a ThetaHealing practitioner, a certified reverend and a psychic medium who now owns two metaphysical stores, one each in Batavia and Attica.

He offers readings, healings and classes, with a focus to teach others how to “develop their intuition, heal and connect with the other side.”

Kelly started developing his skills and became Reiki attuned two months after getting clean, he says. He has healed his body from a traumatic accident and overcome mental illness, and it is his mission to make this form of healing available to those in need.

Hours at the Batavia site, located in Glass Roots, are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. He encourages folks to feel free to stop by and chat or ask questions about the services offered.



Top Photo of  Megan Dysinger, Kristopher Kelly, Sierra Browne and Betsy Marshall celebrating the opening of Ascension Outpost at 12 Center St., Batavia. Photos above are various items available for purchase at the shop, including jewelry and crystals. Photos courtesy of Katy Hobbs.

October 25, 2022 - 3:43pm
posted by Press Release in Business, agriculture, Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Press release:

Cornell Cooperative Extension’s (CCE) Northwest NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team (NWNY Team) is hosting “Hands-On Feeder School Training” for area dairy producers and employees who feed cows with a total mixed ration. Feed costs, which include the cost to produce home-grown feeds and the cost of purchased feed, are the largest expense on a dairy farm. Carrying out an accurate and consistent mix of feed is critical to achieving high production and healthy cows.  This training will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will be offered at two different locations. November 10 at Old Acres Farm in Perry, NY and on November 11 at Bonna Terra Farm in West Bloomfield, NY. Register online at: https://nwnyteam.cce.cornell.edu/events.php or call Brandie Waite at 585-343-3040 ext. 138.

The program features experts in the field of dairy nutrition and will include several hands-on learning stations. Topics will include how to conduct a TMR audit, mixer wagon troubleshooting, feeder safety and bunker silo management. The training will be offered in English and Spanish at each site.

Registration is required by November 7, 2022. Cost is $50 per person and includes lunch and all materials. Register at the link above.  Contact Margaret Quaassdorff for more information by email at [email protected] or call 585-405-2567.

October 24, 2022 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in T-Shirts Etc., Business, batavia.


At 10 years old, throwing a baseball against the wall of a brick building, Brian Kemp never imagined he would someday own a 25-year-old business making custom T-shirts and that he would also own that building on Center Street, as well.

It's all very humbling, said Kemp, a Batavia HS graduate who spent much of his youth living in a house on School Street with a backyard that abuts the building that now houses T-Shirts Etc.

"To think like, I'm probably driving the people inside the building crazy," Kemp said during a 25th Anniversary celebration for T-Shirts Etc. on Thursday evening. "I'm not thinking of it as a kid like that but now if somebody started throwing a ball against my wall, I might say, 'Hey, what's going on?' you know. But I would have a little empathy for him because I did it, too."

Kemp and a partner, with the help of his girlfriend at the time, started T-Shirts Etc on the third floor of the Harvester Center three years after Kemp graduated from high school.  Soon they moved into a larger space on the first floor, then to the former WBTA building at Harvester and East Main, then to the former Newberry's building (now Eli Fish) on Main Street, and finally to his current location at 37 Center St.

A lot of people -- a whole community, really -- he said, helped him reach this milestone.  He gave credit to his former partner John, his former girlfriend, Heather, and to his ex-wife, Beth Kemp.

"Beth and I were married for seven or eight years," Kemp said. "We're not married anymore but it was a great time that helped me turn the business into where we are today. We moved the company three times, so she was a very integral part of the business."

Kemp also said he couldn't sustain any success without his employees.

"I have a great crew that has weathered the storm of the last few years," he said. "My current crew consists of my son Parker who runs the print production department, Melissa Flint, who runs the embroidery, shipping, and receiving departments and lastly, Mikah Burdic who is currently working as a production assistant.  I am truly honored to work daily with my crew that puts in the work on a daily basis, producing quality products for our customers.  I come here to the shop, hang out and make stuff, and these people make it enjoyable."

His younger sons, Myloh, 10, and Aslan, are also helping out in the shop these days, he said.

He noted that a lot of his customers were at the celebration.  

"All these relationships with our business are personal and have all impacted on my life," Kemp said. "I've got these great boys and this amazing business that we call home here in Batavia. We got our own little piece of Batavia. It's been fantastic."

Photos by Howard Owens.  Top photo, Kemp, left, with Tom Turnbull, Chamber of Commerce interim president.



October 20, 2022 - 8:10am
posted by Joanne Beck in Business, batavia, F&M Convenience, notify.


Walk inside F&M Convenience and take a 360-degree tour of the multitude of items lining the walls, inside of display cases and on both sides of a freestanding shelving unit.

There are items from A — apple juice — to Z — Zippo lighters. And in between, there are assorted beverages of water, juices, sports and coffee drinks, pop, milk and beer; various foods from chips and snack cakes to cereal and ice cream; sunglasses; sports jerseys and hats; backpacks; gum; cigarettes, grinders, wraps and baggies; and the endurance supplement Kratom. And that’s just to name some of the large inventory of items selected by Manager Ali Mohammed.

“We wanted to have a convenience store here,” he said at the site on the triangular patch of property across from Top’s friendly markets at 4169 West Main St. Road, Batavia.

It’s hard to miss the big grand opening sign draped in front of the building, and Mohammed hopes that customers will visit and check out what’s inside. The store is brightly lit with a backdrop of colorful goods available for purchase. There is also an ATM and lottery tickets available, he said.

He has already had two grand opening barbecues and is planning a third one this weekend. It’s set to begin with grilled sausage and burgers at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The store is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Mohammed is looking to hire one more staff member with at least two years of experience and is 21 or older. For more information, call 585-250-4155.





October 17, 2022 - 9:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sweet Betty's, Le Roy, news, Business, notify.


Many businesses have found it hard recently to staff their operations, and now one restaurant's inability to find a cook has forced it to close its doors.

Sweet Betty's owner Gabrielle (Gabby) Keister said her restaurant is closing because of kitchen staffing issues.

"We’ve been looking for a cook for over a year, part-time or full-time," Keister said. "We are done trying to beg people to work."

Restaurants across the nation have been struggling with staffing since the shutdown at the start of the pandemic. The National Restaurant Association estimates nearly a million workers have left the industry.

The Department of Labor has not yet released September's unemployment rate, but in August it was 3.0 percent in Genesee County with only 900 people considered unemployed.  

Genesee County's unemployment rate has remained below 4.0 percent since September 2021.

Sweet Betty's opened in 2020 at 15 Main St., Le Roy, during the pandemic.

In a social media post, Keister said, "Who would have thought we’d make it through, and so successfully? It was because of your (customers) continuous patronage that this was possible."

For those who have gift certificates, she said, customers can stop by on Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. with gift cards for a refund or to buy hard ice cream -- 25 flavors to choose from.

She said Sweet Betty's will participate in the Winterfest on Dec. 3.

"We will have Santa and Mrs. Claus and the second annual “Maddie Master’s Pay it Forward” one-mile walk, as well as luminaries and a walk to the tree-lighting.

"Thank you for making the past two years a lot of fun," she told customers. "We will always remember all who supported us during our venture!"

Previously: From burgers to cheesecake, new Le Roy restaurant is a sweet addition

Photo: File photo by Howard Owens of Gabby Keister, her husband Scott Keister, and their son Scott (on left).

October 6, 2022 - 1:38pm
posted by Press Release in news, Business, Oxbo, byron.


Press Release

Oxbo is celebrating MFG Day! As a global manufacturer of specialty harvesting and controlled application equipment, Oxbo has three manufacturing facilities in the United States: Byron, NY; Clear Lake, WI; and Lynden, WA. Oxbo also manufactures equipment Roosendaal, Netherlands, Fakenham, United Kingdom and Bournezeau, France. Oxbo products are used in more than 40 countries globally.

Oxbo provides diverse manufacturing career opportunities and employs welders, fabricators, machinists, material handlers, and assemblers. Oxbo provides on-the-job training and the unique opportunity to serve several essential agricultural businesses.

“We are proud to manufacture agricultural equipment in our US factories and to provide career opportunities in our local communities,” said Joe Perzia, Oxbo’s Chief Operating Officer. “We support the goals of MFG Day and are excited to showcase what modern manufacturing looks like at our facilities.”

As part of MFG Day, Oxbo is hosting facility tours in Byron, New York and Lynden, Washington on October 7, 2022, between 9am and noon. Students, career applicants, and community members are invited to see the full process in two of Oxbo’s US factories to better understand the role manufacturing plays in agriculture and the local community. Schedule a tour by visiting the MFG Day website or get a feel for Oxbo’s business by watching our segment on the show "Manufacturing Marvels."

October 4, 2022 - 2:26pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) board will consider an initial resolution for a proposed $12 million investment by 8250 Park Road, LLC for extensive renovations to the former Quality Inn & Suites and Palm Island Indoor Water Park in the town of Batavia at its board meeting on Thursday, October 6, 2022.

8250 Park Road, LLC would renovate the four-season tourism and hospitality facility’s water park, hotel rooms, lobby, event spaces, water park, and restaurant.  The re-development proposes to create 38 new full-time jobs. The project is estimated to generate $32 of economic activity for every $1 of local public benefits.

8250 Park Road, LLC is requesting sales tax exemptions estimated at $458,400, a property tax abatement of approximately $659,521, and a mortgage tax exemption estimated at $80,000.

If accepted, a public hearing for the initial application would be scheduled in the town of Batavia.

The Oct. 6 GCEDC Board meeting will be held at 4 p.m. at the MedTech Center’s Innovation Zone, 99 MedTech Drive across the street from Genesee Community College.  On-demand recording of the meeting also will be available at www.gcedc.com.

October 1, 2022 - 12:08am
posted by Press Release in farm labor, agriculture, Business.

Press release:

New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) Commissioner Roberta Reardon today issued an order accepting the recommendation of the Farm Laborers Wage Board to lower the current 60-hour threshold for overtime pay to 40 hours per week by January 1, 2032, allowing 10 years to phase in the new threshold. The Board included its recommendation in a report that the Board voted to advance to the Commissioner during its final meeting on September 6, 2022, following a two-year process and 14 public meetings and hearings. Following a rulemaking process to enact the Commissioner's Order, farm work in excess of 40 hours per week would be required to be compensated at overtime rates, as it is in other occupations.

“I thank the Farm Laborers Wage Board and all New Yorkers who provided insight and input during this inclusive process,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “I come from a farm community myself, so I know how important the agricultural sector is to the New York State economy. Based on the findings, I feel the Farm Laborers Wage Board’s recommendations are the best path forward to ensure equity for farm workers and success for agricultural businesses.”

Beginning in 2020, the Board held public hearings to gather testimony from farm owners, workers, advocacy groups, and academic researchers. Recordings of these hearings and additional materials are available on the NYSDOL’s Farm Laborers Wage Board webpage. The report released on September 6 documents and summarizes the Board’s process and its findings. The Board was convened pursuant to the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act passed by the New York State Legislature and signed by the Governor in 2019.

The Board’s report recommended that the reduction in overtime hours take place by reducing the overtime work limit by 4 hours every other year beginning in 2024 until reaching 40 hours in 2032, giving agriculture businesses proper time to adjust.

During the course of the Board's deliberations in 2022, the Governor and Legislature enacted three new tax credits to assist farm employers in transitioning to a lower overtime standard.  

  • The Investment Tax Credit was increased from 4 percent to 20 percent for farm businesses, providing an encouragement for potential automation of farm production.
  • The Farm Workforce Retention Tax Credit was increased to $1,200 per employee to provide near-term relief to farmers.
  • Most importantly, a new refundable overtime tax credit was established for overtime hours paid by farm employers at the level established by the Board and confirmed by the Commissioner up to 60 hours.

The Board noted that these actions by the Governor and Legislature were supportive of food production and provided a means for farms to transition to a lower overtime standard.

NYSDOL will now be undergoing a rule-making process which will include a 60-day public comment period.  Further details about the rulemaking process will be posted on the NYSDOL’s Farm Laborers Wage Board webpage.

More information on the Farm Laborers Wage Board process and next steps can be found on NYSDOL’s Farm Laborers Wage Board webpage.

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