Local Matters

Community Sponsors


July 10, 2020 - 1:28pm

Press release:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today (July 10) announced approximately $4 million in available funding to develop partnerships to leverage USDA and local, state, and private sector resources to address challenges for limited resource, socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers, and communities.

The program is administered by the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE).

The Centers of Community Prosperity initiative was launched by Secretary Sonny Perdue in 2019 to increase the capacity of rural and underserved communities through extensive collaboration, tailored technical assistance, and a community’s designation as a Community of Faith and Opportunity.

“This initiative is designed to assist persistent poverty communities with limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers and ranchers to strategically address community challenges,” said Mike Beatty, director of the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. “We hope to assist in fostering hope and opportunity, wealth creation, and asset building for communities across the country.”

Community-based and nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and tribal entities may compete for Community Prosperity funding on projects that provide outreach, education and training in agriculture, conservation, agribusiness, and forestry, with a focus on economic and workforce development, innovation and technology, and quality of life through food and agriculture.

The deadline for applications is Aug. 24. See the request for applications for full details.

USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement develops and maintains partnerships focused on solutions to challenges facing rural and underserved communities in the United States, connecting those communities to the education, tools and resources available to them through USDA programs and initiatives. Learn more at www.usda.gov/partnerships.

July 10, 2020 - 8:00am
posted by Billie Owens in business, BID, Tasty Tuesdays, downtown city restaurants.

Press release:

The Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) is rolling out a Tasty Tuesdays campaign for the Summer 2020 to support our Downtown restaurants.

Our Downtown participating restaurants are offering up exclusive Tuesday night specials that you won’t want to miss.  

The BID will promote Tasty Tuesdays each week, offering diners that choose to participate an option to upload an image to Instagram or Facebook using #tastytuesdays and tag the restaurant to be entered to win a gift certificate to one of our independent restaurants Downtown.

Tasty Tuesday Specials may be different each week and vary depending on location and hours. Make sure to check out our Facebook page for these sizzling specials and post your participation for the free giveaways!

"If we get enough momentum, we may continue this into the fall," said Beth Kemp, BID executive director.

For more information on BID and Downtown events, please visit this website.

July 9, 2020 - 2:01pm

Press release:

Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an initial list of additional commodities that have been added to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), and that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made other adjustments to the program based on comments received from agricultural producers and organizations and review of market data.

Producers will be able to submit applications that include these commodities on Monday, July 13. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting through Aug. 28 applications for CFAP, which helps offset price declines and additional marketing costs because of the coronavirus pandemic. USDA expects additional eligible commodities to be announced in the coming weeks. 

“When we announced this program earlier this year, we asked for public input and received a good response," Secretary Perdue said. "After reviewing the comments received and analyzing our USDA Market News data, we are adding new commodities, as well as making updates to the program for existing eligible commodities.

"This is an example of government working for the people – we asked for input and we updated the program based on the comments we received.”

USDA collected comments and supporting data for consideration of additional commodities through June 22.

Changes to CFAP include:

  • Adding the following commodities: alfalfa sprouts, anise, arugula, basil, bean sprouts, beets, blackberries, Brussels sprouts, celeriac (celery root), chives, cilantro, coconuts, collard greens, dandelion greens, greens (others not listed separately), guava, kale greens, lettuce – including Boston, green leaf, Lolla Rossa, oak leaf green, oak leaf red and red leaf – marjoram, mint, mustard, okra, oregano, parsnips, passion fruit, peas (green), pineapple, pistachios, radicchio, rosemary, sage, savory, sorrel, fresh sugarcane, Swiss chard, thyme and turnip top greens.
  • Expanding for seven currently eligible commodities – apples, blueberries, garlic, potatoes, raspberries, tangerines and taro – CARES Act funding for sales losses because USDA found these commodities had a 5 percent or greater price decline between mid-January and mid-April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, these commodities were only eligible for marketing adjustments.
  • Determining that peaches and rhubarb no longer qualify for payment under the CARES Act sales loss category.
  • Correcting payment rates for apples, artichokes, asparagus, blueberries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, garlic, kiwifruit, mushrooms, papaya, peaches, potatoes, raspberries, rhubarb, tangerines and taro.

Additional details can be found in the Federal Register in the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and Final Rule Correction and at www.farmers.gov/cfap.

Producers have several options for applying to the CFAP program:
  • Using an online portal, accessible at farmers.gov/cfap, allows producers with secure USDA login credentials—known as eAuthentication—to certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center. New commodities will be available in the system on July 13.
  • Completing the application form using our CFAP Application Generator and Payment Calculator found at farmers.gov/cfap. This Excel workbook allows customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, then signed and submitted to their local USDA Service Center. An updated version with the new commodities will be available on the website on July 13.
  • Downloading the AD-3114 application form from farmers.gov/cfap and manually completing the form to submit to the local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically or by hand delivery to an office drop box. In some limited cases, the office may be open for in-person business by appointment. Visit farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status to check the status of your local office.

USDA Service Centers can also work with producers to complete and securely transmit digitally signed applications through two commercially available tools: Box and OneSpan. Producers who are interested in digitally signing their applications should notify their local service centers when calling to discuss the CFAP application process. You can learn more about these solutions at farmers.gov/mydocs.

Getting Help from FSA

New customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.

All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap. For existing FSA customers, these documents are likely already on file. 

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment.

Service Centers that are open for appointments will prescreen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors may also be required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in office, by phone and using online tools.

More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

July 8, 2020 - 3:52pm

Press release:

Standing at the Union Tavern restaurant in Irondequoit and on the heels of a successful five-week, short-term extension for the original Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer unveiled the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program Act, or "P4" Act, which seeks to provide additional relief for New York’s smallest businesses that have been severely impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schumer explained that his proposed legislation would provide much-needed relief to Rochester-Finger Lakes small business owners by extending the PPP loan period to the end of the year and providing the option for a second PPP loan for eligible small businesses that are in need of additional assistance to survive.

Specifically, "P4" second loans will allow for businesses to access funds worth 250 percent of monthly payroll costs, up to a maximum of $2 million. Small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 100 employees, sole proprietors, independent contractors, self-employed borrowers, and rural and historically underserved communities will be eligible for this second round of assistance, in an effort to get critical federal aid to the most in-need businesses that have lost 50 percent or more of revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These second PPP loans would be fully forgivable similar to the first PPP loans as long as all requirements are met in the use of funds. Schumer said that the next stimulus package must target assistance to hard-hit Rochester-Finger Lakes small businesses like Union Tavern, and those in historically underserved communities.

Citing data from the New York State Department of Labor, Schumer further explained that the private sector job count in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region fell by 88,100 or 19 percent, to 374,500 during the 12-month period ending in May 2020.

”The PPP has been a lifeline for Rochester-Finger Lakes Region small businesses struggling to stay afloat during these turbulent times, and last week, I fought to ensure that the program would continue to support our hard-working New Yorkers for at least another month,” Senator Schumer said. “However, as New York seeks to recover from the crisis, we need to do even more for businesses hardest-hit by the pandemic.

"This legislation will bring much-needed changes to the existing PPP program to make loans more accessible to the smallest businesses and nonprofits in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region that are struggling the most and make a second round of relief possible for businesses that need the extra support.”

The senator said that his "P4" legislation will reserve 20 percent of PPP funds for employers with 10 or fewer employees and ensure priority processing for such businesses and nonprofits, in conjunction with priority processing for underserved and rural borrowers across the Rochester-Finger Lakes region, including veterans. To further make sure that the funding is reserved for the hardest-hit small businesses, the "P4" loan will not be available to publicly traded companies.

Schumer noted that Rochester-Finger Lakes Region labor statistics show that for the 12-month period ending May 2020, the private sector job count in the Rochester metro area fell by 88,100, or 19.0 percent, to 374,500. Schumer explained that this data points to a critical need for federal support to revive the region’s economy, including aid to help small businesses weather the crisis and to put them on a road to recovery as the lynchpins of our communities.

Schumer was joined by leading Rochester-Finger Lakes region stakeholders including Melissa Marquez, CEO of the Genesee Co-op Federal Credit Union who share these sentiments and recognize the importance of this critical legislation for PPP reform that targets hurting businesses.

As one of the Rochester region’s few Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) approved by the Federal Small Business Administration (SBA) to make PPP loans, Genesee co-op has assisted dozens of minority-owned small business secure a PPP but estimates they have only met 20 percent of the need that now exists among minority or un-banked small businesses in the Rochester region.

The Senator was also joined by Kelly Bush, co-owner of the Union Tavern and president of the Rochester Chapter of the NYS Restaurant Association, Mark Taylor, CEO of Apogee Exhibits in Macedon, which employs 25 workers and makes trade show displays and marketing materials for clients across the country, and Mark Cuddy Artistic Director of Geva Theatre Center.

They shared their firsthand experiences with the Paycheck Protection Program with Senator Schumer and joined him in his push for additional aid for hurting Rochester-Finger Lakes region businesses.

Kelly Bush, co-owner of the Union Tavern and President of the Rochester Chapter of the NYS Restaurant Association said, “As a small business owner facing a shuttered business in early March, securing a PPP was a game changer to help us survive through those first few months. But with realities still beyond our control and continued future uncertainties, enabling us to access a second PPP would be a lifeline for our business and countless others in the Rochester Finger Lakes region that cannot operate at regular capacity due to the pandemic. We appreciate Senator Schumer pushing this legislation to support of our industry so that small businesses can keep their doors open and employees on the job.”

Mark Taylor, CEO of Apogee Exhibits in Macedon, said, “We are part of the live events industry. An industry that contributes over 100 billion dollars to the economy when these events take place. When conventions and other events happen it sets into motion the work of countless small business owners, their employees, and sole proprietors. From carpenters and electricians and other trades, to hotels and hospitality, and other small businesses such as restaurants. All of these small businesses are crucial to restarting our economy, but they'll need additional help. We appreciate Senator Schumer for his advocacy of the small businesses of our economy and our nation."

Mark Cuddy, artistic director of Geva Theatre Center, said, “On March 12th Geva Theatre Center sold its last ticket as theaters closed down across the country. That means we have had zero ticket revenue for almost four months, and will not for the next 4-6 months. Even when a time comes for reopening we will be reduced in capacity to 35-40 percent of seats. We cannot survive in this model. Our 52 resident full-time staff and over a hundred guest artists cannot survive. Their families cannot survive. The restaurants and hotels who serve our patrons cannot survive. The PPP loan was a lifeline, and Senator Schumer’s Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program would be a remarkable ray of hope for our most vulnerable sectors.”

Details on the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program Act, or "P4," appear below. "P4" loans:

  • May be as large as 2.5-times monthly payroll costs, just as under initial PPP loans, but may not be any larger than $2 million. (Affiliated businesses with separate locations may pursue separate P4 loans, but in aggregate the loans may not exceed $2 million.)

Allow borrowers to apply for forgiveness as early as eight weeks after the loan is disbursed and they have fulfilled payroll requirements, rather than make them opt-in to eight weeks or wait until the earlier of 24 weeks or Dec. 31, which needlessly increases the cost of the loan as interest accrues, tying up money that could be deployed for paychecks.

  • Are not available to publicly traded companies.
  • Except as otherwise mentioned, are subject to the same terms, conditions, and forgiveness criteria as initial PPP loans.
  • Provide lenders a minimum processing fee of $2,500 per P4 loan to ensure lenders do not lose money by processing small-dollar loans or cherry pick larger loans.

To increase access to PPP (initial and P4) assistance to underserved businesses, the bill reserves the lesser of $25 billion or 20 percent of PPP funds for employers with 10 or fewer employees, along with priority processing for such firms, harmonized with priority processing for underserved and rural borrowers.

The bill also requires SBA within five days to issue guidance, as required by the CARES Act, which instructs lenders to give priority in loan processing and disbursement to underserved and rural borrowers, including veterans. It also requires SBA to update the PPP loan application to collect demographic information on PPP recipients.

July 8, 2020 - 3:41pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Job Development Bureau would like to announce that its Summer Youth Employment Program will be available this summer after all.

Through this program we strive to provide young people with the opportunity to: earn money and gain meaningful work experience, learn and develop the skills, attitudes and commitment necessary to succeed in today’s world of work, gain exposure to various career industries, and interact with working professionals in a positive work environment.

The Summer Youth Employment Program is funded by a NYS Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) grant. Eligible participants are youth ages 14 – 20 that are eligible based on family income using the TANF 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines listed below:

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"We are looking to employ up to 45 youth this year," said Director Teresa Van Son. "We have a very quick turnaround to get the program going as we just received word that funding was released.”

The Job Development Bureau will be scheduling intake appointments for the week of July 13 – 17th.

Youth will be required to attend mandatory training the week of July 20th and then begin work at sites throughout the County the week of July 27th.

Employment will be approximately 20 hours per week for five weeks.

"We want to ensure this is a safe and healthy experience for our youth, so we will be providing training on the expectations of safety in the workplace using CDC and NYS Health Department Guidelines including: social distancing, protective barriers, sanitation, hygiene, and health screening processes to enter workplace using CDC and NYS Health Department Guidelines including: social distancing, protective barriers, sanitation, hygiene, and health screening processes to enter workplace," Van Son said.

"We are also looking for more outdoor worksites and projects around the County.”

Any businesses, agencies, or organizations interested in hosting a youth worksite or who has special projects can call the Job Development Bureau at (585) 344-2042 for more information.

“It is a great deal; you provide the work, a great experience and supervision and we pay the wage and insure the youth," Van Son said.

For more information, please contact the Genesee County Career Center, at (585) 344-2042 and speak with the Senior Counselor, Lisa Smith or by email at:   [email protected]

Do not delay, spots will fill fast.

July 6, 2020 - 4:21pm

From left: Mary Ann Pettibon, CEO Oak Orchard Health; Dr. Mary Obear of Pembroke Family Medicine; and Oak Orchard Board Chair Gary Skoog.

Submitted photo and press release:

On July 1 it became official, Pembroke Family Medicine joined Oak Orchard Health.

In addition, Oak Orchard wanted to recognize Dr. Mary Obear’s commitment to the community by dedicating the Corfu location to her. Oak Orchard Board Chair, Gary Skoog, presented a plaque and made the dedication.

Moving forward, this location will be known as The Dr. Mary E. Obear Center.

It was a happy day with many in the community coming to the event (masks on!) to celebrate this occasion.

Both Mary Ann Pettibon, CEO Oak Orchard Health, and Dr. Obear said a few words.

“I’m really moved by this occasion, said Dr. Obear, of Pembroke Family Medicine. "We’re so pleased to have found a partner in Oak Orchard Health. They align perfectly with our current model of practicing high-quality, patient centered care. It has always been about our patients."

“Dr. Obear is the reason we’re here," said CEO Pettibon. "She started this practice many years ago, it was her dream to bring primary care to this community and it grew to two more locations. We’re excited to welcome Pembroke Family Medicine patients and providers into our organization."

Both organizations were recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as Patient Centered Medical Homes, which focuses on improvements in quality of the patient experience, growing staff satisfaction, and reducing health care costs.

Oak Orchard Health 

Originally founded in 1966, Oak Orchard has grown from a migrant health project into an integrated health center with multiple locations providing health care services for everyone located in the communities we serve.

Currently serving more than 22,000 patients at six locations, Oak Orchard Health is a recognized patient-centered medical home and 501(c) nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located in the towns of Alexander, Batavia, Corfu, Brockport, Albion, Lyndonville, Hornell and Warsaw.

In Genesee County, Oak Orchard now has three locations:

  • 3384 Church Street, Alexander
  • 319 W. Main St., Batavia
  • 860 Main Road, Corfu

 Phone is (585) 599-6446.

July 6, 2020 - 3:16pm

Submitted image and press release:

Oswego -- New York Sea Grant (NYSG) is providing New York State's freshwater marine industry for-hire boating sector with a series of six decals to encourage public compliance with boating-specific COVID-19 safety precautions.

The outreach is part of the 2020 edition of NYSG's nationally recognized Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign. 

The decals will adhere to boat surfaces to note "Mask Required," "Use Sanitizer," "Wear It" with a life jacket symbol, and "Keep Personal Belongings Personal"; others have a blank line to write a name with an erasable marker to designate person-specific areas aboard the vessel for each individual's fishing pole or diving gear.

There is no cost for the decals for qualified for-hire boating businesses.

The captains or business owners of charter services, boat rentals, tour boats, and boats for-hire for leisure cruising, fishing, or diving in New York State may request decals by emailing business name, postal address, and telephone number to [email protected] Details will be returned on the number of each style of decal available while supplies last.

Printable templates of the decals are available to download for print-on-demand atwww.nyseagrant.org/marina.  

"This new outreach for 2020 is aimed at maintaining the opportunity to be on New York's fabulous boating waters for both the public and the marine industry that is an essential economic driver for our coastal communities," said New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism specialist Dave White. "This project draws inspiration from a marine industry theme from the 1990s that fits today: 'Boating in New York is good, clean fun... let's keep it that way.' "

For additional information on boating in New York in 2020, with CDC and New York State COVID-19 guidelines, and a link to the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas' Guide to Operating Your Boat Business Safely during COVID-19, visit www.nysgrecreation.org.

July 1, 2020 - 11:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in YWCA, Three Little Birds Pediatrics, batavia, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) board of directors will consider final approvals for a $1.4 million mixed-use proposal by Fraser-Branche Property LLC at the agency’s July 2 board meeting.

Fraser-Branche Property LLC is proposing to remodel the majority of the 13,000-square-foot YWCA facility on North Street in the City of Batavia to enable the expansion of the Three Little Birds Pediatrics medical practice. The remainder of the facility will support the YWCA and other existing tenants.

A public hearing on the proposed incentives was held Nov. 20.

Fraser-Branche Property LLC’s proposed investment contributes to Genesee County’s growth strategy in the City of Batavia through the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity (BP2).

Launched by Genesee County, the City of Batavia, the Batavia City School District and the GCEDC, the BP2 program provides support to future brownfield redevelopment projects through the benefits generated by projects in the City of Batavia.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be conducted via conference and online at www.gcedc.com.

June 30, 2020 - 12:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, pembroke.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider approving incentives for a $3 million mixed-use project by J & R Fancher Property Holdings LLC (Brickhouse Commons) at the agency’s July 2 board meeting.

The 32,254-square-foot, three-story facility is proposed to be constructed on a 7.9-acre parcel at Genesee County’s Buffalo East Technology Park (BETP) in the Town of Pembroke.

The Brickhouse Commons project includes adding 17 market-rate, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments on the second and third floors, and an interior space comprised of four spaces for commercial tenants, as well as indoor parking and a fitness center.

A public hearing on the proposed incentives was held May 26.

J & R Fancher Property Holdings LLC’s proposed investment contributes to Genesee County’s growth strategy for residential growth to parallel strong economic growth in shovel-ready industrial parks.

Genesee County’s 67-acre Buffalo East Technology Park campus maintains multiple parcels for development opportunities and is home to Yancey’s Fancy cheese manufacturing and production facility.

BETP is located at the intersection of New York State Route 77 and New York State Route 5 in the Town of Pembroke offering easy access to New York Interstate 90 at Exit 48-A.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be conducted via conference and online at www.gcedc.com.

June 30, 2020 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

More than 700 companies throughout Western New York were able to access approximately $120 million under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program facilitated by Tompkins Bank of Castile.

 “Keeping with our longstanding commitment to the community, we were happy to do our part to support local businesses, especially during this time of need,” said President and CEO, John McKenna. “We’re thankful that our efforts were able to protect more than 7,000 local jobs.”

Essential bank staff aimed to get ahead of the rush by working extended hours — mostly remotely — to reassure customers, explain the PPP program, and process the loans as quickly as possible.

Local businesses are using the loans to keep employees on their payrolls, as well as cover other operating costs including interest, rent, and utility costs. The customers were very appreciative of the support.

“We’re grateful for Tompkins for keeping us updated on this process and supporting us along the way,” said one small business owner. “I really appreciate the information they have been able to provide, and I feel very confident with Tompkins at the helm.”

The COVID-19 pandemic required Tompkins to restrict its services to drive-up, ATM, phone, mobile, and internet banking. During this time, the staff worked diligently to educate customers about its electronic services.

“As an essential business, we’ve been fortunate to stay open and accessible to our customers when they need us most,” McKenna said. “We believe in the power of our local people working together to help our communities grow and thrive; That’s why we’ll continue to do everything possible to support our friends and neighbors as we work together to recover.”

June 29, 2020 - 12:55pm

Press release:

Financial-services firm Edward Jones ranked No. 1 among investment firms for customer experience in The U.S. Customer Experience Index, 2020. This is the fifth consecutive year the firm has received the highest spot on the CX Index among investment firms from Forrester Research, an independent research firm.

Forrester's Customer Experience Index (CX Index (TM)) methodology measures how well a brand's customer experience creates and sustains the loyalty of its customers.

In addition to the No. 1 ranking overall, Edward Jones finished highest in the categories of Customer Service and Clear Communications among investment firms. And the likelihood of recommending their investment firm was highest among Edward Jones clients.

"We strive to build deep personal relationships with every one of our clients," said Ken Cella, Edward Jones principal for the Client Strategies Group. "It begins with understanding what is most important to our clients, then how, when and where they want to be served, which helps us deliver an ideal experience for each client.

"But more than that, our relationships are based on truly listening to our clients so that we can understand their goals and motivations and ultimately build personalized solutions that holistically support their life's goals."

The ranking was based on responses from 15,765 U.S. individuals measuring 21 brands in the investment firm industry. The proprietary survey results are based on consumers' opinions of the experiences with the brands in the survey.

"The consistent high performers in the CX Index know their customers, allowing them to consistently meet their customers' needs and make them happy," according to the Forrester report.

"Edward Jones innovates in ways that are most important to our clients and can make a meaningful impact on their lives," Cella said. "When clients choose to partner with an Edward Jones financial advisor, it's based on the foundation of a trusted relationship.  Client insights tell us that a human-centered relationship supported by a personalized digital and mobile connection is key.

"We partner with clients to help ensure they remain on track to achieve the financial outcomes they hope for over the course of their lives. Through this process our objective is to help our clients feel understood, informed, in control and secure. It is part of our client experience and through knowledge and empathy something we work to improve every day."

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., provides financial services in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada.

Every aspect of the firm's business, from the investments its financial advisors offer to the location of its branch offices, caters to individual investors. The firm's 18,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients and care for $1.3 trillion in assets under management.

Visit our website at edwardjones.com and recruiting website at careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.

June 28, 2020 - 2:32pm

Press release:

Citing concerns that China is catching up to the United States in microelectronics production capacity, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today (June 28) unveiled the American Foundries Act, a bipartisan initiative that seeks to reestablish U.S. leadership and revitalize innovation in the global microelectronics sector.

Schumer explained that the bipartisan legislation would make critical investments in domestic commercial and defense-related microelectronics manufacturing and research and development, and address economic and national security concerns by decreasing U.S. dependence on foreign-made semiconductor chips.

“The economic and national security risks posed by relying too heavily on foreign semiconductor suppliers cannot be ignored, and Upstate New York, which has a robust semiconductor sector, is the perfect place to grow this industry by leaps and bounds,” Senator Schumer said. “America must continue to invest in our domestic semiconductor industry, including companies like GlobalFoundries, ON Semiconductor, IBM and Cree right here in New York, in order to keep good-paying, high-tech American manufacturing jobs here at home.

"We need to ensure our domestic microelectronics industry can safely and securely supply our military, intelligence agencies, and other government needs. This is essential to our national security and to U.S. leadership in this critical industry."

The senator noted that even though the United States revolutionized the microelectronic industry and invented much of the key technology used to this day, competitors in Asia, especially China, have made huge investments into their microelectronics industries in recent years to challenge U.S. leadership. In fact, Schumer pointed out, 78 percent of cutting-edge wafer fabrication capacity is now based in Asia, with last year being the first year that North America fell behind China.

Schumer has long-championed increased efforts to expand the domestic microelectronics industry, supporting companies like GlobalFoundries, which houses their most advanced "Fab 8" manufacturing facility in Malta, New York, IBM, and others.

With New York home to multiple major companies and research institutions in the semiconductor industry, the state is positioned to securely supply the U.S. government with critical technologies and maintain U.S. leadership in this technology, offering a tremendous opportunity for New York’s semiconductor companies to expand operations, create more jobs in Upstate New York, and help the United States reduce its reliance on foreign semiconductor manufacturing.

Specifically, supporters of the American Frontiers Act include GlobalFoundries, IBM, ON Semiconductor, Cree Inc., the Genesee County Economic Development Center, Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, Mohawk Valley EDGE, Cornell University, Binghamton University, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

"We applaud the powerful American Foundries Act of 2020 co-sponsored by Senator Schumer and the impressive, bipartisan list of Senate leaders,” said Tom Caulfield, CEO of GlobalFoundries. “Senator Schumer has supported semiconductor manufacturing and GlobalFoundries for many years and this legislation seeks the quickest route to boosting chip production in the U.S. We appreciate this timely and significant contribution as Congress and the Administration work through the best approach for federal investment to restore domestic leadership in semiconductor manufacturing.”

"The U.S. semiconductor industry drives economic growth through technological breakthroughs and plays a critical role in the nation’s security,” said John E. Kelly III, Executive Vice President, IBM. “IBM strongly supports the American Foundries Act of 2020 because this important legislation would sustain American leadership in semiconductor technology and establish a national strategy to move it forward. We thank Senators Schumer and Cotton for their leadership on this bill and urge the Senate to pass it quickly."

“The American Foundries Act is a bold step to respond to the aggressive incentives available to overseas competitors and reverse the decline of semiconductor manufacturing in the United States,” said Keith Jackson, president and CEO of ON Semiconductor. “ON Semiconductor urges the Congress to quickly advance legislation to promote American semiconductor research and manufacturing.”

“Cree continues to invest aggressively in silicon carbide manufacturing and research in order to support the growing, global demand for our technologies, and we believe advanced semiconductor manufacturing is essential to leading the acceleration of critical next-generation technologies," said Gregg Lowe, president and CEO of Cree Inc. "Like many other semiconductor companies in the U.S., we believe this legislation would provide necessary investments that move our industry and economy forward and we commend its introduction."

"Senator Schumer has long recognized that our 1250-acre STAMP site in Genesee County presents a tremendous opportunity to create thousands of high quality semiconductor jobs for the Western New York and Finger Lakes regions," said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC).

"Our challenge has always been the considerable cost to get the site developed and shovel ready in the global competition to land projects of this scale. This legislation though is a game changer in so many ways as it will support cutting-edge domestic semiconductor development and increases in semiconductor manufacturing capacity at a crucial time in our nation's history."

“Senator Schumer’s American Foundries Act is the type of innovative, bipartisan legislation that we need to build on our regional strengths and grow the Hudson Valley economy post-pandemic," said Mike Oates, president and CEO of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation. "With industry leaders like IBM, GlobalFoundaries, and soon ON Semiconductor right here in the Hudson Valley, it is no secret that investing in the microelectronics manufacturing and research and development space will enhance our ability to manufacture semiconductor chips, create jobs, and reimage our economy.

"HVEDC is proud to support Senator Schumer in his push to bolster our footprint in the growing semiconductor sector and we will continue working with him to keep the Hudson Valley on the map as a global industry leader.”

“Construction of new microelectronics and semiconductor fabrication facilities have the ability to change the economic landscape of a region and the proposed American Foundries Act proposed by Senator Schumer is a strategic investment to secure the United States’ position as a global  leader in microelectronics and semiconductor R&D,” said Steven J. DiMeo, president, Mohawk Valley EDGE.

“As our economy shifts away from the long-standing model of industrialism coupled with the uncertainty of a global pandemic, we now more than ever need the federal government to continue its support of game-changing industries like semiconductors and microelectronics. The construction of Cree’s state-of-the-art 200 mm enabled SiC semiconductor facility at the Marcy Nanocenter in Upstate NY, is a pivotal example of what can be done when all stakeholders are working together to advance our high-tech ecosystem and regional economy and maintain the United States’ global competitiveness.”

Emmanuel P. Gianellis, vice provost for Research and Vice President for Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property and Research Policy at Cornell University, said, “Senator Schumer has long recognized that the best way to keep America at the forefront of the technology revolution is to invest in research and development here at home.

"Not only does the American Foundries Act of 2020 direct critical resources into expanding the domestic production of microelectronics, it also points the way to the future with substantial funding for research and innovation. Cornell University is pleased to support this legislation and commends Senator Schumer for his leadership.”

"Whether we are talking about technology that enables advancement in AI for autonomous vehicles, smart energy for a greener environment or flexible wearable devices for human health and industrial monitoring, the United States government must remain on the frontlines, supporting industrial and academic innovations in advanced electronics manufacturing," said Harvey Stenger, president of Binghamton University.

"We once again acknowledge all that Sen. Schumer has done and continues to do to emphasize the importance of research and development efforts in private labs as well as at research institutions like Binghamton University. We thank the senator for this latest effort to apply resources to enhance the bridge from early R&D to at-scale manufacturing that will lead to breakthroughs in next-generation semi-conductor research and keep the United States competitive and a leader in the global economy."

“Leadership in the microelectronics industry is critical for America’s continued economic and strategic competitiveness on the global stage," said SUNY Polytechnic Institute Interim President Grace Wang, Ph.D. "The American Foundries Act of 2020 will provide a more strategic national approach in advancing  microelectronics capabilities, R&D, and workforce development and ensure our nation remains at the forefront of impactful innovation.

"This bill takes a bold approach to facilitate chip fab modernization efforts and investment in key areas such as fabrication, assembly, test, and advanced packaging to strengthen our nation’s technological independence and agility for years to come.”

Schumer said he will aim to include the legislation as an amendment in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Senator Schumer introduced the American Foundries Act of 2020 in the Senate, along with Senators Cotton (R-Arkansas), Reed (D-Rhode Island), Hawley (R-Missouri), Gillibrand (D-New York), Risch (R-Idaho), Jones (D-Alabama), Collins (R-Maine), King (I-Maine), and Rubio (R-Florida), and details of the bill can be found below:

Support for Commercial Microelectronics Projects: Authorizes the Department of Commerce to award $15 billion in grants to states to assist in the construction, expansion, or modernization of microelectronics fabrication, assembly, test, advanced packaging, or advanced research and development facilities.

Support for Secure Microelectronics Projects: Authorizes the Department of Defense to award $5 billion in grants for the creation, expansion, or modernization of one or more commercially competitive and sustainable microelectronics manufacturing or advanced research and development facilities capable of producing measurably secure and specialized microelectronic for defense and intelligence purposes. This funding may go to primarily commercial facilities capable of producing secure microelectronics.

R&D Funding: Authorizes $5 billion in R&D spending to secure U.S. leadership in microelectronics. Requires agencies that receive this funding to develop policies to require domestic production, to the extent possible, for any intellectual property resulting from microelectronics research and development as a result of these funds.

The new R&D funding would be broken up as follows:

  • $2 billion for DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative
  • $1.5 billion for the National Science Foundation
  • $1.25 billion for the Department of Energy
  • $250 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology

National Microelectronics Research Plan: Establishes a subcommittee of the President’s Council on Science and Technology to produce a report each year to guide and coordinate funding for breakthroughs in next-generation microelectronics research and technology, strengthen the domestic microelectronics workforce, and encourage collaboration between government, industry, and academia.

Safeguards: Prohibits firms owned, controlled or otherwise influence by the Chinese government from accessing funds provided by the legislation.

June 26, 2020 - 1:01pm

Press release:

Darien Center -- In anticipation of safely reopening at the appropriately deemed time, and following the direction outlined by civic leaders, State Officials, health professionals, epidemiologists, and industry experts around the world, Six Flags Darien Lake, the Thrill Capital of New York, is currently seeking qualified individuals to fill more than 1,000 positions in various departments as it prepares to reopen for the 2020 season.

An official reopening date for Six Flags Darien Lake is to be determined.

Six Flags Darien Lake has established cleanliness, health, and safety standards that meet federal, state, and local guidelines.

“We have taken necessary precautions to ensure everyone who comes to work this season can feel safe while providing the thrills and joy families have come to love here at the park,” said Park President Chris Thorpe. “We have made many changes to our operation to reduce touch points, ensure social distancing and reduce risk of contamination or transmission.”  

Team Member Care & Health Screenings

  • Each employee will receive a health screening before entering the park, including temperature checks and individuals will be asked if they are healthy and will be required to acknowledge the company’s health policies;
  • Frontline team members will go through extensive COVID-19 training;
  • All employees will be issued Team Member Action Packs which will include: a safety face mask, safety glasses, and disposable gloves;
  • Regular cleaning and wiping down of team members workspaces.

The above procedures will be constantly evaluated to ensure compliance with state recommendations.

The park will be conducting virtual interviews with qualified candidates. You must be at least 14 years old to apply.

Candidates can apply online at sixflagsjobs.com to schedule an interview.

Available positions include:

  • Admissions & Guest Relations
  • Food Services
  • Ride Operators
  • Human Resources
  • Park Services
  • Games
  • Retail
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Accommodations/Lodging
  • Lifeguards
  • Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT)
  • Maintenance
  • Security
  • Warehouse
  • Cash Control

One of the largest employers in Western New York, Six Flags Darien Lake offers competitive pay, free admission with your employee ID, free tickets for friends and family and more

About Six Flags Darien Lake

Six Flags Darien Lake’s wide variety of entertainment and top-notch thrill rides has made it the Coaster Capital of New York since 1964. Located 45 minutes from Niagara Falls between Buffalo and Rochester, today the park boasts more than 50 rides, including seven world-class roller coasters, dozens of family rides, the region’s largest water park and a 20,000-seat amphitheater operated by Live Nation.

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest regional theme park company and the largest operator of waterparks in North America, with 26 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For 58 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling waterparks and unique attractions. For more information, visit www.sixflags.com.

June 25, 2020 - 2:59pm

Submitted photos and press release:

Oak Orchard Health is pleased to announce that Pembroke Family Medicine will be joining them on July 1. Their common mission, shared values and dedication to patients make this unification easy to understand.

Both healthcare organizations provide services to everyone regardless of medical insurance status.

All Pembroke locations will remain the same and their patients will retain the same primary care provider. The only change they’ll see are the signs for Oak Orchard Health on the Pembroke locations in Batavia, Alexander, and Corfu.

“Oak Orchard Health aligns perfectly with our current model of practicing high-quality, patient centered care," said Dr. Mary Obear, of Pembroke Family Medicine (inset photo, right).

"Joining Oak Orchard allows us to offer more services to our patients including vision, dental, behavioral health and patient engagement services. We can now truly offer a comprehensive patient experience."

Both organizations were recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as Patient Centered Medical Homes which focuses on improvements in quality of the patient experience, growing staff satisfaction, and reducing health care costs.

“We’re excited to welcome Pembroke Family Medicine patients and providers into our organization," said Mary Ann Pettibon, CEO, Oak Orchard Health (inset photo, left)

"It’s a natural collaboration since we share so much in common. And we are pleased that their patients will now have access to a full spectrum of care. We look forward to working together."

You’re invited to an outdoor ribbon cutting on Wednesday, July 1 at 9 a.m. at the Pembroke Corfu location. The address is 860 Main Road, Corfu. We will be wearing face masks and practicing social distance.

Oak Orchard Health 

Originally founded in 1966, Oak Orchard has grown from a migrant health project into an integrated health center with multiple locations providing health care services for everyone located in the communities we serve.

Currently serving more than 22,000 patients at six locations, Oak Orchard Health is a recognized patient-centered medical home and 501(c) nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with locations in the towns of Brockport, Albion, Lyndonville, Hornell and Warsaw.

June 25, 2020 - 2:43pm

Press release:

After fiercely advocating for federal aid to New York’s dairy farmers in the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today urged United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer to quickly raise concerns about Canada evading its commitments under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Canada agree to eliminate harmful dairy trade practices, including its Class 7 pricing program (Class 6 in Ontario) and lack of transparency in milk-pricing regulations. Both were explicitly addressed in the agreement, which enters into force next week on July 1.

“New York’s dairy farmers are the lifeblood of the Upstate economy, but unfortunately, they have been squeezed by the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis,” Senator Schumer said. “That is why I am calling on Ambassador Lighthizer to do everything in his power to ensure that Canada abides by its dairy trade obligations and eliminates its unfair and harmful pricing programs and practices that unfairly impeded Upstate New York dairy farmers from freely selling their product – as agreed to in the new trade agreement with Canada, the USMCA.

As the trade deal enters into force next week, it is imperative that our New York dairy farmers are able to sell their products into Canada and churn up profits that mitigate the huge losses they have suffered this year.”

“USMCA requires Canada to provide new market access for American dairy products and to eliminate its destructive Classes 6 and 7 milk pricing schemes,” said Jaime Castaneda, senior vice president for Policy Strategy and International Trade with the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council. “While not unexpected, Canada’s efforts to manipulate its agreed upon trade obligations to protect its tightly controlled dairy market are unacceptable.

"Canada needs to live up to the commitments it made to the U.S. on dairy. America’s dairy industry appreciates Senator Schumer for his leadership on this issue and we support Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Purdue as the U.S. works to hold Canada accountable to its commitments under USMCA.”

“Cayuga Milk Ingredients applauds the efforts of New York’s Senator Schumer for raising concerns over Canada’s recent request for dairy pricing secrecy within the Ontario Provincial Tribunal and their most recent administration of TRQs," said Kevin J. Ellis, CEO Cayuga Milk Ingredients. "On both issues, Canada is showing they have no desire to act in good faith with respect to the trade commitments they made underneath USMCA.

"Cayuga Milk Ingredients suffered a loss of nearly $24 million of sales in 2016 when Canada implemented a National Class 7 pricing scheme that was specifically and intentionally designed to stop the importation of ultra-filtered milk. Based on these latest events, it appears Canada cannot be trusted to honor its trade commitments with the United States,”

Craig Alexander, senior director, Milk Planning and Regulatory Affairs at O-AT-KA Milk Products in Batavia, said, “A foundation principle of the new USMCA pertaining to Canada was transparency of pricing formulation and the elimination of its Class 7 pricing. We appreciate Senator Schumer’s push for Canada to live up to its commitments in this agreement.

"Canada should not obscure information on pricing now in order to artificially create a pricing environment that will keep us at a disadvantage once these USMCA provisions go into force. Furthermore, Canada’s implementation of TRQs negotiated as part of USMCA and reserving increased access almost entirely to existing Canadian dairy companies is evidence that Canada has not changed its past history of circumventing trade agreements.

"If Canada simply held up their end of the deal on eliminating Class 7 and fair implementation of TRQs, we could again get a fair shake at the opportunities to serve the Canadian market going forward.”

Schumer explained that under USMCA, Canada agreed to eliminate Class 6 & 7 pricing within six months. However, the Senator revealed, Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO), which represents approximately 4,000 Canadian dairy farmers, has recently requested that Ontario’s tribunal, which provides an avenue of appeal on agriculture issues, grant restricted access to DFO’s pricing regulations.

Schumer argued that with only a few days left until the USMCA is set to enter into force, the lack of transparency and timing of DFO’s request raises questions about whether or not Canada is seeking to circumvent its dairy commitments in USMCA.

Additionally, Schumer pointed out, under USMCA, Canada agreed to an expansion of tariff rate quotas (TRQs) for several categories of U.S. dairy products. However, the U.S. dairy industry has raised concerns that Canada’s recently released TRQ allocations weaken the intent of USMCA and will prevent New York dairy farmers from fully benefiting from the agreement’s expanded market access opportunities.

June 24, 2020 - 3:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, terry hills.

Submitted photos and press release:

Terry Hills Golf Course, Restaurant and Banquet Facility has promoted Danielle Rotondo (top photo) to General Manager and Chris DeVay to Restaurant and Banquet Manager (left, bottom photo). Amanda ("Mandy") Narburgh (right, bottom photo) has rejoined the team as Assistant Restaurant and Banquet Manager.

In her new role, Rotondo will be responsible for overseeing daily operations of the golf course, restaurant and banquet facility. In her former position as Restaurant and Banquet Manager, she was instrumental in positioning Terry Hills to become one of the premier locations for weddings and events. She is also the on-site wedding specialist, assisting brides through the entire process and making sure their special day goes smoothly.

She is the perfect fit for General Manager.

Rotondo has more than 20 years experience in the golf course and restaurant industry. She earned her business degree in Golf Club Management from SUNY Delhi and is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Genesee. She is a member of both the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation.

DeVay, now filling the Restaurant and Banquet Manager position, was the Assistant Restaurant and Banquet Manager and is making a smooth transition to Rotondo's former role. He is a graduate of Genesee Community College and has almost 25 years of experience in the restaurant business.

With his hands-on experience, skill set and attention to detail, DeVay is an excellent choice to expertly execute daily operations of the restaurant and banquet facility.

Narburgh has rejoined the Terry Hills team, filling the Assistant Restaurant and Banquet Manager position. She had previously worked at Terry Hills as a Server and Floor Manager. She has 15 years of restaurant experience, specializing in front of the house operations. She is a great addition to the management team and she strives to make every guest’s visit a memorable one.

Terry Hills, located at 5122 Clinton Street Road in Batavia, has been family owned and operated since 1972 and recognizes the importance of personalized service, attention to detail, and professionalism.

They have fully integrated these beliefs into their operating strategies and overall philosophy on how they do business. They are the perfect midpoint location between Buffalo and Rochester, located in the Town of Batavia.

June 24, 2020 - 3:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, batavia, video, Angry Charlie Carolina BBQ.
Video Sponsor

Chuck Martin was born and raised in the eastern part of North Carolina, where he not only learned to BBQ but fell in love with the art and craft.

As a New York resident for more than 10 years, he's been making BBQ for friends and since he loves it so much, he decided to make it his profession.

He promises authentic Carolina-style BBQ with pulled pork, ribs, beans, and coleslaw along with his how "Angry Charlie Burger."

Martin said his BBQ trailer, parked at 355 W. Main St., Batavia, will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

June 24, 2020 - 12:53pm
The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will host a Phase Four reopening Zoom webinar for the business community from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, June 25.
For more information, go to www.geneseeny.com.
June 19, 2020 - 12:24pm

Press release:

ESL Federal Credit Union, which has a branch in Towne Center at Batavia, today announced it has distributed $20 million to members in an early Owners’ Dividend payout for 2020. 

“The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has created a great deal of financial stress for many in our community,” said Faheem Masood, president and CEO, ESL Federal Credit Union. “This $20 million is much more helpful to our members now instead of waiting until our traditional timeframe of January 2021.

"We believe this is a tangible way in which we can support our membership through these challenging times, as the combined impact of $20 million into our community can help make a difference.”

With this latest distribution, ESL has now shared more than $170 million with its members over the program’s 25 payouts.

The individual Owners’ Dividend payout amounts ESL members receive are based on  an established Owners’ Dividend criteria. For more information about the criteria, please visit esl.org/ownersdividend.

Qualification for the Owners’ Dividend is subject to eligibility requirements, and payment of the Owners’ Dividend is not guaranteed.

About ESL Federal Credit Union

With 100 years of locally-owned history, ESL Federal Credit Union serves as a full-service financial institution to more than 370,000 members. Founded in 1920, the company provides personal banking, business banking, mortgage services and wealth management services through its locally-based 22 branch network, telephone, mobile, online and live chat center.

The Rochester-based financial institution employs approximately 850 people in in the Greater Rochester area and holds more than $6.9 billion in assets. Since 1996, ESL has paid out 25 consecutive Owners’ Dividends to its members totaling more than $170 million. The company has appeared on the Great Place to Work® Best Small & Medium Workplaces list for nine years since 2010. ESL Federal Credit Union is headquartered at 225 Chestnut Street, in Rochester, and can be found online at www.esl.org

June 16, 2020 - 12:06pm

From Brenden A. Bedard, MPH, deputy Public Health director:

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Department is accepting applications from contractors to be included on a list of bidders for the Genesee-Orleans Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Program (the Program).

The Program is grant-funded and is concentrating on reducing lead-based paint hazards at properties in the City of Batavia and Village of Albion.

However, properties must be located in one of the following census tracts: 36037950700, 36037950800, 36037951000, and 36073040700. Check your census tract here.

Contractors wishing to be included on the list are required to complete a Contractor Application.

There is no deadline for application submittal at this time. However, only those firms which appear on the Program’s list of preapproved contractors, having submitted a completed application package and been successfully preapproved, will receive bid packages.

Contractors are required to be EPA Lead Abatement certified. Training can be arranged and paid for with Program funds for firms/workers not currently certified.

Applications and information on the Program can be obtained by calling the Genesee County Health Department at (585) 344-2580, ext. 5555, or by emailing [email protected]

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