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March 20, 2019 - 1:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, GCC job fair, employment.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is pleased to announce another exciting annual Spring Job Fair with more than 50 companies expected on Thursday, April 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the College's centrally located William Stuart Forum.

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

The event is free to employers and attendees. Employers must register; job seekers are not required to register prior to the event but must sign-in upon arrival.

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

Participating employers include:

  • ARC of Genesee Orleans
  • Aveanna Healthcare 
  • Batavia Downs Gaming 
  • Barnes & Noble College 
  • Brookdale Brockport
  • City Year Buffalo
  • Coast Professional Inc.
  • Combined Insurance
  • Darien Lake Amphitheater Legends Hospitality
  • Delaware North
  • Dept. for Corrections & Community Supervision
  • Dept. for Exceptional Children, Monroe 2-Orleans
  • ESL Federal Credit Union
  • Everdry Waterproofing
  • Farm Fresh LLC
  • Genesee ACE Employment
  • Genesee Community College
  • Genesee Community College -- The BEST Center
  • Genesee County Human Resources
  • Heritage Christian Services
  • Hidden Valley Animal Adventure
  • Highland Hospital
  • HomeCare & Hospice & Totale Senior Care
  • Independent Living of the Genesee Region
  • Jewish Senior Life
  • KR Communications
  • Leisure Care East/The Village at Unity/The Village at Mill
  • LiDestri Food, Beverage & Spirits
  • Lifetime Assistance Inc.
  • Lifetime Care
  • Live Nation
  • Living Opportunities of DePaul
  • Manpower
  • Mariner Finance
  • Monroe County Sheriff's Office
  • Monroe Veterinary Associates 
  • New York National Guard
  • NY Air National Guard
  • People's Inc.
  • Pioneer Credit Recovery 
  • Premier Designs Inc. 
  • Real Agent Pro LLC
  • Remedy Staffing
  • Rochester AmeriCorps
  • Rochester Psychiatric Center
  • Rolling Hills Asylum
  • Sherwin Williams
  • Showcase Sound
  • Six Flags Darien Lake
  • Southern Tier Security & Event Management
  • Sutherland Global Services
  • Tahoe Pines Custom Sewing & Design
  • Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES
  • Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP 

For more information, visit: http://www.genesee.edu/career/events/. For a detailed listing of job opportunities by employer, please email a request for the list to [email protected].

March 20, 2019 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in L.B. Grand, Le Roy, news, business.

lbgrandribbonmarch2019.jpg

Bill Farmer cut the ribbon Tuesday, St. Joseph's Day, for the grand reopening of the L.B. Grand Restaurant, two years after he acquired the business and building at 37 Main St., Le Roy.

In the past two years, Farmer has made a lot of changes inside the building (previously: While Farmer's Creekside Inn prospers, Bill Farmer keeps busy in the Village of Le Roy) and Tuesday he said there is still much work planned for the coming year.

In addition to upgrades inside, Farmer is planning to restore the building's facade (he's already put up a new awning).

After the ribbon cutting, guests enjoyed a traditional St. Joseph's Day's meal. Chef Sean Wolf said based on the response this year to the first St. Joseph's Day meal offered by L.B. Grand, next year the staff will plan on laying out a traditional St. Joseph's Day table.

Top photo: Tom Turnbull, president, Chamber of Commerce, Mary Blevins, with the Chamber, Mayor Greg Rogers, Bill Farmer, Chef Sean Wolf, Ethan Olsowski, L.B. Grand staff, and Chamber Board Member Jeff Cook.

lbgrandribbonmarch2019-2.jpg

Legislator Shelly Stein, Chef Sean Wolf, Bill Farmer, Mayor Greg Rogers.

March 18, 2019 - 3:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, Imagination Station, child care, day care, preschool.

Press release:

Imagination Station Child Care & Preschool is expanding its operation and adding a new location in Batavia. Known as the “Batavia East Center,” the location is scheduled to open mid-May and is located at 5079 Clinton Street Road in Batavia, the former Grandma’s Lovin’ Care building.

The center will have a variety of new features for Imagination Station and upgrades from its current location in Batavia. The building will have cameras in every classroom, a private playground, and doors throughout which lead to the outside, and a brand-new school-age classroom in the lower half of the building, which will be over 1,000 square feet!

Imagination Station is upgrading the building to include painting throughout, all new window treatments, new flooring in needed areas, an improved parking lot, and all new equipment and furniture in the classrooms.

“It’s a beautiful building and we’re excited for children to be occupying it again!" said owner Kelly Kronbeck. "We’re giving the building some love and attention, then we’ll be ready to open in the spring.

"We look forward to being able to create a more intimate environment at each of our Batavia locations since overall they’ll both be smaller in size."

Imagination Station, which is a locally owned and operated child-care provider, currently has a total of five centers, including the newest Batavia addition.

The new and improved center on Clinton Street Road will accommodate children from the ages of 6 weeks to 12 years old and has capacity for 112 students. The center will consist of two infant classrooms, three toddler classrooms, two preschool classrooms, and one school-age classroom.

Imagination Station prides itself in offering an educationally based program that is safe for its students and professionally run for its families. They credit their success to the hands-on approach they take in running their centers, but also by offering a high-quality program at an affordable rate, which is about 20 percent lower than its competitors between Buffalo and Rochester.

Interested families can tour the existing location by setting up an appointment! Enrollment is now available for both locations and is being filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call 585-343-0990 or visit the company’s website at www.istationccp.com for more information.

March 13, 2019 - 4:27pm

Press release:

Every second, three new businesses "startup" in the United States. In the time it takes the average reader to finish this paragraph, nine new companies will be born, according to the 2018 GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) national report.

Conversely, the Small Business Administration tells us that 50 percent of those will fail during the first four to five years; but why is that? Do half of the entrepreneurs in the country have lousy ideas? Actually, among the leading causes for startup failure is a lack of basic business experience.

In lieu of losing thousands of investment dollars, today's entrepreneurs have found another way to gain that experience before launching their startup -- education.

"If you don't educate yourself, you'll never get out of the starting block because you'll spend all your money making foolish decisions," said Daymond John, investor on "Shark Tank," a reality television show on ABC in which contestants pitch their business ideas to a panel of potential investors in hopes of launching their retail dreams.

Genesee Community College offers both degree and certificate programs in Entrepreneurship to prepare emerging business owners and investors for success. To further open up learning opportunities to both students and the public, GCC teamed up with the GCEDC (Genesee County Economic Development Center) to sponsor the second annual Business Idea Pitch Competition.

The competition will be held Tuesday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building at the Genesee Community College's Batavia Campus.

The deadline for competitors to register to participate is April 5.

Registration requires the participant to submit an Executive Summary of their business idea, and attend at least one of the preparation workshops listed below. Participating high school students are not required to attend a workshop.

The competition is limited to 25 participants who will be selected based on their Executive Summary submissions and announced on April 5.

Executive Summary criteria and submission instructions are available by contacting Lina LaMattina, Ph.D., at [email protected]

The GCEDC's StartUp Genesee Networking Group has donated cash prizes which will be awarded at the Pitch Competition on April 30. Prizes of $100 for first place and $75 for second place will be awarded to the most outstanding competitors in the "most likely to succeed" and "most creative" categories. Pitches will be judged by local business leaders.

To help participants pursue their passions and take their first entrepreneurial steps, GCC will host three preparation workshops. 

  • Starting a Business -- Tuesday, April 9, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in room T121
  • Business Plan Basics -- Tuesday, April 23, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in room T121
  • Idea Pitch Practice -- Thursday, April 25, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in room T122

These workshops are free and open to anyone participating in the Business Idea Pitch Competition. To sign up for a workshop, please contact Lina LaMattina , Ph.D., at [email protected].

March 12, 2019 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, local produce, news, business, Taste NY.

Press release:

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that Taste NY Farm Markets will begin at New York State Thruway service areas for the 2019 season on Monday, April 1.

The Taste NY Farm Markets will promote the world-class food and beverage products found around the State. The Thruway Authority and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets are continuing this annual offering of the finest locally grown produce from New York's farms. 

"Taste NY is an economic engine in every corner of the state and has expanded New York's booming agriculture industry," Governor Cuomo said. "These farm markets at Thruway service areas will provide farmers and producers a unique opportunity to showcase their products to millions of tourists, supporting the growth of farms and small businesses across the Empire State." 

"From maple syrup, to dairy, to fruits and vegetables, New York produces an amazing variety of high-quality agricultural products," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Our Taste NY program showcases the best we have to offer, and we are looking forward to another season providing travelers with fresh, locally-grown products at stops along the Thruway."

The New York State Thruway features outdoor farm market locations at service areas across its 570-mile system. In 2018, a dozen local producers from regions across New York State participated in the markets at 20 service areas, reaching millions of visitors who travel the Thruway throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall.

Customers will have access to locally grown fruit, vegetables, honey, maple syrup, nuts, butter, cheese and more depending on availability. Only produce grown or produced in New York State may be sold. Market days and hours of operation are dependent on product availability and weather.

Motorists are encouraged to visit thruway.ny.gov for locations, hours, participating farms and available products.

Genesee County vendors interested in selling food products at Taste NY Farm Markets should email [email protected] for more information on how to participate this season.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said, "We thank Governor Cuomo and Executive Director Driscoll for supporting Taste NY and providing our farmers and producers with a platform to showcase their top-notch products and reach new markets.

"The start of the farm market season is a reminder of our rich and longstanding tradition of agriculture and its economic impact in New York State." 

Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "Our service areas offer a unique setting which can reach millions of people from across the state, country, and world. The Thruway Authority is proud to support the Taste NY initiative by providing a venue where our local farmers and producers can sell their goods to the traveling public." 

About Taste NY

The Taste NY initiative has seen steady growth and recognition since it was created in 2013 by Governor Cuomo. The program reported sales of $1.5 million in 2014, tripled those figures to $4.5 million in 2015, and $13.1 million in 2016.

In 2017, Taste NY saw producer sales grow to a record $16.1 million. Taste NY, which is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, has created opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at a variety of venues throughout the State and at large public events, such as the Great New York State Fair and the Barclays Tournament at Bethpage State Park.

It has also helped the farms and companies participating in the program to reach more customers, increase online sales, and, in many cases, expand the processing capacity of their business. Taste NY's food and beverage businesses also support the State's farmers by using New York grown and produced ingredients in their products. 

Today, New York products sold under Taste NY branding are available in more than 70 locations throughout the State as well as the New York State Office of Trade and Tourism in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

March 12, 2019 - 12:57pm
From left, Sue Underwood, Teresa Potrzebowski, Joe Zoccali.

 

Submitted photo and press release:

Genesee Cancer Assistance is proud to welcome Joe Zoccali as the organization's new marketing coordinator. In an effort to assist more individuals battling cancer, the GCA team is revitalizing its branding and marketing approach, and anticipates significant outreach growth as a result.

Zoccali brings 30-plus years of graphic design and marketing experience to Genesee Cancer Assistance. His start in the sign trade as an apprentice has provided opportunities over the years for him to expand into related areas of a commercial art career, including copy layout/sign design consulting, copywriting, print and digital advertising, website design, and marketing.

As marketing coordinator for Genesee Cancer Assistance, Zoccali is looking forward to employing his experience and talents in the interest of helping others.

Genesee Cancer Assistance, cofounded in 1995 by Dorothy Schlaggel and Russ Romano, is a community-based, volunteer organization through which cancer patients and their families living in Genesee County have access to financial aid and a variety of support services. Since its founding, Genesee Cancer Assistance has been fortunate to assist thousands of individuals; hundreds each year.

To learn more about the services offered, or to get involved, join GCA at their upcoming fundraiser: Joe Gerace's Annual Spaghetti Dinner at 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 11. It will be held at Ascension Parish's Sacred Heart Social Center, located at 17 Sumner Place, Batavia. Tickets for the dinner are $10 for adults and $7 for children; eat in or take out.

To find out about GCA online visit GeneseeCancerAssistance.com.

March 8, 2019 - 9:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, business, batavia.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved incentives for two projects at the organization’s March 7 board meeting. 

Gateway GS LLC plans to invest $450,000 to build out the interior of an existing 27,000-square-foot spec building that the company constructed in 2018 at the Gateway II Corporate Park in the Town of Batavia. The project will create five new jobs.

Gateway GS LLC will receive sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions totaling approximately $206,000. For every dollar of public benefit, the company will invest approximately $12.60 into the local economy.

Gateway GS LLC intends to lease the space for various uses, including warehouse, distribution, light manufacturing, technology and commercial operations. The company has already lined up tenants for the improved facility, and plans to construct four additional buildings in the near future.

Tenney Coin Laundry, which is located on Ellicott Street in the City of Batavia, is purchasing $197,896 in new equipment and was approved for a sales tax abatement of approximately $15,832. For every dollar of public benefit, Tenney Coin Laundry is investing $56.70 into the local economy.

Tenney Coin Laundry also has submitted a grant request to the Downtown Revitalization Initiative's (DRI) building improvement fund for repairs to the facility's facade as well as structural improvements. Funding through the DRI is administered by the Batavia Development Corporation.

March 5, 2019 - 3:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in genesee county chamber of commerce, business, news.

Press release:

“Managing Your Online Reputation” will be the subject of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Workshop on Wednesday, March 13.  

“With so many ways for people to review organizations these days, how do business owners keep a tab on all of it?" said Tom Turnbull, president of the Chamber. “This workshop will teach the fundamentals of keeping a good reputation in today’s electronic environment and how to use your reputation to gain sales.”

Greg Lindberg, of the Small Business Administration, will conduct the workshop. This is the one of a series of business workshops held in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

The workshop will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia.

The session will run from 8 to 9 a.m. and includes a question-and-answer period.

Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee. Chamber members and Batavia Business Improvement District members may attend all small business workshops free of charge but should make reservations to insure space. 

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

March 4, 2019 - 5:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, GCEDC, micropolitan, batavia, genesee county.

Press release:

Batavia and Genesee County have continued their streak of being recognized as one of the nation’s top micropolitan regions for business growth, as the area was ranked third in Site Selection magazine’s annual rankings.

The ranking of “Top Micropolitans” is based on cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county. It is the 16th consecutive year Batavia and Genesee County have been recognized and the fifth consecutive year ranked in the top five.

The area received its highest ranking ever in 2017 as it climbed all the way to number two among the annual survey of micropolitans across the country. 

“We are thrilled that the hard work that Genesee County and our partners in the public and private sector continues to be recognized as making Batavia-Genesee County the top micropolitan for business in New York,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic development Center.

“Our region is focused on building the shovel-ready sites, active business attraction, expansion and retention, and workforce talent development to continue our economic growth.”

Site Selection magazine recognized 13 of the GCEDC’s project “wins” in 2018 across several stages of project development. The GCEDC closed on 16 projects in 2018, securing $33.7 million in capital investment, 99 new jobs, and more than 189,000 square feet of new construction in Genesee County.

Since 2003, the GCEDC has provided similar assistance and incentives for 465 projects which have generated $1.3 billion in capital investment and the creation and/or retention of approximately 4,627 jobs.

March 4, 2019 - 5:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, Announcements, batavia, meat auction, BBPW.

There will be a meat auction on Friday, April 5, at Ascension Parish in Batavia to benefit Genesee County scholarships and service organizations. It is hosted by the Batavia Business & Professional Women's Club Inc.

Cost to attend is $10 and includes food, beer and soda pop. No outside food or drink allowed.

Tables for eight can also be reserved for $64.

Tickets are presale only and the deadline to buy them is April 3.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the first drawing is at 6:45.

Bring your dollar bills and a cooler for your winnings.

There will also be a 60/40 raffle and more.

The church is located at 17 Sumner St. in the City of Batavia.

Contact any BBPW member or Michelle Gillard at 297-0779 or email  [email protected]

Or Alice Chapell at 344-2193 or email [email protected]

March 4, 2019 - 4:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, LB Grand, St. Joseph's Day Feast.

Above, file photo of inside LB Grand taken in March 2018.

Press release (inset photo below submitted):

LB Grand invites you to join them as they celebrate their grand reopening this month with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a traditional Saint Joseph's Day feast on Tuesday, March 19.
  • Ribbon Cutting with the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce at 3:30 p.m.
  • Feast: 4 to 8 p.m.

Executive Chef Sean Wolf reassures that the menu will still include favorites such as tripe, fish fry and of course, Dolly’s famous sauce, but guests can also expect to find new Italian American selections as well as an updated bread program that includes house-made sourdough.

On March 19, guests will have the option to order a "St. Joe’s Plate" with traditional St. Joseph’s Day selections including the customary anise-flavored bread and Italian cookies.

Fish Frys will be available Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the Lent season.

For more information visit LBGrand.com or call to reserve a table 585-768-6707.

Some History on the LB Grand

The LB Grand came to be in 1983 as a result of the extraordinary efforts of Ron and Dolly Piazza. In the subsequent decades, the Piazza family fed and served drinks to two generations of LeRoyans, Genesee County residents, friends, neighbors, and lovers of homemade Italian food. In 2017 the Piazzas “passed the torch” to the Farmer family.

Admittedly, when the Piazzas approached the Farmer family, the timing wasn’t ideal. With the restoration of Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn well underway, the thought of opening two restaurants simultaneously seemed challenging.

However, after touring the facility, Bill Farmer, proprietor, remarked, “We saw something” mentioning that the building had a sort of “mystique” that he was drawn to.  He added that his Italian heritage added a nostalgic pull as well.

Executive Chef Wolf said that he was all for the idea and that he saw the LB Grand as “the spot” for the community, noting that the size of the building and history associated with it made the LB Grand a real gem within the community that was worth maintaining.

After the purchase, the Farmer family decided to keep the name that the Piazza family had built and continued operations while working towards exposing the character of the building.

Bill noted that “Things that take longer often yield a better result,” and for the past two years has worked in conjunction with his team to fine tune the interior, exterior and overall operations. “As with any business, it’s still a work in process but we’re proud of where it’s come and are excited to celebrate with the community.”

March 3, 2019 - 1:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, hlom, antique show, batavia.

Press release:

The Holland Land Office Museum still has openings for antique dealers or vendors for its 13th Annual Batavia Antique Show and Sale on Friday and Saturday, April 5th and 6th.

The antique show will take place at the Richard C. Call Arena on the Batavia campus of Genesee Community College, located at One College Road, Batavia. 

The event opens on Friday, April 5th, at 5 p.m. and continues until 8 o'clock. It reopens Saturday, April 6th, at 9 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.

If a vendor is interested in participating the details for the show are as follows:

  • Each show space is 16’ x 16’; with a chair provided with the rental, for a price of $80; and subsequent spaces will be discounted $10 per purchase;
  • Tables can also be rented for an additional charge of $10 per table;
  • Setup time for the show will begin on Friday, April 5th, beginning at 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Displays can be taken down after 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 6th;
  • Advertising will also be provided for all participants to be distributed as needed.

For more information about the 13th Annual Batavia Antique Show and Sale, please contact the Holland Land Office Museum at 585-343-4727 or [email protected]

March 2, 2019 - 8:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, batavia, notify, upstate niagara, ag park.

An executive with Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc. announced that it has signed a purchase agreement to buy the Alpina Foods plant in Batavia.

Larry Webster, chief executive officer of Upstate Niagara, broke the news at tonight's Genesee County Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony at Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia.

The Alpina plant is located in the Genesee Valley Agri-business park at 5140 Ag Park Drive West. The plant operated by the yogurt maker closed in January.

UPDATE 10:20 p.m. (by Howard): After tonight's Chamber awards, Webster said Upstate's immediate plans for the former Alpina plant aren't settled but that acquiring an ultramodern dairy-processing facility in a strong milk shed where Upstate has been looking to expand was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

"The way I termed it, it's the farm next door," Webster said. "When it came up for sale we were looking to expand and so it just kind all worked out well."

The plant represents a $60 million investment by Alpina, a Colombia-based company that attempted to crack the U.S. greek-yogurt market by opening the plant in the Genesee Valley Ag-Business Park five years ago. Webster said Upstate will pay somewhere in the neighborhood of the $20 million to $25 million asking price on the plant but said he wasn't ready to disclose the purchase price.

"We just knew that it was an opportunity to pick up a production-ready plant in our area and so we did," Webster said. "We're not 100-percent sure exactly what we're going to do there yet."

The plant will be filled, Webster said and he expects that the plant is ready to employ 40 to 60 people, and more if the plant expands. Part of what attracted Upstate to the property is that while the plant sits on a 10-acre parcel, there is a 10-acre parcel next to it that is vacant but is included with the purchase.

"That makes room for expansion, which we were interested in," Webster said. "It's in the right place at the right time and ready to go. We've got some customers that we think could fit in there quite well and we could utilize it fairly quickly."

Frequently, Upstate operates on a co-packing basis with clients who need a production facility for their dairy-product brands. Webster indicated he expects that's how the former Alpina plant will be used.

The purchase offer was signed Thursday and is contingent on a due-diligence process but Webster didn't expect any issues to arise before the acquisition is final.

The project will likely also be eligible for an incentive package from the Genesee County Economic Development Center, which also provided more than $700,000 to Alpina to build and expand the plant, according to a source who was at Saturday's dinner. The scope and nature of the incentive package has not yet been settled on. 

When Massachusetts-based HP Hood bought the former Muller Quaker plant, which is also in the ag park, it also negotiated an updated tax-abatement package with GCEDC.

Webster said he doesn't expect Upstate will follow the example of Dairy Farmers of America, which purchased the former Muller Quaker plant across the street and flipped it to HP Hood a year later without ever producing any product at the plant.

"That's not in our plans at all," Webster said. "We bought it for our use and our history is just that. We've been operating plants for quite awhile and didn't buy it because we thought it was cheap and we could turn around and resell it or anything like that. We felt we paid a fair price for it but it's for our use."

March 1, 2019 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, news, business.

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer is advocating for a new set of common-sense solutions to address New York’s ailing business climate so that more hard-working families can live, work and thrive in Western New York.

The Re-Open New York for Business Plan is in response to Senate Democrats outright rejection of the Amazon HQ2 project, costing New Yorkers 25,000 new jobs and $27.5 billion in revenue.

The new plan would help reinvigorate the state economy and establish countless job opportunities for middle-class workers while beginning to undo some of the damage Senate Democrats have done by stopping the Amazon HQ2 project.

“When Senate Democrats turned down 25,000 new jobs, they sent a clear message to job-creators across the nation that New York is closed for business,” said Ranzenhofer. “That is why I am fighting to reopen New York for business by enacting each one of these sensible tax and economic development reforms.”

The comprehensive jobs plan includes: 
• Fighting for Meaningful Tax Cuts for Small Businesses, including a $495 million income tax exemption for Small Businesses & Farmers, as well as a STAR program for Small Businesses, achieving another $275 million in savings;
• Fighting to Cut Burdensome Energy Taxes, including the elimination of the 18-A Regulatory Assessment, and building upon the successful elimination of the Senate Democrats’ 18-A surcharge;
• Making the Property Tax Cap Permanent, currently, a temporary measure which has saved taxpayers $37 billion since its inception;
• Opposing any new taxes to balance the budget, including the Governor’s plan to impose new taxes on internet purchases and prescription drugs, among other fees in the Executive Budget proposal;
• Pushing for much-needed needed reform of the Public Authorities Control Board, so one person can never again misuse their vote to impede job growth and progress for New York; and
• Calling upon the Governor and Legislature to enact comprehensive regulatory reform for small businesses across the state this year.

March 1, 2019 - 11:46am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Chamber Awards, news, business, batavia, Genesee Lumber.

geneseelumberchamber2018.jpg

 

Video Sponsor

 

Editor's note: The 2018 Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Awards banquet will be held Saturday, March 2, at the Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia.

John Harrower said he recalls a story that his late father, Robert, told him about how Genesee Lumber got started way back in 1928.

“My grandfather, a pioneer in his vision and thinking, shook hands (on the deal) with the former owner of what was Franklin Street Lumber at the time, and he (the seller) said, ‘Good luck, it’s a dying business.’ ”

Today, that “dying business” is alive and well – continuing to serve Genesee County and, in recent years, Erie and Monroe counties – as both a contractor yard and retail outlet.

It’s doing so well, in fact, that it is being honored as the 2018 Business of the Year by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and will be recognized as such at the chamber’s 47th annual Awards Ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on March 2 at the Quality Inn & Suites on Park Road in Batavia.

“We are very honored and humbled to receive this award,” Harrower said, speaking for his wife, Leslie; sons, Michael and Eric, who are both in the business, and his employees.

Genesee Lumber was nominated by Batavia John Riter, who praised the Harrowers for their “vision, willingness to bet on the community and commitment to success” as key elements in the company’s ability to expand considerably in recent years.

“Their success has contributed to the community’s success in a variety of ways, not the least of which is an expanded workforce,” Riter wrote in his nomination letter.

John and Leslie purchased the company from Robert in 1994, but John actually worked for his dad as a child before coming on full time after college in 1983. Leslie, an accomplished business person in her own right, came on board in 1987.

Robert Harrower, well-known for his efforts as a Rotarian and on several community boards, passed away last June at the age of 84.

The origins of Genesee Lumber are best captured in John’s words:

“The company was started in 1928 by my grandfather, Harold Harrower, who was a traveling salesman and a lumber dealer. He wanted to own a lumber yard one day, and he called on this place – the old Franklin Street Lumber – and ended up buying it.”

John said the business prospered through the Depression and World War II, and was supported by three big silos, which kept Harold busy during the winter months. “A big source of revenue, and the fuel supply was coal,” he noted.

In time, the coal aspect went away, the silos were removed and the business became known as Genesee Lumber Company Inc.

Robert Harrower worked beside his dad and uncle as a child. In 1963, he bought out his father (who retired) and owned the business until selling it to his son and daughter-in-law 25 years ago.

John Harrower said he sees himself as a combination of the two – a bit of a risk taker like his grandfather and a sense of conservatism, more like his father.

“Yeah, I think I have some of my grandfather in me in that we took a leap of faith about 15 years ago to venture outside of Genesee County,” John said. “We added four or five buildings, and while continuing to be very heavy in the retail business (in Genesee County) we have expanded those avenues into Monroe and, especially Erie County.”

He said the company owns a fleet of a dozen trucks and 10 forklifts, features a large showroom area to “give people a feel of what they could envision for themselves, no matter the size of the project that they have going on.”

The Andersen Windows line has been a key part of the company’s offerings for about 60 years. “They (Andersen) are, if not No. 1, No. 2,” he said.

Genesee Lumber also carries siding, metal roofing, top quality shingles, the Trex decking product, storm doors, windows and more.

“We also do a large amount of interior packages – styles, color, paint grade option or also a stain finish product,” John said, “and a wide array of exterior door options, and patio doors (with a) great selection. It’s quite an expansive line.”

John said Genesee Lumber has several skilled sales and service employees in the areas of kitchen cabinets and countertops – “not our main line, but we can do pre-built or custom cabinetry,” he said.

Much of the expansion has occurred under John and Leslie’s watch.

“We tore down an old building and a house and put up this nearly 10,000-square-foot warehouse – that mostly houses windows and doors,” he said. “We cut lumber, plywood and have a shop for custom painting.”

John said that they take on a lot of lumber by rail, with one railroad car holding more than four tractor-trailer loads.

“Rail helps reduce our costs quite a bit. It reduces the freight tremendously, which we can pass on to our contractor and customer base,” he said, adding that the majority of the lumber comes from Canada or the West Coast.

The Harrower family continues to be active in the community, as both John and Leslie have served on the Genesee Area YMCA board (Leslie is a former president) and as volunteer coaches for a variety of school and youth sports.

Per Riter’s nomination, “John and Leslie have been great ambassadors in that they are always friendly and welcoming to people who are new to the community, including Liz (his wife) and myself.”

John said he embraces what he calls “the hometown spirit.”

“Nothing comes near it,” he said. “We like to see people within the community; we’ve made a lot of friends and have had a tremendous amount of support from the community. And, for that, we’re very grateful.”

March 1, 2019 - 11:42am
posted by Virginia Kropf in Rotary Club of Batavia, business, Chamber Awards, batavia.

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Editor's note: The 2018 Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Awards banquet will be held Saturday, March 2, at the Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia.

As Batavia’s oldest service club prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary, it will be honored by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce with the Special Service Recognition of the Year on Saturday.

Rotarian Christopher White stressed the importance of the Rotary Club of Batavia in the community when he nominated it for the Chamber award.

“Founded by local businessmen looking for camaraderie and an opportunity to give back to their community, the Club has made meaningful contributions, not just financial, but of their time, talent and expertise to make Batavia a better place to live,” White wrote.

Rotary’s contributions to the Batavia community include support of Batavia Concert Band, Genesee County Youth Bureau Community Garden, Genesee Cancer Assistance, Crossroads House, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, GO ART!, Fourth of July Picnic in the Park, Genesee/Orleans ARC and United Memorial Medical Center.

And they support local youth in ice hockey, minor league baseball, Boy Scouts, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), YMCA Camp Hough and the YMCA Summer Adventure Program. 

The Rotary Scholarship Program provides $18,000 each year to high school students from Batavia, Notre Dame and Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

Rotary also gives local high school students a chance to spend a year abroad, and has hosted foreign exchange students looking to experience life in the United States and Western New York. Two of these students, one from Australia and the other from Denmark, are in Batavia now and attended a recent meeting to tell of their experiences at Algonquin Provencial Park in Ontario, Canada.

Rotary has also provided youth leadership training to many local high school and college students through Rotary International. And they support the world by continuing to raise funds from club members to support Rotary International in its quest to eradicate polio from the face of the earth.

Batavia Rotary hosts the annual girls’ and boys’ high school basketball tournaments, the annual Father’s Day Fly-in Breakfast at Genesee County Airport, the annual Beerfest and raffle, and the Memorial Day Flags and Flowers Sale.

Not to be forgotten are the Rotary shows which were put on for so many years.

White noted that many of the current 75 Rotary members sit on boards of local organizations and nonprofit agencies, lending their support and knowledge to them. They can be found making an impact outside of the Club itself, he said. Members range in age from 28 to 88 and all believe in the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.”

Batavia Rotary was founded in 1919 by Batavia businessman Carlton M. Sleight, who had only lived in the city little more than a decade, according to William F. Brown Jr. in his book "Service Above Self: The Story of a Rotary Club."

Sleight had attended a Rotary meeting in Elmira, while living and doing business in Canandaigua, and Brown believes that his visit may have inspired him to form a club in Batavia. On March 13, 1919, Sleight invited 25 business and professional men to meet at the Holland Club with Dr. John H. Ready from the Rochester club to learn how to form a Batavia unit.

The group was so enthused that, two months later, a dinner meeting was held at the Batavia Club to discuss the reports of committees working on bylaws and a constitution. Officers were installed May 26 at the Odd Fellows Temple (the former St. James Episcopal Church on Ellicott Street). More than 200 Rotarians attended from Rochester to Niagara Falls and enjoyed a five-course dinner served by the Eastern Star. 

Batavia became Rotary International’s charter No. 491.

Batavia dentist Joseph Rowbottom is a 50-year member of Batavia Rotary, along with Dave Schwartz and Don Iwanicki.  

Rowbottom first became exposed to Rotary after moving to Corfu. When he was a freshman in dental school, he had a friend whose fiancee’s mother knew a dentist in Corfu who was retiring. That turned out to be Guy Patterson and Rowbottom bought his building. (Guy Patterson's daughter was the famous swimmer Greta Paterson, who swam across Lake Erie in 1955.)

In 1966, the Vietnam War was heating up, and Rowbottom didn’t want to be drafted, so Patterson agreed to hold the building and Rowbottom enlisted. He served two years in the military and after returning home, started attending Rotary meetings with dentist Patterson. 

“I’ve been coming ever since,” Rowbottom said. “I continued to block off time on my schedule from noon to 1:15 p.m. so I could attend Rotary. I’ve always had a lot of fun at Rotary. I also liked the Buffalo Club, but they were so formal.”

Rowbottom said his friends challenged him in the beginning to propose that women be allowed to join Rotary. At the time, the Batavia Jaycees were thrown out of the organization for accepting a female member. He proposed Rotary welcome in Terry Carauna, the dean of Business at Genesee Community College.

“They didn’t accept her and I almost got thrown out of Rotary,” Rowbottom said. “Today, we would be in a world of hurt without women. This club could not function as it does without women.”

One of the newer, younger members is Pam Sivret, who joined in 2017. Her sister, Teri Yasses has been a member since 1994 and Sivret has helped her with the fly-in breakfasts and Rotary shows. 

When Yasses said Sivret should join, she did.

“I love the friendship and how we are all very like-minded,” Sivret said. 

She was the first winner of a Rotary Youth Leadership Award to become a Rotary member. She won the award in 1990 while a student at GCC.

Lori Aratari was working for Triple AAA when she joined Rotary. 

“They encouraged us to be part of our community and get involved,” Aratari said. “I explored the service clubs locally and Rotary stood out.”

She has chaired fundraisers and is in her second term on the board.

“I’ve made amazing friends through Rotary and my husband enjoys participating in Rotary events,” Aratari said.

March 1, 2019 - 11:38am
posted by Virginia Kropf in Chamber Awards, business, agriculture, upstate niagara.

Editor's note: The  2018 Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Awards banquet will be held Saturday, March 2, at the Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia.

Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc., a dairy cooperative owned by 340 farm families located throughout Western New York, will be honored March 2 as the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s Agricultural Organization of the Year.

“On behalf of our member-owners, especially those located in Genesee County, we are honored to be presented with this award by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce,” said Keith Telaak, senior marketing manager of Upstate Niagara Cooperative. “We are grateful of this recognition and are proud to be a part of the Genesee County community.”

Upstate Niagara Cooperative is a result of several mergers, acquisitions, and consolidations of local dairy processors over the past 100 years, as dairy farmers realized the need for increased efficiencies to be able to grow their businesses and compete in the changing marketplace, Telaak said.

In 2006 Upstate Farms Cooperative and Niagara Milk Cooperative consolidated, bringing together two of the nation’s top dairy cooperatives. Its history, however, goes back even further.

Some of Upstate Niagara Cooperative’s family-owned farms have been in existence for more than six generations, according to Telaak.

The cooperative operates seven manufacturing facilities – three fluid plants (Buffalo, Rochester and Williamsport, Pa.), with their main office in Buffalo; two cultured facilities (West Seneca and North Lawrence); one cheese plant in Campbell; and O-AT-KA Milk Products in Batavia. The Membership Office is also located in Batavia, Telaak added. 

“Our mission is to serve each one of our customers the highest quality dairy products and services, in order to market milk and maximize returns for our dairy farmer owners, while providing a rewarding environment for our employees,” Telaak said.

“Our commitment to quality dairy products extends to every stage of production, from the farm to the consumer. The success of our cooperative begins with the passion and dedication of our farmer-owners to work hard every single day to produce the highest quality milk.”

Upstate Niagara’s high-quality dairy products have earned several first-place awards at dairy competitions, including their Bison French Onion Dip and light sour cream. They are marketed to consumers throughout the country.

Their products include milk, flavored milk, yogurt, dip, sour cream, cheese and ice cream marketed under the Upstate Farms, Valley Farms; Intense Milk for consumers looking for a healthier way to indulge; Bison; and Milk for Life. 

“We are also a private label manufacturer of dairy products for many of the largest retailers throughout the country,” Telaak said. 

Today, Upstate Niagara employs more than 1,400 people in their offices, manufacturing facilities and distribution network. 

Batavia was chosen as the site for the Membership Office because of its central location to member farmers in Western New York, Telaak said. Mike Davis is plant manager of the Batavia plant.

February 28, 2019 - 4:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCASA, news, business, Best Companies Group.

Press release:

Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) is very pleased to announce that it has been named one of the "Best Companies to Work for in New York State" for 2019 for the second year in a row.

Best Companies Group analyzes employee survey data to determine what companies are selected and how they are ranked.  

“We decided to participate again this year because the feedback we received last year was really helpful," said John Bennett, executive director. "We continue to look for opportunities to enhance employees’ day to day job satisfaction in meaningful ways."

“This honor is because of our amazing employees and board of directors,” said Shannon Ford, director of Communications and Development.

GCASA will be honored at a public awards dinner to be held at the Albany Marriott on Wednesday, April 24. During the event, GCASA will learn its rank among the 26 companies in the category for small employers with 15-99 U.S. employees.

GCASA has been serving Genesee and Orleans Counties for more than 40 years. Services include prevention education and outpatient and residential treatment for individuals with substance use disorders; and an employee assistance program.

GCASA is located at 430 E. Main St. in the City of Batavia.

February 25, 2019 - 3:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, 2018 recognition awards, business, Announcements.

The City of Batavia is currently seeking nominations, which are due no later than March 8, for the following 2018 Recognition Awards:

COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER

An outstanding individual in the community that demonstrates excellence in volunteerism. This individual goes above and beyond normal responsibilities creating a lasting and beneficial impact.

HOMEOWNER OF THE YEAR

An engaged resident who has given extra effort to go above and beyond in maintaining their home and enhance their neighborhood.

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

A business that has demonstrated community involvement and represents entrepreneurial spirit while providing exceptional customer service, professionalism and integrity.

NOT-FOR-PROFIT/SERVICE ORGANIZATION

Providing service to the people of the City by demonstrating commitment in improving quality of life throughout the community.

***************

If you know of someone that you would like to nominate please complete the nomination form and submit to Lisa Casey by Friday, March 8.

The awards will be presented by City Council at a future City Council Meeting.

Nomination forms available by the following:

Mail nominations to: Lisa Casey, City of Batavia, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, NY 14020.

Fax nominations to (585) 343-8182.

February 24, 2019 - 5:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, weather, batavia, business, Chassix-Automotive.

Due to dangerous winds, Chassix-Automotive LLC, located at 4320 Federal Drive in Batavia, will be closed for the third shift this evening at 10:30 p.m. (Feb. 24) and will reopen Monday for the first shift at 6:30 a.m. (Feb. 25).

Plant Manager,
Douglas J. Smith

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