Local Matters

Community Sponsors

January 22, 2021 - 2:09pm

Alabama Hotel, 1353 Lewiston Road, Basom. Menu. Wednesday 4 to 10 p.m. for bar food and pizza dine-in, and takeout. Thursday thru Saturday 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. for full menu dine-in and take out. (585) 948-9994

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia. Indoor dining and take out. Tuesday & Thursday 11a.m. to 8 p.m. / Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Sunday 12 to 8 p.m. Menu. Now accepting reservations for parties of 5 to 10 people. Also, call-ahead seating for parties of up to 4 people within an hour of arrival. (585) 344-2999

Angry Charlie's Smokehouse & BBQ, 341 Ellicott St., Batavia. Authentic Eastern North Carolina BBQ. Eat in / Take out / Curbside pick up / Delivery. Open Tuesday thru Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (585) 322-5260

Batavia's Original, 500 E. Main St., Batavia. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. / Sunday 12 to 8 p.m. Heated patio. Daily specials. Online ordering, curbside pick up, dine in. No-contact delivery upon request. Menu. (585) 343-3303

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia. Dine in or take out Monday - Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Sundays. Free delivery of food AND alcohol on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 9 p.m. within Town & City of Batavia. Menu. (585) 219-4242

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia. Open Friday and Saturday nights only, 4 to 9 p.m. Call for reservations. Menu. (585) 343-7470

Chap's Elba Diner, 5 S. Main St., Elba. Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Menu. (585) 757-5001 or (585) 797-7505

Cinquino's Pizza, 314 Ellicott St., Batavia. Dine-in, takeout, curbside pick up. Delivery within Batavia city limits. Menu. Monday thru Thursday 11a.m. to 9 p.m. / Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. / Sunday 12 to 8 p.m. Order deadline is noon Friday for pick up Sunday or Monday. (585) 343-2447

Commit to Well, 301 North St., Batavia (YWCA side entry near driveway). Healthy meal prep service. Choose meals online, pick up (Sundays 10 to 11 a.m. or Mondays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), enjoy. Meals are $8 each, plus tax. New menu weekly. Email: [email protected]. (585) 409-5740

D & R Depot Restaurant, 63 Lake St., Le Roy. Dine in, curbside pick up, free delivery in Le Roy, $1/mile elsewhere (no minimum). Full menu! Open 7 days a week 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (585) 768-6270. Order online, or call (585) 768-6270.

Eden Vegan Cafe & Bakeshop, 109 Main St. (inside Eli Fish), Batavia. Takeout only. Pre-order via the website for pick up. Menu temporarily reduced. Hours Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 4 to 8 p.m. (585) 815-4487

Eli Fish Brewing Co., 109 Main St., Batavia. Dine-in, take out, and DoorDash delivery. Monday thru Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. / Closed Sunday. Menu. (585) 343-0008

Fishtales Hideaway, 107 Evans St., Batavia. Dine in and take out available. Open Monday through Thursday 1 to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 1 to 9 p.m. Full bar. Here's our website and menu. Phone (585) 219-4736.

Islands Hawaiian Grill, 60 Main St., Batavia. Delivery, curbside, pick up, dine in. Tuesday thru Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. / Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Menu. (585) 483-3113

Mama Chavez's Taqueria, 7 Mill St., Le Roy. Takeout only. Tues - Fri. 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. / Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. / Closed Sunday & Monday. Daily specials. Call in your order for pick up (585) 502-5093.

Northside Deli, 162 Bank St., Batavia. Open 7 days a week. Monday thru Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Sundays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Full menu available to take out. Order ahead of time for fast service. Website. (585) 323-2888

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St., Batavia. "Old-fashioned Comfort Food." Facebook page. (585) 343-3270.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St. Open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Inside store shopping, curbside pick up. Ice cream parlor open. (585) 343-5888

Pok-A-Dot, 229 Ellicott St., Batavia. Open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dine in, take out, order by phone, or order online for pick up at "The Dot." (585) 343-6775

Public Coffee Hub, 56 Harvester Ave., full-service cafe -- dine-in or carry out. Also food truck drive-thru at 355 W. Main St., Batavia. Free WiFi at cafe & TapGlo ping-pong available to buy. Locally roasted beans, fresh baked goods, Montreal bagels, chai lattes, hot cocoa, and more. Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cafe (716) 392-2561. Food truck (323) 484-3482. Can text to order, too.

Roman's, 59 Main St., Batavia. Patio and indoor dining. Free delivery within the City/Town of Batavia. Open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. We still have the BOGO Pizza Special every day and delivery on Friday and Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m. Last reservation and pick up time is 8:45 / Closed Sunday & Monday. Menu. (585) 345-6788.

Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St., Batavia. Dine-in. Pick up. Online ordering. DoorDash. Open Monday thru Saturday 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. / Sunday 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Menu. (585) 343-7443

Southside Deli, 300 Ellicott St. (corner of Liberty Street), Batavia. Take out only. Open 7 days a week: Sunday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Tuesday thru Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. All deli and store items are available. Menu. Call ahead for quicker service. (585) 344-2220

Subway -- two franchises: the one inside Batavia Walmart, the other one at 8394 Alleghany Road, Pembrokeoperated by Oakfield resident Doug Hendershott Jr. Open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eat in or take out. Order in person, online, or by phone. Walmart Subway phone is (585) 343-3023. Pembroke phone is (585) 591-1549.

Sweet Betty's, 15 Main St., Le Roy. Menu includes Perry's hard ice cream, soft serve, floats, etc., plus burgers, sandwiches, old-time candy, adult beverages. Fish fry on Wednesdays. Closed Tuesdays. Wednesday thru Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (585) 502-6084

T.F. Brown's, 214 E. Main St., Batavia. Delivery, curbside pick up, dine in. Monday thru Sunday from 12 to 10 p.m. Order online or phone (585) 343-1547.

The Coffee Press, 13 Jackson St., Batavia. Dine in or take out. Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Sunday. Menu. (585) 483-3096

The Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant, 6492 E. Main St., Stafford. Open for in-house dine-in service Tuesday through Sunday 4 to 8 p.m. Curbside service available those days, too. Ordering starts at 1 p.m., pick up starts at 4:15. Specials can be viewed at [email protected] or on our Facebook page.

The Yngodess Shop, 73 Main St., Batavia. Curbside pickup, and free delivery with a $20 minimum (1 - 6 p.m.), call for more details. Sunday 12 - 6 p.m., Monday & Tuesday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Wednesday thru Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit online. Call in your order. (585) 343-3170

West Main Wine & Spirits, 341 W. Main St., Batavia. Buy in-store or offering curbside pick up. Monday thru Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Sunday 12 to 6 p.m. (585) 344-2717

Willow Bend Inn, 3489 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Bar is open Tuesday thru Friday. Dine in or take out in restaurant from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Check our Facebook page for different specials & menu every Friday.

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If you send us updated information about your establishment, we will add it to this list. There is no charge.

To be added, email details, including location, hours, a link for menu, and delivery/pick up/dine-in options to:   [email protected]

January 19, 2021 - 11:48am

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 49th Annual Awards Ceremony and the 2020 award recipients. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the celebration will look much different this year.

The event will be a prerecorded virtual event with release date yet to be determined. It is very important to the Chamber to continue to honor businesses and Geneseeans especially during this most trying time.   

We are honored to announce the 2020 award recipients:

This year’s honorees are:

Business of the Year -- Pellegrino Auto Sales       

Agricultural Business of the Year -- L&M Specialty Fabrication LLC   

Special Service Recognition of the Year -- Rochester Regional Health/United Memorial Medical Center                   

Geneseean of the Year -- Tammy Hathaway

January 15, 2021 - 3:08pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley announced today with his Assembly Minority colleagues the “Jump-Start New York” plan for economic recovery.

It's a comprehensive package of legislative proposals that would restore the power of the Legislature by reining in Gov. Cuomo’s executive powers and focus New York’s available financial resources toward economic recovery for “nonessential” small businesses that have lost income due to the governor’s pandemic restrictions through direct aid grants. 

“This package of legislation does exactly what we need to be doing right now in our state, getting the Legislature back to work for the communities they represent and helping the small businesses and families within those communities that have suffered for far too long under onerous restrictions imposed by the governor using his expanded powers,” Hawley said. 

The program’s funds would be drawn from unallocated settlement funds and capital programs such as START-UP NY, and additional stimulus would be made available by making small businesses eligible for the Film Tax Credit.

Additionally, these small businesses would be granted a 180-day grace period to remedy regulatory violations without being fined and also be granted an extra 180 days to file their sales taxes. The legislative package would assist “nonessential” businesses located within the governor’s Red and Orange Zones by prompting a reevaluation of the businesses that could open, while maintaining proper social distancing practices.

In addition, Jump-Start New York would give targeted relief to farmers and renters who have had their incomes impacted by Gov. Cuomo’s restrictions during COVID-19. Landlords who have gone without income would receive a tax credit to help offset their losses, while farmers would see regulatory expenses and requirements loosened and eligibility standards for funding broadened.

The package would also assist farmers and rural business owners in general by expanding rural broadband access, which would help them expand their markets among other benefits.

“Focusing available financial resources on our small businesses that have been struggling to remain operational is just common sense, so I’m hopeful we see ‘Jump-Start New York’ get passed for the sake of the small business owners and their employees who have had their lives upended this last year,” Hawley said.

January 15, 2021 - 11:36am

Press release:

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued a statement applauding the Department of Labor’s final rule modernizing the H-2A visa program:

“This final rule streamlining and modernizing the H-2A visa process will go a long way in ensuring American farmers have access to a stable and skilled workforce, all while removing unnecessary bureaucratic processes," Secretary Perdue said.

"USDA’s goal is to help farmers navigate the complex H-2A program that is administered by Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department so hiring a farm worker is an easier process. These modernizations make the Federal government more responsive to our customers, ensuring American agriculture continues to lead the world for years to come.”

Background

The final rule will streamline the H-2A application process by mandating electronic filing of job orders and applications. These elements are designed to bring the H-2A application process into the digital era, by harnessing the power of the FLAG electronic filing system to share information with other federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security while also sharing information with the State Workforce systems and domestic farmworkers.

Additionally, the final rule will provide additional flexibilities to cut down on unnecessary burdens on the agricultural employers that use the program. These flexibilities include the ability to stagger the entry of workers into the country over a 120-day period and allowing agricultural employers the flexibility to file a single application for different dates of need instead of multiple applications. 

January 13, 2021 - 4:37pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is announcing a webinar hosted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to discuss the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.

“I first want to commend the SBA for their tireless work to support our small businesses and our communities," Jacobs said. “One of my top priorities since taking office has been to deliver economic relief to support millions of American small businesses.

"When we passed the most recent COVID-19 aid package, not only did we deliver $284 billion to support the Paycheck Protection Program, but we also enacted additional provisions such as the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act that continue to represent our commitment to a strong American comeback."

This legislation allocated $15 billion to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which offers up to $10 million in grant funding to eligible organizations. The webinar will take place on Jan. 14th at 3 p.m. EST, and will cover eligibility, accessibility of grants, and the application process. 

Please be advised this webinar will fill up fast, if additional sessions become available an update will be provided.

To register for the webinar, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/shuttered-venue-operators-grant-webinar-registration-136050549857?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery  

In addition, the Paycheck Protection Program is currently open to both first time recipients and applicants seeking a second draw. The funding is being distributed through Community Financial Institutions.

To be eligible for a second loan, a borrower must meet the following criteria:

1) Received a first-time loan and has or will use the full amount for authorized uses;

2) Has no more than 300 employees, and

3) Can demonstrate at least a 25-percent reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.

January 12, 2021 - 2:50pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, Paycheck Protection Program, business.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is announcing that the Paycheck Protection Program has been reopened for first- and second-time borrowers.

“Since I took office this summer, I have made it a top priority to extend the Paycheck Protection Program," Jacobs said. "It has supported 51 million American jobs, with 12 million of those in rural communities and thousands of them right here in Western New York."

“The reopening of this program represents our continued commitment to supporting the hard-working American small business owners and employees who are the backbone of our local communities and economy.”

The Paycheck Protection Program reopens today – Monday, Jan. 11th – for first-time borrowers through community financial institutions. On Wednesday, Jan. 13th, the program will be open to second-time borrowers.

A borrower is eligible for a second draw if they:

1) received a first-time loan and has or will use the full amount for authorized uses;

2) has no more than 300 employees, and

3) can demonstrate at least a 25-percent reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

In addition, when the most recent COVID-19 package was signed into law, it enacted a provision that ensures expenses paid for with PPP loan funds will be considered tax deductible. This upholds the original intent of the CARES Act.

“I successfully joined my colleagues in strongly advocating the allowance of tax deductibility for loan expenses. Many businesses accepted these loans under the premise they would not be surprised with an additional tax burden this coming year,” Jacobs said. “I’ll keep working to support small businesses, protect and create jobs, and move our Western New York economy forward.

For more information regarding the reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program, please visit here.

January 9, 2021 - 1:49pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Chiropractor Noah Hoy is excited to start working with "Dr. Tom" at Mazurkiewicz Family Chiropractic in Batavia along with Hoy’s Natural Pain Relief company in offering patients the best care possible.

He plans to start accepting patient appointments on Feb. 1st.

Hoy grew up in Batavia, where he started his academic career at Notre Dame High School graduating in 2013 with 28 college credits. He then attended Canisius College of Buffalo, graduating a semester early magna cum laude as a Biology Pre-medicine major.

From there he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, Fla.

During his time at Palmer, Hoy was chosen for the “Most Outstanding Future Alumni Award” by his class. He currently specializes in flexion distraction, instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization technique, soft-tissue therapy, trigger-point therapy and rehab.

He is working toward completing his postdoctorate in Electrodiagnostic Medicine this year.

Mazurkiewicz Family Chiropractic is located at 184 Washington Ave. Phone is (585) 343-9316.

January 6, 2021 - 12:17pm

Press release:

Out of nearly $20 million ESL Federal Credit Union reinvested in the Greater Rochester community in 2020 through its philanthropic efforts, more than $10 million was dedicated to supporting the pandemic response through grants to nonprofit agencies across the community.

As the pandemic continues into 2021, the full-service financial institution, with a branch in Batavia, is prepared to carry on its commitment to support nonprofit agencies throughout the community and the people these agencies serve.

“Nonprofits have been experiencing critical financial hardships throughout the pandemic and that is expected to continue well into 2021,” said Faheem Masood, president and CEO, ESL Federal Credit Union.

“To support the stability and resiliency of these agencies so they can continue to provide critical services, nonprofit and corporate funders need join together to lift up these organizations for the benefit of the people in the greater community.

"Our purpose at ESL is to help our community thrive and prosper, and thanks to trust and loyalty of our members, we are ready and able to do our part to reinvest in the community as we all work together through this public health crisis.”

Some of the grants ESL provided in 2020 to support the coronavirus pandemic response included:

  • $4 million to 20 nonprofit agencies distributed through United Way of Greater Rochester to ensure funding for these agencies remained whole due to a decrease in workplace campaign donations throughout the year;
  • $2.5 million donated to the Community Crisis Fund organized and managed by United Way of Greater Rochester and Rochester Area Community Foundation;
  • $385,000 through United Way in Livingston, Ontario, Wayne and Genesee counties to housing agencies in these counties for rent relief;
  • $350,000 to Rochester City School District to address the Digital Divide among students and provide WiFi access;
  • $345,000 to Urban League of Rochester for sustaining small businesses and COVID-19 relief;
  • $300,000 to PathStone Enterprise for COVID-19 business recovery, supporting minority-owned small businesses;
  • $250,000 to Child Care Council, which provided $1,000 grants in three counties to child care centers;
  • Approximately $190,000 to Action for a Better Community to address the Digital Divide. This grant matched a federal grant for internet devices and years’ worth of internet connectivity for approximately 150 families;
  • $100,000 to The Children’s Institute to address the Digital Divide for Pre-K students (3-5 year olds).

“The critical issues our community faces because of this pandemic and beyond are best addressed when organizations come together and collaborate for the greater good,” said Ajamu Kitwana, vice president/director, Community Impact, ESL Federal Credit Union.

“This level of collaboration will continue to be a necessity in 2021 and ESL is prepared to learn from our work in 2020 and understand where funding needs are greatest as we move forward.”

ESL’s Community Impact team was created in an effort to support the building of a healthy, resilient and equitable Greater Rochester. The Community Impact efforts of ESL focus on expanding individual opportunity, building strong neighborhoods and strengthening organizations and systems.

Over the past three years, ESL’s philanthropic reinvestments in the community have totaled more than $40 million.

January 6, 2021 - 12:07pm

Press release:

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the more than $3 million “Raising the Bar” Restaurant Recovery Fund to assist restaurants in New York State during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This grant funding has been made possible through financial donations led by Diageo North America and supported by Coastal Pacific Wine & Spirits (a division of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits) and will be implemented by the nonprofit National Development Council (NDC).

The “Raising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund” will help eligible restaurants adjust their operations to the impacts of COVID-19 and adherence to New York State’s public health and safety measures during the winter months when outdoor dining is limited.

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner, and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “The restaurant industry is a critical component of our state's economy -- encompassing hundreds of small businesses who employ thousands of New Yorkers.

"This industry has been among the hardest hit by the devastating effects of COVID-19, working hard to stay open, serve customers and keep employees safe. This fund is designed to help establishments adapt during this unprecedented time with assistance to sustain their businesses during the winter months to come." 

“Raising the Bar” grant funding can be used for COVID-19-related improvements and equipment that will allow the business to: comply with social distancing guidelines; expand take-out/delivery operations; or accommodate outdoor dining such as plexiglass barriers/partitions; signage promoting social distancing and hygiene protocols; heaters, heat lamps, weatherization upgrades and insulated delivery bags; improvements that will allow the business to continue operating through the winter months such as filtration system upgrades and food heaters to maintain temperature for to-go orders; and purchasing PPE and sanitation supplies necessitated by the pandemic; and COVID-19 related business improvements like patio heaters or contactless technology.

Qualifying purchases and expenditures must be from Sept. 1, 2020 onward to be eligible. Initial round of grants are up to $5,000. 

Initial grant funding will be awarded based on the received applications and dispersed independently by NDC, an experienced national economic nonprofit that has been in operation since 1969. 

“Diageo is committed to supporting restaurant owners, particularly those in underrepresented communities, who have been disproportionately harmed by COVID-19,” said Debra Crew, president, Diageo North America.

“We are honored to serve as a founding contributor of the ‘Raising the Bar’ Restaurant Recovery Fund, providing much needed relief to an important industry that serves as a vital part of the economic engine of local communities. We encourage other organizations and businesses that also call New York ‘home’ to join us in this endeavor to make the impact of the program even stronger.”

“The hospitality industry in New York needs help now more than ever and we are here for them like they’ve always been here for us,” commented Wayne E. Chaplin, Chief Executive Officer, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.

“The Raising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund provides an essential lifeline to restaurant owners so they can continue to operate safely, and stay afloat during this critical time. We are proud that our Coastal Pacific Wine & Spirits division is working with the State of New York, our valued supplier, Diageo, and the NDC to provide this much needed and urgent financial support.”

"At NDC, we are eager to get moving on this restaurant grant program," said Dan Marsh, president of National Development Council. "Having worked on numerous loan and grant programs in New York and across the country, what we have seen is that smaller restaurants -- especially minority and woman-owned establishments -- are not getting the help they really need. A tailored grant program specific to this industry is critical."

Eligible businesses consist of New York State restaurants that have no more than $3 million in 2019 revenue and are engaged in providing food services and meals prepared on-premises to patrons who traditionally order and are served while seated, including certain on-premises food and drinking establishments licensed through the State Liquor Authority (SLA) and which need funding to adjust to COVID-related impacts and protocols.

Establishments providing take out or grab and go food services due to COVID-19 restrictions are also eligible to receive the grant from NDC. Additionally, these establishments must have been in operation on or before March 1, 2019 and certify and demonstrate that they have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19.

All businesses must continue to comply with the New York Forward reopening guidance and Cluster Action Initiative guidance, as applicable. Restaurants can apply to the “Raising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund” starting Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. For more information visit the ESD website.

January 5, 2021 - 12:49pm

Press release:

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will purchase an additional $1.5 billion worth of food for nationwide distribution through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

In total, USDA has distributed more than !32 million food boxes in support of American farmers and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This new round of Farmers to Families Food Boxes will go a long way in helping American families access nutritious and healthy meals as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic," Perdue said.

January 5, 2021 - 12:44pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is praising the recent decision made by the Department of Labor’s Farm Laborer Wage Board to maintain the 60-hour overtime threshold until at least next November.

Hawley had been advocating in recent months to maintain this overtime threshold in light of a proposal to lower it. Hawley feared it would make operating an agribusiness even more difficult during what has been a hard year for the agricultural sector due to the negative impact COVID-19 has had on the industry. 

“This announcement is a big relief for farmers and agri-business entrepreneurs throughout the state, and I’m glad there’s one less thing to worry about in what’s already been an incredibly challenging year for agriculture,” Hawley said.

“While there is still work to be done helping our farmers through the COVID-19 pandemic, I am glad we avoided what would have certainly been a catastrophic mistake for our farmers and agricultural workers and entrepreneurs.”

December 24, 2020 - 12:37pm

Press release:

ALBANY -- Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that protects the interests of New York’s small businesses who are taking out loans to survive the coronavirus pandemic and other emergencies.

The New York State Small Business Truth in Lending Act, Chapter 369 of the Laws of 2020, helps borrowers by requiring clear and comprehensive disclosures from all lenders.

The NYS Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Coalition has been working with members across the state to build support for this common sense measure since it passed the Assembly and Senate in July.

“As we wait for the coronavirus vaccine to roll out, New York’s small businesses are struggling to hang on,” said Linda MacFarlane, chair of the NYS CDFI Coalition and executive director of Community Loan Fund of Capital Region.

“Unfortunately, some lenders have made it hard for small businesses to compare the true cost of their offers. CDFI Coalition members around the state are pleased to see that this measure will require lenders to disclose annual percentage rate (APR) and repayment terms.”

“CDFIs know too well how harmful predatory lending can be for small businesses, particularly during a crisis,” said Hubert VanTol, president of PathStone Enterprise Center in Rochester and vice chair of the NYS CDFI Coalition.

“That’s why we’re so pleased that Governor Cuomo signed the signed the NYS Small Business Truth in Lending Act. Now more than ever, New York businesses should be able to trust all lenders to clearly disclose their terms, so borrowers can compare loans on an ‘apples-to-apples’ basis.”

“Small businesses account for the vast majority of New York’s businesses and employ over half of the state’s workforce, but they are closing in record numbers due to COVID shutdowns,” said Kimberlie Jacobs, president/CEOCommunity Capital New York in Westchester County and CDFI Coalition board member.

“The provisions in this new law will deliver significant savings for small business borrowers. The Responsible Business Lending Coalition estimates that the NYS Small Business Truth in Lending Act will save New York’s small businesses more than $369 million annually in unnecessary finance charges. Minority-owned small businesses alone could save as much as $130 million a year.”

According to Carolynn Welch, executive director of the Westminster Economic Development Initiative in Buffalo and member of the Coalition, “CDFIs often help businesses get out from under crushing debt -- but sometimes, the damage has been done. Small businesses deserve straightforward disclosures from all financing providers so that they can make informed decisions and avoid debt traps.”

“The NYS Small Business Truth in Lending Act was endorsed by a wide range of lenders and small business advocates,” said Eric S. Levine, Esq., CEO of Alternatives Federal Credit Unionof in Ithaca and a member of the Coalition. “Fair and honest lenders have nothing to fear regarding transparency and the adoption of standard terms to describe the cost of loans.”   

“The provisions of the New York State Small Business Truth in Lending Act (A.10118 / S.5470b) will help small business owners who are trying to recover from all of the setbacks of 2020,” Coalition Chair MacFarlane said.

“We applaud Governor Cuomo, Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski and Senator Kevin Thomas for their leadership, the NYS Department of Financial Services, the Responsible Business Lending Coalition, and CDFIs around the state who worked to give our small businesses the tools they need to keep their businesses going, support their employees and serve the needs of their communities.”

The New York State CDFI Coalition represents the institutions that make innovative financing possible, foster financially vibrant and healthy communities, and strengthen all regions of New York State.

December 23, 2020 - 2:05pm

Photos and information from Ben Dennis, director of Services, GC Department of Social Services:

There's an amazing generosity in the people and businesses that exist in this community. Each year, I am contacted by local businesses who want to be able to help their fellow citizens by sponsoring a family for the Holidays.

These businesses are really amazing -- how they come through with gifts for the kids and the parents who ordinarily could not afford to have a nice Christmas.

This year, the employees at O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative, Inc., and Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union (TVFCU) and Tompkins Bank of Castile (408 E. Main St.), each separately reached out to me and sponsored a separate family.

The employees themselves did all the shopping and wrapping of the gifts for each member of the family they sponsored.

Last week, the DSS caseworkers delivered the gifts to the families and they are overjoyed and incredibly grateful for the donations.

Times are very difficult right now for many families trying to make ends meet.

We have hard-working people that have had to quit their job in order to stay home and help their children with their remote school work, or we had folks who were laid off due to business closures or downsizing.

"I have to say that the way that this community comes together in a time of need is really heartwarming to me personally," Dennis said. "This community is really amazing."

December 18, 2020 - 3:27pm

Submitted photo and press release:

When Lindsay Juliano from the American Dairy Association North East contacted Jim Tyx, Food Service director for Pembroke schools, he was surprised and thrilled to hear the news that she had to share.

Reyncrest Dairy Farm in Corfu was selected as a 2020 Dairying for Tomorrow Award Winner. This award recognizes dairy farm families who display a passion for dairying and uses practices that help lead their farm and the industry into the future. 

As part of their recognition as an award recipient, the Reyncrest Dairy Farm chose Pembroke Central School to receive a donation of one milk barrel and two insulated bags, a $500 value. 

“We are honored that the farm chose our local school to receive this gift,” said Jim Tyx, Food Service director for Pembroke and Alexander central schools.  

Kelly Reynolds, of Reyncrest Farms, noted, “We are so excited that the students at Pembroke Schools have more access to milk and dairy products and are able to enjoy a cold serving of dairy thanks to American Dairy Association Northeast and the Dairying for Tomorrow awards!

"Our family works hard to provide the best care possible for our cows so that our community can enjoy these products.”

According to the American Dairy Association of the Northeast’s website, the Dairying for Tomorrow Awards, sponsored by American Dairy Association North East, are designed to recognize local dairy farmers and showcase the unique actions they take, on and off the farm, to help sustain and improve the dairy industry.

Genesee Valley BOCES operates a Regional Food Service, a program that 21 area school districts subscribe to. Pembroke Central School District is one of them.

Photo: Green shirt on left, Julie Phelps; pink shirt, Lynn Dilimone; gray shirt cutting the ribbon, Heather Starzynski; gray shirt holding check, Brittany Schafer; pink shirt on the right, Sara langewicz.

December 11, 2020 - 12:04pm

Press release:

After first raising concerns about Canada’s allocation of tariff-rate quotas for U.S. exports of dairy products in June and again in September, U.S. senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand applauded the U.S. Trade Representative’s decision to file a United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement enforcement action against Canada to protect New York’s dairy farmers and ensure fairer market access.

In a statement issued today (Dec. 11) Schumer and Gillibrand said, “Dairy is New York’s primary agricultural product and our dairy farmers are the lifeblood of the Upstate economy. They have been hit especially hard and squeezed by the economic effects of the pandemic, and poor implementation of USMCA provisions by Canada over the past five months will only further hinder their ability to recover from this crisis.

"Yesterday’s filing of the first-ever USMCA enforcement action by the United States to protect New York’s dairy farmers from Canada’s unfair allocation of tariff-rate quotas is a necessary step to ensuring that the Upstate New York dairy industry fully benefits from the agreement’s expanded market access opportunities, unimpeded by unreasonable trade barriers.

"New York’s dairy industry must have Canada fully abide by its USMCA dairy pricing and export policy commitments. We must continue to hold Canada and our other trading partners accountable and ensure equitable trading practices to help New York’s dairy farmers churn up profits that mitigate the huge losses they have suffered this year.”

December 10, 2020 - 1:39pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in business, Wortzman Furniture, 95th anniversary.

This past year may have been a challenge for those in business, but it has also been one to celebrate for Wortzman Furniture Store.

Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is not exactly how Harry Wortzman planned to celebrate the company founded by his grandfather in 1925.

Wortzman continues to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, and provide his customers with the best service possible.

When Harry’s grandfather Harry Wortzman founded the store, it was just a few years before the Great Depression. He took on a partner to help him make it through the hard times, and the business became Wortzman and Lighter. Young Harry’s father, Israel, joined the business after he got out of Armed Services at the end of World War II. When the older Harry died in 1948, Israel took over. Israel bought out the partner in 1950, and the business again became Wortzman Furniture store.

Harry went to Ithaca College, where he majored in Business, then attended the University of Rochester to get his MBA. He was drafted after his first year there. In the summer of 1972, his dad got sick and Harry came to help him in the store, while finishing his second semester at the University of Rochester. He left graduate school when his father died in the fall of 1972.

Harry ran the business with his mother, Shirley, until she retired in 1980.

Under its founder Harry and his son, Israel, Wortzman’s carried only furniture. The current owner added carpeting more than 20 years ago and also put an addition on the back of the store, which is located at the corner of Ellicott and Liberty streets in the City of Batavia.

Harry said there are always challenges in a small business. His biggest challenge has been having to close for two-and-a-half months due to the pandemic.

“You never make that up,” he said. “We were fortunate to have the Paycheck Protection Plan.”

The pandemic has also caused a major problem with the supply of furniture.

“It’s been very difficult to get merchandise,” Harry said. “Some companies which were on a six- to eight-week delivery cycle are now six to eight months.”

It’s also challenging to know how much to buy, he added.

Another problem was having to close. In his 12,000-square-foot store, he said he might have four or six people, yet the big box stores were allowed to remain open. Because so many of the smaller stores had to close, people shopped on the internet, often not having to pay state tax, yet business owners like Wortzman still have to pay their taxes.

The best part of being in business is becoming acquainted with all the different people he’s never met before, Harry said.

“They come in and make a purchase, then they come back and you become friends,” he said. 

At 72, Harry has no plans to retire. His wife, Paula, has retired as a schoolteacher, but he has no exit strategy at this point, he said.

“As long as I’m healthy, I enjoy what I do and plan to be here,” he said.

Harry said his staff is what makes the store what it is today. His office manager Amy DiSalvo has been with him for more than 25 years. Kathy Hamm has been a salesperson for nearly 20 years and is semiretired. The newest sales person is Leanna DiRiso, who had her own business, Hidden Door Gift Store, in Wortzman’s but closed it to work full time for Harry.

Harry claims to have the best delivery people one could find. Raymond Scott has been with him for 17 years, and Darryl Roberts for nearly seven. He calls Wade Geedy Jr. the greatest flooring installer.

Taking care of customers and servicing what they sell is the key to success, Harry said.

“We bend over backwards to please our customers,” he said. “You can’t please everybody, but we do the best we can. We try to keep up with styles. We do a lot of business in the surrounding areas, as well as the city. We are getting a lot of business out of Buffalo and Rochester, because of word of mouth.”

Much of their business is special orders. Their sales people will sit and help a customer design a room.

“We give much more personal service than a big box store,” Harry said.

Wortzman’s is a full-service furniture store with living room, dining room and bedroom furniture; accessories, lamps, entertainment centers, accent tables and fireplace accessories. 

Photos by Virginia Kropf.

Top photo: Harry Wortzman stands in his showroom with Amy DiSalvo, who has been his office manager for 25 years.

Below, Wortzman Furniture store is celebrating 95 years in business at 309 Ellicott St. in the City of Batavia. The company continues to serve customers throughout the GLOW region.

December 7, 2020 - 4:45pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, coronavirus, business, restaurants.

Press release from the New York Restaurant Association:

“Based on the current metrics and projections, Governor Cuomo has given New Yorkers a one-week warning that indoor dining will likely be shut down, regardless of the number of positive cases that are specifically tied back to restaurants.

"The confusing, patchwork system of micro-clusters, regional restrictions and blanket statewide rollbacks has made it virtually impossible for restaurants to continue indoor dining.

"Whether it is positivity rate or hospitalization rate, all of these factors are outside of restaurants’ control. With the looming limits on indoor dining and outdoor dining no longer practical, many of our members will be forced to shut their doors, and for some it may be their final service.

"Based on today’s news, many restaurants will have no other choice, and hundreds of thousands of restaurant employees will be laid off during the holidays. As we just heard Governor Cuomo and Dr. Anthony Fauci say today, the restaurant industry is on life support and will die without financial assistance from the federal government.

"We need our elected officials, including Governor Cuomo, to be our biggest advocates.”

December 7, 2020 - 2:35pm

Press release:

Following his unveiling of his bipartisan American Foundries Act and successful addition of this bill as an amendment in July to the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced the final version of the FY2021 NDAA includes his provision to bolster U.S. leadership in the semiconductor and broader microelectronics industries.

The senator explained that the new programs included in NDAA will increase federal support for semiconductor manufacturing by providing new federal incentives to conduct advanced research and development of semiconductor technology, secure the supply chain, and ensure national and economic security by reducing reliance on foreign semiconductor manufacturing.

“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 industry, is the perfect place to grow domestic semiconductor R&D and manufacturing by leaps and bounds,” Senator Schumer said.

“America must continue to invest in our domestic semiconductor industry in order to keep good-paying, high-tech American manufacturing jobs here in Upstate New York. With today’s victory, we are one step closer to ensuring our domestic microelectronics industry can safely and securely supply our military, intelligence agencies, and other government needs.

"This is a step essential to our national security and to U.S. leadership in this critical industry. I’m pleased to deliver this win in this year’s final NDAA for the Upstate New York economy and the entire country’s national security and competitiveness."

The senator noted that even though the United States revolutionized the microelectronic industry and invented nearly all 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 and undercut U.S. leadership. In fact, Schumer pointed out, the U.S. has gone from producing 24 percent of the world’s semiconductors in 2000, to just 12 percent more recently.

In contrast, China has gone from producing zero chips to 16 percent of the world’s supply in the same time frame. The senators warned that by 2030, Asia is projected to control 83 percent of the global semiconductor manufacturing supply while domestic production could be less than 10 percent, threatening U.S. reliance on foreign-made microelectronics, which could pose huge risks to U.S. national and economic security.

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. It offers 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.

Supporters of the original amendment included 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 Senator Schumer for his leadership and dedication to attract significant semiconductor investments and innovations back to America," said Steve Hyde, President and CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center. "The strategic advantages created by Senator Schumer‘s amendment are a critical step forward for our economy. The semiconductor industry has a clear pathway for success through New York's unmatched talent base and the high-capacity infrastructure available at the 1,250-acre Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in Genesee County."

Emmanuel P. Giannelis, 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. It is especially fitting, given the importance of the semiconductor industry to national security, that this important proposal is moving through Congress as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Cornell University is pleased to support the American Foundries Act and commends Senator Schumer for his leadership.”

Details on the original amendment that has been integrated into the final NDAA can be found below. The amendment:

  • Directs the Secretary of Commerce to create a grant program for constructing, expanding, or modernizing commercial semiconductor fabrication, assembly, testing, packaging, and advanced R&D facilities in the United States.
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to create a partnership program with the private sector to encourage the development of advanced, measurably secure microelectronics for use by the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, critical infrastructure, and other national-security applications.
  • Requires the Secretary of Commerce to commence a review within 180 days assessing the state of the U.S. semiconductor industrial base.
  • Establishes a Multilateral Microelectronics Security Fund, with which the United States, its allies and partners will work to reach agreements promoting consistency in their policies related to microelectronics, greater transparency including supply chains, and greater alignment in export control and foreign direct investment policies.
  • Directs the president to establish a subcommittee on microelectronics leadership and competitiveness within the National Science and Technology Council, directs the Secretary of Commerce to establish a national semiconductor technology center to conduct research, fund semiconductor startups and a Manufacturing USA Institute, create a National Advance Packaging Manufacturing Program, and encourage the Secretary of Labor to work with the private sector on workforce training and apprenticeships in semiconductor manufacturing, and establish a Department of Defense National Network for Microelectronics Research and Development.
December 4, 2020 - 2:16pm

From Chris Suozzi (inset photo left), vice president of Business and Workforce Development at the Genesee County Economic Development Center:

"Coach Swaz." That’s how a lot of people know me, even in economic development circles.

A great team, like the Buffalo Bills and all of our partners at the Genesee County Economic Development Center, is built on talented players and motivated coaches. Building on our economic growth in Genesee County is achieved through teamwork.

For our youth, that coaching can build connections to careers that put them in a position where they can succeed quickly by tapping into their talents and passion. Through Genesee FAST (Food processing, Advanced manufacturing, Skilled trades, and Technician) we can mentor, educate and train our youth for career opportunities with companies across the GLOW region. This allows us to move fast in helping companies with the job demands in their respective workplaces.

I want to reference a couple of examples of how this is being demonstrated. Graham Corporation recently purchased and installed a new welding simulator for the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center’s Metal Trades Program at Genesee Valley BOCES. It is a great example of how our growing companies are building connections with students in preparing the next generation of skilled welders. I applaud Graham Corporation’s vision and support of Genesee Valley BOCES.

Andrew Geyer’s welding students at the Batavia CTE are currently training on real world scenarios and are encouraged to get even more involved with youth apprenticeships. By taking the appropriate courses, participating in relevant activities and focusing on developing their skills we are providing students the playbook for success.

In 2019, more than 1,000 students, educators and guests participated in a single-day event at the Genesee County Fairgrounds – GLOW With Your Hands. In my role as cochair of GLOW With Your Hands along with GLOW Workforce Development Board Executive Director Jay Lazarony, we knew our entire volunteer team had to make a dramatic pivot for 2020 because of the pandemic. And we achieved success by going virtual.

Providing students with hands-on opportunities at the GLOW With Your Hands event last year was extremely impactful. Providing that same experience this year seemed like a monumental task, but we are reaching even more kids than last year making deeper connections with the launch of www.GLOWWithYourHandsVirtual.com

Karyn Winters, the director of the Genesee County Business Education Alliance, and Angela Grouse, director of education to employment initiatives for the Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce, are leading all of our volunteers across the GLOW region in this effort. They once again enlisted companies to turn a hands-on event into an on-demand platform for our students to pursue great career opportunities.

GLOW With Your Hands Virtual demonstrates the career pathways that our students can take in securing family sustaining jobs and, more importantly, remaining part of our community by staying here and raising their own families.

I encourage everyone who wants to see Genesee County continue to grow and prosper by putting our kids in a position to win, to please visit the GLOW With Your Hands Virtual website and start discussing these careers with our youth. You can be a great coach.

Coach Swaz’s Career of the Month: Welding

There are dozens of careers that we are encouraging parents to share with kids in middle school and high school using the GLOW With Your Hands Virtual website. This month, I recommend warming up with the welding profile and seeing how welder-fabricators succeed.

Below is a YouTube video about welders and welding at Oxbo International Corp. in Byron, courtesy of the GCEDC.

November 26, 2020 - 1:34pm

Press release:

The Chamber’s Annual Awards Committee is accepting nominations for the 2020 Annual Awards Ceremony. Unfortunately, our original date for the event of Feb. 27 will have to be adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic that does not allow gathering of more than 50 people.  

The Chamber does plan on hosting this event however, the date is to be determined and the look will most likely be very different this year. It is very important to the Chamber to continue to honor Businesses & Geneseeans especially during this most trying time.   

The Awards Ceremony is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism.     

Please note that a brief write-up will qualify your nominee for consideration.

Nominations are now being accepted for:

  • Business of the Year
  • Entrepreneurial Business of the Year
  • Agricultural Business of the Year
  • Innovative Enterprise of the Year
  • Special Service Recognition & Geneseeans of the Year.

Business Nominees must be a Chamber Member (If unsure of your nominee, call the Chamber to verify).   

Nomination forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia, and can also be downloaded from the Chamber website.  

Nominations MUST BE RECEIVED BY Dec. 30 to be eligible for consideration.

If you would like more information, feel free to call or email Kelly J. Bermingham, director of Member Relations & Special Events, at the Chamber office, 343-7440, ext. 1026; or email:   [email protected]

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