Hey Buffalo Niagara, Opportunity Knocks…

Do you have a dynamite business idea? Do you want to be part of the new Buffalo momentum?  Check out these incredible opportunities that reflect the changing tide and join the growing community of entrepreneurs who are living their dreams, contributing to the region’s renaissance and growing jobs in Buffalo Niagara.

Applications are open for not one but TWO amazing investment opportunities:


During the nationwide “Rise of the Rest” tour, Steve Case — cofounder of AOL and CEO of Revolution — will visit Buffalo to discuss the importance of startups to the city and invest $100,000 in a local startup during a pitch competition.  Case will also host a happy hour celebration for supporters of the startup community.

If you are interested in pitching your startup to win the $100,000 investment from legendary entrepreneur Steve Case on September 30th, start your application today.


Get busy!  The application deadline is Sunday 9/13 at 11.59pm EST.

For further details and to start your application visit: https://www.f6s.com/riseofrest/apply

To learn more here is a recent Buffalo News piece on Rise of the Rest, and here is a blogpost from Steve Case announcing the upcoming tour.


University at Buffalo will host the Seventh Annual Bright Buffalo Niagara Entrepreneur Expo on October 28, providing business owners the opportunity to present live pitches and make connections with venture capitalists at the entrepreneurial trade show. This dynamic forum, designed to increase exposure for startup businesses and develop valuable relationships, will feature Daymond John, founder and CEO of the FUBU (“For Us, By Us”) clothing line, and star of ABC’s business reality show “Shark Tank.”

If you are interested in pitching your startup to venture capitalists at Bright Buffalo Niagara, start your application today.


You can apply here: http://www.brightbuffaloniagara.com/

The application deadline is Friday 8/14 at 11.59pm EST.

But these events aren’t for startups only. You can support the growing startup community by registering to attend the Rise of the Rest pitch competition and cheer eight startup finalists as they compete for the $100,000 in prize money.  Come see why and how entrepreneurs and the startup community are vital to the success and future of our region.

And if that’s not enough excitement, we hope to see you October 29 when 43North Finalists pitch for $5 million in prizes! 43North is part of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative and operates through the support of the New York Power Authority.

By Jenna Kavanaugh, Marketing Director

Buffalo Niagara Real Estate Primer for Canadians – Part 2

Following up to Buffalo Niagara Real Estate Primer for Canadian Companies – part I, below are additional frequently asked questions:

Q1: Can we reduce our ‘real estate costs’ by expanding into a less costly market, without jeopardizing our profits or business model?

A1: For many companies it is a resounding yes.

Average net asking sale price ($/sf) industrial real estate:

  • Toronto GTA (Greater Toronto Area) : $113.57 psf. *
  • Buffalo/ Erie County: $36.60 psf. ** = savings of approx.   68% per square foot.

Average land cost for fully serviced industrial land:

  • Toronto GTA: approximately $597,000/acre*
  • Buffalo/Erie County: approximately $45,000/acre = savings of approx. 92% per acre.

Q2: Can we potentially reduce not just our real estate costs but our ‘overall occupancy costs’ including but not limited to utility costs, real estate taxes, sales taxes, employee wages and costs, through available economic incentive programs?

A2:  Yes! In the United States and specifically in the Buffalo Niagara region companies of all different sizes can apply and potentially qualify for incentives programs to assist with utility costs, real estate taxes, sales taxes, employee wages and costs.  Most of these programs’ main criteria are based on the number of new jobs being created, the projects’ costs and plans, and the specific industry the company operates in.  Companies need to complete an application process and potentially compete for some of these programs.

by Carolyn Powell, Business Development Manager

Buffalo’s New View

Recently, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise had the opportunity to tour the facility currently under construction at 250 Delaware Avenue courtesy of property owner Uniland Development Company.  High above the busy intersection of Delaware Avenue and Chippewa Street, you can experience wonderful new views of the city thanks to the 12-story structure. The building will offer 330,000 square feet of the most modern and dynamic space for office, retail and hotel use. It also provides a five-level parking garage, including underground parking. 250 Delaware will serve as the new world headquarters for Fortune 500 company, Delaware North, Inc., which is scheduled to be the first tenant to occupy the building in the Fall. Enjoy the photos below featuring views both of and from Buffalo’s newest commercial development in the Central Business District.






by Jenna Kavanaugh, Marketing Director

Benefits of a Foreign Trade Zone


Do you import raw materials and goods from overseas?  Do you buy these goods in bulk and then resell them?  Do you add value to the imported components or raw material before they are sold again?  If you answered yes to any of the above, then a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) might save your company money and give it a competitive advantage.

The purpose of an FTZ is to stimulate international trade and create jobs and investment in the United States rather than abroad.  In the U.S., an FTZ is a defined geographic space that is next to or within a short commuting distance from an official U.S. port of entry.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection supervise the Zones, but do not run them.  The space is secured and operated as a public good under a license agreement with the U.S. federal government.  In foreign countries, FTZs are typically referred to as Free Trade Zones.  Both U.S. and foreign goods can be moved into a Zone for storage, exhibition, assembly, manufacturing and/or processing.

There are multiple benefits to using an FTZ, but each company must research which specific benefits would apply on a case-by-case basis.  In doing so, they must consider: 1) what is being imported; 2) the volume and frequency of the imports; 3) will the imported goods be changed into something else; 4) whether the final good will be exported or enter U.S. customs territory; 5) what is the normal duty rate, if any, of the imported good, etc.  Generally speaking, an FTZ will provide the most savings to a company that imports a high volume of goods, the goods are not typically duty-free, and many of the goods will ultimately be exported out of the U.S. to the end user. Continue reading

CFA One-Stop Access to $750M in State Funding

Consolidated Funding Applications (CFA) are due 4:00 pm on Friday, July 31st!

The signs of summer are in full affect in Western New York. The days are getting longer, the grass is getting greener (and longer), and the Consolidated Funding Application submission period is open!

As part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, the Consolidated Funding Application has streamlined and expedited the grant application process by allowing interested parties to apply for over $750 million through 20 economic development assistance programs offered by state agencies and authorities.

The online CFA portal is now open to applicants across New York State.

Businesses, community organizations, not-for-profit groups and any other stakeholders interested in learning about the CFA process and accessing state economic development assistance are encouraged to attend one of the scheduled public workshops hosted by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.

The workshop schedule is as follows:

Monday, June 15th
Jamestown Community College – Cutco Theatre
260 North Union Street, Olean NY 14760
Register here

Monday, June 29th
Niagara Falls Conference Center – Cascades Ballroom
101 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls NY 14303
Register here 

The workshops will include an overview of available funding programs, eligibility and selection criteria, and instructions on how to use the online CFA application systems.  Further, the 2015 CFA Resources Manual, the 2015 Regional Economic Development Council Guidebook and other important information can be found on the REDC website.

by Matt Hubacher, Research Manager


Growing by Takeoffs and Landings

As both an economic development professional and lifelong Buffalonian, watching the companies that I help establish a business in our region grow and succeed is incredibly exciting and rewarding. Each company that we assist is unique; some begin with a large scale operation while other companies start small and grow their business over time.

Headquartered in Kansas, Executive AirShare is fractional ownership aircraft company that began with regional hubs in the central U.S.  In 2009, they decided to establish a northeast location to expand their business and reach new markets.  A successful location needed to meet four major criteria:

  • Appropriate space for both corporate aviation services and back office operations
  • A potential customer base
  • Available workforce, including pilots
  • Available incentives to assist with first year expenses and startup costs

BNE assisted Executive AirShare with the coordination of potential incentives and helped facilitate discussions for runway services and leasing hanger space.  In 2010, the company leased 26,000 square feet of hanger and office space at 485 Cayuga Rd, Cheektowaga, NY.  BNE was then able to assist them with their marketing efforts for a grand opening event and the launch of their first northeast location.

Since October of 2010 Executive AirShare has refurbished an 8,300 square-foot private aviation terminal and 53,000 square-feet of hangar space, doubling the size of its operations at Buffalo in less than three years.  Much of the added hangar space is being used to support demand for jet aircraft management services for a growing list of Western New York-based companies. The Buffalo based aircraft now totals seven in the fractional and managed fleet, with one or two additional aircraft that rotate into Buffalo from central U.S. bases.  This facility operates with 17 full-time employees based in Buffalo and supported by additional flight crew from other locations as needed.

by Carolyn Powell, Business Development Manager

Three Ways Buffalo, NY Impresses Brazil-based Start-up


As one of the most rewarding parts of my job, I play host to companies when they visit Buffalo Niagara undertaking due diligence in their site selection process.

Recently, four representatives from Joox, a Brazil-based technology startup, spent six days in the region as they prepare to establish their first US location. The group shared with me their thoughts on the Buffalo Niagara region:

Impressive start-up community – on the day the team arrived, the University at Buffalo (UB) hosted its Commercialization Lecture Series, featuring a panel of seven companies that have found success through New York State’s Start-Up NY tax incentive program. The program offers companies significant tax benefits, but also the opportunity to partner with academic institutions. Joox is approved for Start-Up and this panel provided ideas and insight for their collaboration with UB. Over their weekend stay, the group attended – and presented at – Buffalo Unconference, a gathering for people to share and learn in an open environment. Unconference gave the Joox team another look into the flourishing start-up community that calls Buffalo home. They expressed how excited they are to become members of this burgeoning community.

Welcoming business community – as a primary part of their visit, the Joox team met with nearly a dozen companies in the Buffalo area to explore potential partnerships and collaborations. The team was thrilled by the high caliber of private sector companies, and also with how excited each company was to represent not only themselves, but the talent, expertise and creativity of the region. The Joox team commented on the discernible pride that each of these individuals showed in their community.

Great place to live – Whether showing the livable, walk-able community that is the Elmwood Village, bustling with great restaurants and retail, or experiencing the power of Niagara Falls for the first time, there is nothing more rewarding than hosting people in our region, especially when they come from different parts of the world. Two of the company employees are moving from Brazil to Buffalo and bringing their families. They had a chance to tour neighborhoods, enjoy local fare, and experience the spectacular sites and attractions they can enjoy when they move here.

Buffalo was one of four stops on the Joox’s team’s trip across the US. Here is what one of the team members emailed after their visit:

We are in San Francisco right now, we´ll be heading back to Brazil Tuesday afternoon. We had some really good meetings here and in other cities, but nothing compared to what we´ve achieved in Buffalo. I am happy to see that Buffalo offers the best options for the partnerships that we need for this beginning. Buffalo, in many ways, is the best city I have visited in the US so far (and I have been to at least 10 great ones).

All indications are that they will be setting up their office here in the Buffalo Niagara region sometime this year. Their time spent here was productive and welcoming thanks to our supportive start-up and business community.

by Alan Rosenhoch, Business Development Manager

New York State Tax Reform Benefits Manufacturers

International companies that expand into the U.S. often apply for and receive major tax incentives.  But what if the tax law were amended to create a significant incentive across the board, without companies even having to apply?  Well, that is exactly what New York State has done.

On March 31, 2014 New York State enacted significant changes to reform its corporation tax laws, most of which took effect January 1, 2015.   Many of the changes are aimed at simplifying an overly complex system of taxation and include the elimination of some taxes and revisions to the tax bases.    Included in the corporate tax reform are changes that will greatly benefit qualifying New York State manufacturers by reducing the income tax rate to 0% and creating a 20% real property tax credit.

To qualify, a manufacturer must have property in New York that is principally used by the taxpayer in the production of goods by manufacturing, processing, assembling, refining, mining, extracting, farming, agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, viticulture or commercial fishing and during the tax year more than 50% of its gross receipts are derived from the sales of goods produced by these activities.

To be eligible for the zero percent tax rate the manufacturer must have either:

1) property located in New York with an adjusted basis for federal income tax purposes at the close of the taxable year of at least $1 million; or

2) all of its real and personal property is located in New York.

The zero percent tax rate applies to the business income tax base and is only available for qualified manufacturing corporations taxed under Article 9-A, franchise tax on business corporations.

The real property tax credit for qualified manufacturers is a credit equal to 20% of real property taxes paid during a tax year for real property located in New York and principally used in manufacturing.  The property can be owned or leased by the taxpayer.  Leased property must be leased from an unrelated third party.  The lease must be in writing and require the lessee to pay the real property taxes. The lessee must make the real property tax payment directly to the taxing authority.

For those that are not qualified manufacturers, the tax rate on business income will be reduced from 7.1% to 6.5% beginning January 1, 2016.

The legislation is a huge step forward for encouraging businesses to expand and grow in New York and it doesn’t stop there.  New York offers a number of attractive incentive programs available at the state and local levels to help businesses locate and grow here.  Additionally, there is no sales tax on machinery, equipment, tools or supplies used in manufacturing and New York State does not have a personal property tax on inventories, machinery and equipment either.  


Guest blog: Andrew J. Toth, CPA, Partner at Tronconi Segarra & Associates, LLP, atoth@tsacpa.com ,(716) 633-1373

Spreading #Buffalove


Over the past few months BNE helped send a little bit of #Buffalove across the world.

Starting in November 2014, Buffalo Niagara locals could tell friends and family that “Someone in Buffalo Niagara Misses You” in postcard form for free by visiting www.wherelifeworks.com and submitting names and mailing addresses of family and friends living outside the region.  BNE hand-addressed, stamped, and mailed the postcards.

The idea behind the “Someone in Buffalo Niagara Misses You” campaign was to connect with expats and others residing outside the area and entice them to learn more about living here. The postcards spurred positive conversations about the transformation of our region.

BNE designed three unique postcards, representative of the different months they were sent. Each card featured a Buffalo composed of different elements: fall leaves for November, ginger snap cookies for December and confetti for January.  The back of the postcard featured facts about the region.

During the campaign, www.wherelifeworks.com received 2,300 visitors and we sent nearly 1,000 postcards to 49 U.S. states and nine international countries including; Australia, Canada, England, France, Ireland, and Kyrgyzstan.

This simple idea went a long way, literally traveling thousands of miles.  We hoped those who received the postcards enjoyed them as much as we did sending them out.  Now it is time to think of the next innovative way to spread the #Buffalove! Share your thoughts with us.

BNE-PostcardCampaign-recap2 (3)

By Megan Savage, Marketing and Communications Specialist

Powerful Utility Savings a Plus for Canadian Companies

Many Canadian companies considering US expansion are heavy power users and electricity costs can easily eat away at profits.  As Canadian companies seek US expansion for many reasons (made in USA requirements, supply chain, bridge issues/delays, etc.), being able to manage operating costs is yet another major consideration.

When BNE is working through the due diligence process with a prospective company, energy needs and consumption are discussed.  With a large power user, we typically run a comparison between Canadian costs for monthly usage and what the same usage would cost in Buffalo Niagara.  The company shares its current electric bill and our local utility runs the numbers.  Most times there are significant savings.

Many of the larger power users are companies in plastic injection molding or extruding, food processing, or steel processing and fabrication.  A recent example is a plastics company that currently pays $0.13 per kWh for power in Canada. By comparison, they would pay an estimated cost of $0.082 per kWh for that same operation in Buffalo Niagara and realize a savings of over $18,000 each month. A different plastics company could save more than $20,000 per month by reducing their electric costs from $0.14 per kWh to $0.098 per kWh. We were able to identify over $50,000 in monthly savings for a food processing company currently paying $0.19 per kWh for electric.  Their pricing in Buffalo Niagara is estimated at $0.083 per kWh.

Steel processing in Buffalo Niagara.

Steel processing in Buffalo Niagara.

In addition to standard utility savings, companies may also qualify for special incentive programs that further reduce power costs. New York State offers some programs and others are administered by the local utility.  Many are contingent upon the number of new jobs that the company will be creating and the total investment into the new facility.  Prospective companies should consider these programs once they have identified a potential building or land site.   Thanks to our ability to offer low-cost power, selecting Buffalo Niagara for US expansion can make great economic sense for our Canadian neighbors.

by Carolyn Powell, Business Development Manager