Carolyn’s Recipe for Canadian Business Expansion

by Jenna Kavanaugh, Marketing Director

If you ask Carolyn Powell about her favorite pastime, she’ll tell you its mixing up a new cupcake recipe. But beyond her famous strawberry frosting, this Buffalo native’s has the right recipe to help Canadian businesses succeed in the U.S. Carolyn is a member of BNE’s Business Development team, where she focuses on the Canadian market. Since joining BNE in 2008, Carolyn has helped 32 Canadian companies expand into the Buffalo Niagara region, representing over $706 million in investment and more than 1,600 jobs.

Carolyn also works with businesses involved in food processing and agribusiness, such as yogurt, protein products, and food packaging. Many of these companies are headquartered all over the world.

Carolyn is certified as an EDFP (Economic Development Finance Professional) by the National Development Council.

Based on your experience, describe some of the key pitfalls Canadian business owners must anticipate and avoid with regards to entering the US market?

Across the U.S., well-funded networks have sprung up at the state and municipal levels to ensure Canadian companies tap into the best strategic and cost-saving advice available early in their decision making process. Organizations like ours, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, can help Canadian business entering the U.S. and save time and money and help you leverage the U.S. system in your favour while avoiding the pitfalls.

Canadian companies looking to expand to the U.S. are best served by following a due diligence process that evaluates an organization’s needs, long-term plans, and addresses practical consideration in a proscribed order. For example, some companies seek to secure real estate options before address critical factors such as immigration first; this can put a company and their employees at risk. Also finalizing a real estate transaction prior to securing incentive commitments can make a company ineligible to receive key incentives.

Critical, first step due diligence items include the following:

  • Legal considerations:  What is the ownership structure going to be for the U.S. operation?  What immigration items need to be addressed for Canadian employees coming to U.S. facility for set up, hiring, or supervision;?  Will they need a work visa?  Does the company have patents in Canada that they need to protect in the U.S.?
  • US Tax and Accounting:  Will the U.S. and Canadian operations be legally connected?  What are the pros and cons?  How will the company transfer money back to the Canadian corporation and owners?  How does the company avoid double taxation?
  • Human Resources:  What is the labor pool like in the community that you are considering?  What is the pay scale for workers in the area?  In the U.S., there is no mandatory severance or mandated holidays; what happens when you fire and employee that has been on the job for 5 years and what does a company offer for holidays?

How do Canadian businesses looking to expand into the U.S. maintain a competitive edge?

Since 2000, we’ve helped more than 60 Canadian companies expand their business into the U.S, Each of these companies was unique had their own reasons why they wanted to enter into the U.S. market and none of these companies did it exactly the same way.

Successful companies are those that had a long term vision for their organization so when they structured their business as they enter the U.S., they evaluate their transportation, distribution and communications infrastructure requirements to determine where these would be best met. Likewise these companies conduct due diligence on the availability of a quality workforce.

Companies that complete their due diligence improperly or too quickly, can have unneeded costs, disruption, and loss of production.  For example, a company that does not evaluate the real estate market may lease or purchase a building that is not suitable for their needs and future expansion; or a company that does not evaluate the competitive workforce model may offer an employee benefits program that is too rich causing high operating costs. Also, the program may be too low causing them to be unable to recruit the needed employees for their operation.

One successful example is NutraBlend Foods, a leading manufacturer in the sports nutrition industry. They are headquartered in Cambridge, Ontario with another location in Brantford, Ontario and first expanded to the Buffalo Niagara region in 2009. What began as a packaging facility with 40 employees evolved into a dry ingredients blending operation in 2011. Today they have 130 employees and are adding a third production line due to increased U.S. sales. The building that they purchased in 2009 has accommodated their growth plans and they selected a community that has been able to provide the needed skilled workforce.

What is your top advice for Canadian entrepreneurs taking their business south.

  • Connect with field experts in the U.S.  I strongly recommend that the first step you take in your expansion plans is to seek the advice of organizations that specialize in helping companies grow their business in the U.S. Organizations like mine, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, offer a range of services and frontline advice expert advice free of charge. The beauty of this arrangement is that is provides a single point of contact to a roster of experts in every key area: site selection, human resources, accounting, taxation, insurance, legal issues, financial services, utilities distribution services, and incentives.
  • Locate in an area that provides your management team easy access  Whether your business is big or small, the complexity of today’s business activity requires that your company’s leaders are able to be engaged in a hands-on manner. Critical members of your management team must be able to reach your U.S. site easily and economically to enable the face-to-face coaching, oversight and knowledge exchange that are critical to expansion success. As your company continues to grow, you can effectively and rapidly deploy your best minds and practitioners to your expanded operations. Ultimately, this exchange and in-person oversight ability strengthens both your Canadian and U.S. operations.
  • Choose a location your employees will want to call home  Employee satisfaction is enhanced when staff can live well where they work. Reduced commute times in growth areas that offer excellent quality-of-life pared with reasonable cost-of-living are preferred. Look for signs of investment in the communities to which you are considering expanding – reputable schools, property development, restoration and reclamation activity, and services and amenity provisions that caters to the full range of singles, couples and families.
  • Learn from other Canadian companies that have successfully expanded  Gain insight into the challenges and payoffs of U.S. expansion from Canadians who’ve been through the process. One way to access your fellow Canadians is through the U.S. economic development groups that have advised them. We are happy to set up one-on-one meetings between companies that are considering an expansion and companies that have already established operations. In fact we are offering a bus tour of two such facilities this fall.

What are some of the existing advantages for Canadian business expanding south of the border that can be capitalized on?

The U.S. population offers Canadian businesses access to a market that includes nearly ten times the number of people living in Canada. From the Buffalo Niagara region, companies can reach 41% of the U.S. population in a one day drive. There are also the similarities in consumer-culture between our two countries, our sheer proximity, and the unparalleled trade and investor relations that we enjoy. Canadian companies who have already made the move enthuse about all they have gained. It starts with instant boost to capacity and capabilities. Add to the list the enabling of U.S. domestic shipping that U.S. customers frequently request and the appeal of the “Made in the U.S.A” labeling which U.S. customer revere and municipal contracts often requires.

What practical tax advice do you have for Canadian companies expanding into the US?

When expanding into the U.S., Canadian companies need to consider what type of entity (Corporation, LLC, etc.) they should use to minimize their effective cross border tax rate.  Canadian companies also need to review what states they are going to be doing business in and consider the income, franchise and sales tax ramifications to each jurisdiction to ensure compliance with the relevant state and local tax laws.  In building a successful cross border tax strategy, Canadian companies need to have a complete understanding of the Canada – U.S. Income Tax Treaty.  Understanding the Treaty will help them structure their operations to minimize tax exposure on both sides of the border.  While state and local taxes are still assessed, there may be an exemption from Federal tax under the Treaty if the operations are structured properly.

Canadian companies wanting to expand into the U.S. should understand that both countries have a vested interest in the income that is being reported.  A best practice for such companies is to ensure that any transaction between the Canadian and U.S. operations are properly documented and are performed at an “arms length” price to comply with the Transfer Pricing requirements.  While Transfer Pricing is one of the key focuses of both CRA and the IRS, there are other considerations to building a successful cross border tax strategy such as complying with the U.S. employment, payroll, insurance and other similar laws.  These areas are always scrutinized and you can save yourself problems and penalties on the backend by addressing them up front.

6. Finally, can you provide some information about incentives that Canadian business can take advantage of?

Significant government incentives exist to attract Canadian companies to the U.S. In some states you can combine tax breaks to reduce your company’s overall effective tax burden to as low as the statutory minimum. In the U.S., and New York in particular, most companies are candidates for economic incentives based primarily on two major factors: the number of jobs created and the dollar amount of the investment a company will make by virtue of their business expansion.

Moreover, many of these incentives are site-specific and available through either state, county or other municipal sources and must be applied for through the appropriate channels. Organizations like Buffalo Niagara Enterprise can assist companies through this process and make the necessary introductions. Incentives can include low-cost power allocations, training programs, employment tax credits, investment tax credits, and property and sales tax exemptions. Depending on the size of your operation, these types of incentives can help offset some start-up and operating costs.

When Welded Tube of Canada decided to invest in a new steel tube and pipe mill in the U.S. in order to have the “Made in the U.S.A. label”, one of the most attractive benefits of the Buffalo Niagara region, which is unique to our area, was the allocation of low-cost hydro-power they received from the New York Power Authority (NYPA), significantly reducing their cost of power and making them more competitive in the U.S.

It is critical to work with organizations well-versed in incentives in the community you are evaluating, because incentives continually evolve. For example, New York State Governor Cuomo recently announced the groundbreaking START-UP NY program creating tax-free zones across the State for new and expanding businesses that partner with a university or college.  Companies accepted into the program will be free of all New York State (NYS) corporate income tax, business taxes, state and local sales taxes, franchise fees and even personal income tax of owners and employees.

Contact Carolyn at 716-541-1740 or at cpowell@buffaloniagara.org

New York’s High Tech Corridor

Click here for Academic & Industry Asset Maps

Click here for Academic & Industry Asset Maps

By Tony Kurdziel, Business Development Manager

In November 2013, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of a clean-energy research campus on 90 acres of land along the Buffalo River calling this initiative the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub @ RiverBend. At the same announcement, SORAA and Silevo were named as the first two tenants. Recently, SolarCity announced plans to get into domestic gigawatt-scale PV cell and module production (via acquisition of Silevo) that would further transform Riverbend.

Why New York? Partially because we have invested in developing properties such as Riverbend and the 1,250 acre development site , WNY STAMP. But more moreover, we are home a number of important assets that support a high-tech corridor, including:

  • Existing Fabs –IBM, Global Foundaries and multiple development sites created with the semicon industry in mind – STAMP, Marcy, Luther Forest
  • Top semiconductor industry suppliers like ASML, AMAT, TEL, Praxair, Edwards Vacuum
  • Rare infrastructure, especially low-cost, highly reliable hydropower and affordable, plentiful  process water
  • Deep connectivity with regional universities that support R&D and workforce needs
  • Six AAU universities across the New York state
  • Public-private partnerships, with more than $20 billion invested across New York by major players in the industry
  • Federal and state representatives that strongly support the semiconductor industry

If you are attending Semicon West, July 8-10 in San Francisco, CA, stop by booth #2411. The New York Loves Nanotechnology team will be there to discuss the region’s resources and advantages.

 

Buffalo Niagara Commercial Real Estate: Good Challenges, Great Opportunities

by Tom Kucharski, BNE President & CEO

Buffalo Niagara has had one of the country’s most affordable commercial markets since the 1980s, when manufacturing decline, sprawl and economic uncertainty depressed the area’s real estate values. Now, however, as the local economy’s gained a level of momentum not seen in 60 years, what’s the impact on commercial real estate?

From 2012 to 2013 Buffalo Industrial Market experienced a sizable decrease in the overall vacancy rate, decreasing from 9.2% to 5.7%. The 2013 results mark the eighth consecutive year the Buffalo Industrial Market vacancy rate has remained below the national average, currently 11.7%. (CBRE, Inc. U.S. Industrial MarketView Q3 2013).

The region’s growth and expansion has caused a decrease in vacancy rates, driving factors behind new medical and office developments from the south campus of the University at Buffalo through the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. And brownfields between Buffalo and Lackawanna, as well as several northward through Niagara Falls, are bursting to life with facilities to support advanced manufacturing and future-looking technologies. Local development is currently estimated at approximately 700,000 sq. ft. of new construction planned for the first and second quarter of 2014.

Offices are filled with employees, of course, and we’re also seeing subsequent demand for residential properties, particularly mid- and high-end rentals. More people means a need for more service-oriented businesses, too, like coffee shops, restaurants and grocers – providing opportunities for small business entrepreneurs and a need for refurbished, ground-level spaces. Residential and commercial vibrancy also creates a more robust destination for tourism and recreation, and cranes are high in the sky with ongoing work at Canalside and the hockey-centric HarborCenter development.

This low vacancy rate may also be an opportunity for developers. Steve Blake, a partner in CBRE Buffalo expects the 3rd quarter/2013 vacancy of 5.7% to tighten even further by the end of 2014. Blake recently commented that, “This will inevitably result in higher lease rates and require longer lease terms as tenants turn to developers for new product to  meet their demands. While the Buffalo industrial market rarely has ‘true’ speculative development occurring, with market conditions there is a good probability that by simply publicly announcing a proposed, high bay, distribution warehouse project, a developer will have a good chance of pre-leasing a major portion of that project”.

Overall, while the market is stronger than it has been in decades, strategic reuse of existing buildings coupled with targeted new development means that commercial properties in Buffalo Niagara will continue to be attractively priced while still reflecting the region’s economic and cultural resurgence. And with potential support through “Buffalo Billion” allocation and the STARTUP NY Tax-Free Zone program, there’s unprecedented financial support for Buffalo Niagara business development.

Comprehensive sector overviews and up-to-date listings of new construction and redeveloped properties, available brownfields, and shovel-ready sites can be found in the Real Estate section of the BNE website. Our team also offers a range of services including assistance with financing and incentives to help new, relocating and expanding businesses take advantage of one of the country’s most affordable and dynamic commercial real estate markets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Buffalo Billion Momentum

by Tom Kucharski, president and CEO

It’s been two years since New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the allocation of a billion-dollar investment – the “Buffalo Billion” – during his January 2012 “State of the State” address.Buffalo Billion Logo 2

It could have been just another far – fetched idea. But this time was different.

Today, that promise is coming to fruition with vigorous development and unprecedented job growth in Buffalo Niagara. The Buffalo Billion:

  • Is a strategy – not a silver bullet – that rewards growth-oriented development in focused, forward-looking fields like genomics, clean energy and advanced manufacturing and results in progressive projects like RiverBend
  • Wraps training and education around high-skill jobs, via the Buffalo Niagara Advanced Training Institute, to ensure our workforce is ready when expanding and relocating businesses open their doors here
  • Promotes opportunities for entrepreneurs through high-stakes competition for new ideas and new businesses – like 43North, with $5 million in prizes
  • Leverages public funds to deliver exponential private investment while ensuring that local and state entities retain the power to direct the region’s vision and growth

And we have tremendous advantages that other regions only dream of:

  • Central proximity to major U.S. cities as well as a shared border with our country’s leading trade partner, Canada
  • Low-cost energy available to power high-tech manufacturing and computing
    Affordable commercial and residential real estate
  • Outstanding entertainment, arts and culture and vibrant colleges and universities
  • The collective support and buy-in of our region’s and our state’s government, for-profit and community-based leaders

We’ve got all this – backed by a billion bucks.

Already, over $300 million has been awarded to businesses, higher education and research, and special projects that enhance quality of life and increase tourism and that will produce thousands of jobs in life sciences, clean energy, digital arts and sciences, and more.

And there’s nearly $700 million in the new State budget ready for investment.

Could your business be next? Contact Buffalo Niagara Enterprise today to learn more about opportunities in the Buffalo Niagara region.

Connect with BNE at Trade Events

by Tony Kurdziel, Business Development Manager

BNE’s 2014 travel schedule is already in full swing, with each trip carefully planned around our industry attraction strategy. Thus far, we have already exhibited at the Canadian Home Furnishing Market Trade Show (http://www.tchfm.com/) held at The International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, and featured hundreds of manufacturers and distributors from across North America. We participated in this as part of business development/networking event that the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (Halton Peel Chapter) coordinated. Many thanks to those folks for inviting us to their event.

In the next several weeks, BNE’s Business Development team will be increasing our travel as the trade show industry emerges from its winter lull. There is great deal of research that goes into researching and selecting these shows, followed by more effort to schedule appointments with attendees at each show. We also try to maximize the downtime before and after trade shows by meeting with site consultants and real estate brokers that work in our market but do not have an office presence here. It is an efficient way for us to keep Buffalo Niagara “top of mind” with key service providers and influencers across North America.

Here is a partial list of the shows we will be attending in the upcoming months:

If anyone would like to connect with BNE prior to- or at – these shows, simply reach out to me, Alan Rosenhoch or Carolyn Powell.

Top 10 Reasons Canadian Businesses Expand to Buffalo Niagara

Since 2000, BNE has helped more than 60 Canadian companies expand their business to Buffalo Niagara. Each of these companies was unique and had their own reasons why they wanted to enter the U.S. market however there were certainly some common themes. See the following infographic for the top ten reasons Canadian companies expanded here:
Buffalo Niagara Can Jan2014

Q&A with For-Robin on cancer therapeutic development

Dr. Kate Rittenhouse-Olson is Director of University at Buffalo’s (UB) Biotechnology Undergraduate Program and Founding President of For-Robin Inc.

Kate Rittenhouse-Olson, Professor of Biochemistry Photographer: Douglas Levere

Kate Rittenhouse-Olson, Professor of Biochemistry Photographer: Douglas Levere

For-Robin is a company developing a promising drug: an antibody that stops breast cancer tumors from metastasizing to other parts of the body. The product, called JAA-F11, binds to the Thomsen-Friedenreich glycoantigen (TF-Ag), which is a unique target expressed on the surface of about 80% of breast, colon, bladder, prostate and other carcinomas. The key is that JAA-F11 is highly selective and is not expected to bind on normal tissues. JAA-F11 was discovered in Dr. Rittenhouse-Olson’s UB laboratory and she then spun off the company with the mission of translating the product from the laboratory to commercial/clinical use.

Dr. Rittenhouse-Olson was a post-doctoral fellow at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) wherein she gained clinical tumor immunology experience with Dr. T. Ming Chu, (the discoverer of Prostate Specific Antigen for diagnosis) and then carbohydrate experience with Dr. Khushi Matta. For over 25 years, her UB laboratory has been involved in studying carbohydrate tumor associated antigens, and primarily TF-Ag. Last year, she and her colleague Ernesto De Nardin published a textbook, “Contemporary Clinical Immunology and Serology,” for which she drew the original diagrams for many of its illustrations of molecules.

Dr. Rittenhouse-Olson is also interested in exploring JAA-F11’s utility as a cancer imaging agent and tumor killer. The antibody is only expected to bind with cancer cells, which means doctors could use it to locate tumors, or to deliver cancer-fighting compounds straight to cancer cells. In addition, the alterations that researchers are making to the antibody may make it possible for the antibody to directly kill tumor cells.

Q. What is the significance of the name of your company, For-Robin?

Robin

Robin

A. For-Robin is named in memory of my sister, Robin, who died in 1986 due to breast cancer at the age of 31. My sister Robin was a special person, a mix of many things funny and serious. She was a hard worker and also an entrepreneur. She was a leader and was in charge of a group of counselors in Fairport, NY. She told the teenagers she counseled that there would be people in their lives that would say mean or hurtful things to them, sometimes even under the guise of a normal conversation. She taught them to answer not with their fists or with mean words, but with the simple and controlled sentence “How do you expect me to feel now that you have said that?”. This was a great way to turn around a situation without escalating it. She had teenage foster children, children that had drug or criminal records and would have been difficult to place anywhere else. She loved them and they loved her.

Q. What assistance has For Robin received in its early stages, both monetary and otherwise?

A. For-Robin, established in 2012 and renting laboratory space at University at Buffalo, has received the following assistance:

  • A Phase I STTR grant from the National Cancer Institute Grant #: 1R41CA176951, in the amount of $282K for the project period 5/1/2013 to 4/30/2014. The Grant was awarded based on a peer review of the science and its promise as a future therapeutic for the treatment of breast cancer.
  • A matching University at Buffalo Bruce Holm Catalyst grant in the amount of $50K.
  • A matching University at Buffalo Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT) grant in the amount of $30K.
  • Business development help from UB-STOR in the form of an entrepreneur-in-residence, Robert Redd, and innovation interns Connor Flynn, John D. Fraczek and David Huoh.
  • Development guidance from the pre-seed workshop sponsored by the Center of Excellence (COE), prior to business formation and set-up

Q. Did you consider other areas for start-up beside Buffalo Niagara, if so why did you choose Western NY?

A. I choose Buffalo, and will choose to remain in Buffalo because of the

Lab of Kate Rittenhouse-Olson, Professor of Biochemistry Photographer: Douglas Levere

Lab of Kate Rittenhouse-Olson, Professor of Biochemistry Photographer: Douglas Levere

support network here, including UB STOR, the COE, and the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences faculty and students.

Q. What were the first steps you took in your process of starting up?

A. I began by talking to area biotech entrepreneurs who were very generous with their time and advice. Buffalo’s greatest asset is the collegiality of the members of the biotech sector. Even a year later, attracting talent from this area and specifically from UB is easy. I recently recruited an excellent post-doctoral fellow, Loukia Karacosta.

Q. At what stage of development is JAA-F11? What are the next steps?JAAF11diagram

A. We are in our first year of funded support from the NCI STTR. Our most recent data is moving us rapidly forward and the next step is to ready the antibody for human clinical trials by replacing some mouse parts with human parts. The alterations, which are underway, will decrease the chance of patients’ immune systems rejecting the antibody. My husband, James Olson a toxicologist who is also at UB is deeply involved in supporting this venture, and my good friend Sally Quataert, Director of the Human Immunology Center (HIC) Core Laboratory, at the University of Rochester, is facilitating our business efforts as well. Through a subcontract to my lab at UB, Susan Morey at lab manager at UB, Julia Abdullah, a Ph.D. student in the Microbiology Department at UB, Jing Ying Eng a master’s student in Biotechnical and Clinical Laboratory Science at UB, Bethany Cross and Ashley Rohl, undergraduates at UB are involved in the development of the JAA-F11 antibody.

My life works in Buffalo Niagara because of the support of the scientific, business and academic communities in the Buffalo Niagara region.

Read interviews with other Life Sciences professionals in Buffalo Niagara

by Alan Rosenhoch, Business Development Manager

From Rusty to Radiant: Buffalo’s Transformation

Read Buffalo Niagara’s story as recently featured in TrustBelt, a platform that focuses on telling the story of the economic resurgence of the Greater Midwest Region of the USA.

Buffalo, NY Photograph by Douglas Levere

Buffalo, NY Photograph by Douglas Levere

From Rusty to Radiant

Silver bullets don’t bring shine back – but years of hard work can, and nowhere is this more evident than in Buffalo Niagara. Here, a spirit of collaboration emanates from a shared vision, with strategic goals for business and community development that are fueled by wind, water and more than $8.1 billion in public and private investment over the last five years.

A new Buffalo Niagara is rapidly taking shape: It’s a region enjoying success today and positioned for long-term growth tomorrow in advanced manufacturing, life sciences and biotechnologies, finance, education, advanced agriculture – all within one of the most affordable and enjoyable regions of the country.

A Vision for the Future, Realized Today

A driving force behind the region’s remarkable resurgence has been the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC). Conceived in 2003 with a 20-year master plan focused on bioinformatics, life sciences, clinical care, innovation, and research, the BNMC’s goals were achieved in only eight years – thanks to collaborative public-private partnerships supported by essential seed funding and streamlined processes to get new projects off the ground.

As a result, state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary entities are having a tremendous impact on Buffalo Niagara’s economy:

  • more than $1.5 billion invested, including the relocation of the highly ranked University at Buffalo medical school to the BNMC
  • 5,000 jobs created or relocated to this innovation hub since 2003
  • another 5,000-7,000 more jobs expected in the next five years

A More Diversified Region, a More Secure Future

While the success of the BNMC has been unprecedented, Buffalo Niagara’s business, government, education, non-profit and philanthropic leaders learned long ago that economic diversification is critical for sustained strength. That’s why Buffalo Niagara’s growth isn’t limited to one economic engine. Instead, a high level of creative cooperation is resulting in a total evolution of the region’s economy, with another $1.5 billion in projects underway in the City of Buffalo’s central business district and the waterfront.

From California’s Silicon Valley to Canada, and from life sciences technology to shipping, businesses like Geico, Yahoo, Greenpac, Welded Tube of Canada, and Alpina are relocating and expanding here because Buffalo Niagara offers everything they need to succeed: a skilled and dedicated workforce, highly competitive commercial and industrial real estate costs, low-cost energy, research and development partnerships, proximity to numerous major North American cities and a vast transportation network for imports, exports and cross-continental shipping. The region also offers reasonable business development costs and easy access to major markets like New York, Chicago, Boston and Toronto without the hassles or high costs of locating in major metropolitan areas.

The region’s slow-but-steady growth over the last decade also meant that while other areas experienced “boom and bust” economies, Buffalo Niagara’s housing market continued to strengthen and our employment rates remained stable. In addition, our strong bi-national business ties and our proximity to Canada’s largest city benefited our region in everything from retail to restaurants to manufacturing.

And, thanks to Buffalo Niagara’s geography – within the largest freshwater basin in the world and surrounded by two Great Lakes and the mighty Niagara River – the region is uniquely positioned to support forward-looking energy production, like wind and solar energy, and to supply inexpensive hydroelectric power to new and expanding manufacturers in Buffalo Niagara.

Growth Fueled by State-Level Support

In 2012, New York State pledged $1 billion in state funding for growth in key industries and to leverage an additional $5 billion in private investment. This unprecedented state commitment to the continued revitalization of the western New York economy means that new and relocating businesses get the support they need for companies to take root and grow. Investments from the “Buffalo Billion” are decided through collaborations like the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, with input from the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE) and other partners and will continue to be for several years to come.

Further fueling this growth is the Start-Up NY initiative, in which businesses opening or expanding in select economic development zones – determined largely by proximity to New York’s remarkable higher education institutions – operate tax-free for 10 years, offering extraordinary opportunities for partnerships between Buffalo Niagara’s numerous colleges and universities and business. Continue reading

Buffalo Niagara In the News

Industry publications and national media are taking note of developments and opportunities in the Buffalo Niagara region. Take a look at some of the latest features:Buffalo Niagara Press nov2013

Welcome Nulife Glass – NY’s First CRT Recycler

Nulife Glass Furnace in Kent, England

Nulife Glass Furnace in Kent, England

by Alan Rosenhoch, Business Development Manager

This past year, I had the pleasure of working with UK-based  Nulife Glass, and particularly owner and founder Simon Greer, as they established their first U.S.-based operations and introduced their ground-breaking recycling technology to North America.  The following is their story of US expansion with links to information about their unique technology.

Project Background:

Nulife Glass, a highly specialized recycling company based in Manchester, England has developed a unique method to recycle the leaded glass found in Cathode Ray Tubes, or CRT’s (glass components commonly found in older style televisions and computer monitors). This technology is the first of its kind, and has yet to be used in the U.S.

A growing market awaits Nulife, as its technology solves a rapidly growing problem in the electronics recycling industry. Sweeping changes in flat screen technologies have made most CRT products obsolete, causing glass waste materials to accumulate in massive stockpiles. Previously, CRT glass was recycled with relative ease into new CRTs; but today, there are nearly no new CRT products being manufactured. CRT glass contains lead oxide; Nulife’s proprietary technology extracts the metallic lead from the glass which is immediately ready for re-sale to the metal markets and the remaining recycled glass can safely be used in other products.

Project Problem:

Nulife was looking to bring its new technology to the North American market with three to four locations geographically dispersed, one being in the Northeast. The company was drawn to the Buffalo Niagara region due the opportunity for an allocation of low-cost hydropower from the New York Power Authority (NYPA). The recycling process uses an electrically heated furnace which consumes a large amount of power, making this Nulife’s most expensive overhead cost. They are also a steward of the environment and green technology. The company practices this ideal in every aspect of its recycling process when possible, making hydropower extremely attractive. Nulife also needed to find a building suited to their manufacturing needs and in a location that could easily access a supply of CRT Glass.

Project Solution:

The largest hurdle to the project occurring in Buffalo Niagara was the company’s ability to navigate state regulatory agencies. Because Nulife’s technology is new and the first of its kind in the U.S., New York State’s regulatory bodies needed to evaluate the potential impact of the company’s operation. With BNE’s help, Nulife was able to move forward with their project, as the company demonstrated that its recycling process would have no negative effects on the environment. BNE also provided assistance with site selection, access to incentives and professional service providers.

The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, the county’s Department of Economic Development and the Town of Sheridan also played important roles in site selection and assisted the company with the permitting process for their new facility.

Nulife will invest $3.7 million to renovate a 50,000 square foot manufacturing plant in the Town of Sheridan where they will create 25 new jobs.

Read about Nulife’s road to New York : http://www.ce.org/Blog/Articles/2013/April/World%E2%80%99s-First-CRT-Recycler-Coming-to-New-York.aspx

Read about Nulife’s technology: http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/print/volume-13/issue-2/features/ray-of-light-for-crt-recycling.html