Low-Cost Hydropower Grants

[Unifrax and others get Low-Cost Hydropower Grant]

Living next door to one of the world’s Natural Wonders as well as two Great Lakes, it’s easy for us to forget that water is a precious and often scarce commodity in other parts of the country as well as all over world.

Thanks to our renewable water resources, Buffalo Niagara is uniquely positioned to offer low-cost hydropower to companies that are seeking to locate or relocate in the United States. Electricity can be a large portion of production costs to manufacturers, and these energy costs are projected to rise in the coming years, particularly as the global economy rebounds from the Great Recession and competition for electric grid capacity rises.

In the past few years, BNE has seen an increase in companies exploring Western New York specifically because of hydropower. Because we can offer not only cheaper utility rates but also a great labor force and an abundance of colleges and universities, you can see why we are an intriguing place for a variety of high-tech manufacturers.

The New York Power Authority has been an excellent partner in our pursuit of securing new jobs for the region. They are receptive to our requests for assistance and provide a multitude of services to those companies we introduce to them. The BNE values that partnership as well as New York State’s hydro-related programs. They are indeed a point of pride and we promote them as one of the many reasons a company should choose to locate in Buffalo Niagara.

by Tony Kurdziel, Business Development Manager

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.


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.

Continuing the Conversation with Canadian Businesses

by Tony Kurdziel, Business Development Manager

During the month of October, BNE has maintained a busy schedule in southern Ontario. During the first week of the month, we attended the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS.ca) in Mississauga, Ontario. Over two days, we had conversations with several dozen companies and came away with a handful of in-depth meetings that could germinate into new investment opportunities in our region. At the very least, this show provided a great opportunity to meet with companies across a wide spectrum of industry, and from across almost all provinces. As with all trade shows, it is largely a matter of “working the floor” and aggressively seeking companies that might have a business reason to locate in western New York.

On October 10, we attended the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) Canada East- Fall Seminar in Toronto. In addition to the the educational component of this event, we were able to network with the approximately 50 real estate professionals in attendance. These events are a great opportunity for us to keep the southern Ontario real estate community thinking about Buffalo Niagara when one of their clients decides to expand to the U.S. Hopefully these casual discussions will someday lead to inbound referrals for our locally-based developers and real estate brokers.

Prior to the SIOR event, we also had individual meetings with southern Ontario companies that are considering investment in our region. Again, more promising activity that is being driven by the strong Canadian dollar and our targeted marketing efforts.

This month Canadian Manufacturing.com also featured two Canadian companies that expanded their businesses accross the border in Plenty of Perks for Canadians Mulling Move to NY as a result of a visit we hosted in September.

Agribusiness News in Western NY

by Tony Kurdziel, Business Development Manager

On September 13, I had the fortune to attend another “good news” press conference in Genesee County. This time, the festivities were held in Bergen, NY, at the vegetable processing plant that was recently acquired by Bonduelle. For the unfamiliar, Bonduelle is a French-based producer and distributor of fresh vegetables, with facilities around the world. Their executives were in town to display their new investment at the Bergen plant (which processes corn and beans) while touting their excellent workforce and supply chain benefits of being in Genesee County. Bonduelle owns a second processing plant in Oakfield, NY, and a packaging plant in Brockport, NY, all to manage the array of vegetables (corn, carrots, beans and peas) purchased from regional farms. In fact, nearly all of the vegetables processed at these facilities are sourced from farms within a 75 mile radius, which has an obvious beneficial economic impact.

Since acquiring these three western New York plants in 2012, Bonduelle has already spent $3.5 million to update the Bergen facility, with plans for greater investment in the near future. Their purchase has resulted in the retention of 69 full-time jobs, along with another 188 seasonal workers. This is certainly an important victory for region, not only in terms of preserving direct jobs, but also the related commerce with local farms, transportation companies and other vendors. Of course, it also fits perfectly with Genesee County’s strategy of leveraging its agricultural output and human resources into more manufacturing jobs.

Check out our website more information about Agribusiness in the Buffalo Niagara region.

Around the Region: Genesee County

by Tony Kurdziel, Business Development Manager

Muller Quaker Dairy in Batavia, NY

Muller Quaker Dairy in Batavia, NY

The BNE team recently got an guided tour on all of the latest developments in Genesee County, courtesy of our partners at the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC). During the course of the day, we toured five of the GCEDC’s commerce parks including the emerging “mega-site” in Alabama, NY, known as the Science Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park or STAMP (see http://www.gcedc.com/index.php/wny/ for full details).The unique infrastructure assets at this site, combined with its central geographic location, represents a rare opportunity for the Buffalo and Rochester metro areas: leveraging our collective academic and technical expertise in effort to bring the semiconductor industry to western New York. This is a project worth monitoring, as this massive endeavor is really picking up momentum.

In terms of current success, we were also afforded a tour of the new Quaker Muller yogurt factory, located inside the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. It was heartening to witness the leading-edge production process and to learn and interact with the new employees that Quaker Muller has added this summer. For those interested in the remaining land sites at the Ag Park, simply follow this link: http://www.gcedc.com/index.php/site-selectio/genesee-valley-agri-business-park/

Ready for our tour...

Ready for our tour…

Throughout the course of the day, we also visited the GCEDC’s available development sites in the towns of Pembroke, Batavia, and Bergen. We also toured the new flex office/industrial space at the Masse Place Gateway, right inside the Batavia’s rapidly evolving downtown. For the uninitiated, the City of Batavia offers a tremendous mix of unique shops and restaurants. Well worth a trip from the surrounding counties of western NY, and that’s not even counting the other attractions in Pembroke and LeRoy, and Darien!

Check out more data about Genesee County here, or if you are interested in learning more about what to see and do in Genesee, visit http://www.visitgeneseeny.com/.

Business Incubators – A Western NY Invention

by Tony Kurdziel, Business Development Manager

A recent post by Chris Finn, BNE Research Manager, detailed the accolades enjoyed by University of Buffalo’s Technology Incubator. However, most people do not know that business incubators* are a western New York invention. In 1956, Massey Ferguson announced it was closing its 850,000 square-foot tractor factory in Batavia, NY. The Mancuso family ultimately purchased it, and Joseph Mancuso started the daunting task of filling the facility with new business. Since there was little chance of another single tenant leasing the entire facility, Mr. Mancuso divided the building for many users, and provide multiple forms of support for the small companies that might fill the space. Now run by Mr. Mancuso’s son, Tom, the Batavia Industrial Center is a hub of grassroots economic development in Batavia, with a mix of “traditional” heavy industry, high-tech office users, craft manufacturers and fine arts.

Perhaps because of the legacy started by Joseph Mancuso, western New York is blessed with nearly one incubator in every county. For entrepreneurs that are looking to take their concept “out of the garage” and into larger production space, or for Canadian companies that are looking to test the U.S. market, our regional incubators offer tremendous variety, value and opportunity. Here, by county, is a list of different facilities in our region. Please explore them and find the incubator that suits your business.


Technology Incubator at Fredonia



University of Buffalo Technology Incubator


z80 Labs



Batavia Industrial Center (discussed above)



Harrison Place


*We used the National Business Incubator Association’s definition of business incubator to select these facilities for feature. “Business incubators nurture the development of entrepreneurial companies, helping them survive and grow during the start-up period, when they are most vulnerable. These programs provide their client companies with business support services and resources tailored to young firms. The most common goals of incubation programs are creating jobs in a community, enhancing a community’s entrepreneurial climate, retaining businesses in a community, building or accelerating growth in a local industry, and diversifying local economies.”

Port of New York/New Jersey is a Regional Asset for Western NY

by  Tony Kurdziel, Business Development Manager

Unless you own a business that ships or receives goods via the Port of New York/New Jersey (PANYNJ), the headline above might be confounding. However, our proximity to the PANYNJ is a tremendous asset to local companies that want import or export goods . It is only becoming more important as rail and road connectivity between Buffalo Niagara and the port are improved.

For the unitiated, Buffalo Niagara is directly linked to the port via CSX railroad’s intermodal service. CSX composes unit trains of containers on the port’s dock and delivers them to their intermodal ramp in suburban Blasdell on a daily basis. From there, containers of goods are unloaded, place on a trailer chassis and delivered to nearly every type of business (manufacturers, distributors, retailers) across western New York and southern Ontario. These containers can originate from as far away as China (often filled with finished consumer goods) or they might be time-sensitive produce from South America. The model of “long-haul train – short haul truck” is an alternative to the all-truck delivery mode to/from the port (which has its own list of benefits). Canadian shippers should think of our direct link to PANYNJ as a transportation alternative that they can easily utilize and leverage. Especially if they are already familiar with the cross-border freight process.

Companies looking to locate in Buffalo Niagara should remember that although we are not on the ocean, we are directly connected to it with excellent intermodal service and uncongested highways like I-90 and I-86. Please visit our logistics page for our full range of transportation modes, or contact us if you want to learn more about our connections to PANYNJ. We will gladly make an introduction for you.

Will new long-haul trucking regulations impact economic development?

by Tony Kurdziel, Business Development Manager

The staffing shortage for long-haul truckers has been well documented since the mid-2000s. Combine this with a sputtering national economy, unpredictable fuel costs and a constantly evolving regulatory environment, and it has added up to trying times for the trucking industry. An important new regulatory deadline from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is fast approaching and will most certainly force additional change in this industry.

Effective July 1, 2013, the maximum amount of time that a commercial motor vehicle driver can work in one week will go from 82 hours to 70 hours. It will also prohibit truck drivers from driving more than eight hours without taking a  break of at least thirty minutes. These two major changes, along with other provisions of this law, are intended to reduce driver fatigue and make the roads safer.

What economic development ramifications (if any), will develop from these changes? When added to the current strains on the trucking industry, will companies be forced to shift their supply chains? For example, will manufacturers look to concentrate vendors and suppliers even closer to production points? Will distribution centers move closer to their end markets? And finally, will this cause more consolidation in the trucking industry, placing more traffic on capacity-constrained rail lines? If so, how will the rail industry be able to absorb the different shippers that approach them?

The next few years should be quite interesting for the commercial transportation business, especially if the global economy recovers in a meaningful way.

The Best Holiday Gift May Be a Local Experience

Tony Kurdziel, Business Development Manager, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise

Given the festive season and my colleague Matthew Hubacher’s recent blog on New York’s wine and spirits industry (https://blog.buffaloniagara.org/2012/12/18/new-york-states-agricultural-economy/), I thought it was a good time to directly feature some local, last-minute gift or day trip ideas.

For the beer aficionado in your family we are lucky to have many local and regional options. Ready?

Located right in the Black Rock neighborhood of Buffalo is Flying Bison Brewing Company (http://www.flyingbisonbrewing.com/) which is a division of Matt Brewing (www.saranac.com), the venerable Utica, NY,  company that manufactures the Utica Club and Saranac brands. The Black Rock neighborhood also boasts “nanobrewery” Community Beer Works (http://www.communitybeerworks.com/). Down in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, respectively, there is Southern Tier Brewing Company (https://www.stbcbeer.com/) and Ellicottville Brewing Company (http://www.ellicottvillebrewing.com/. Finally, our neighbors in Monroe County have the iconic Genesee Brewing Company http://www.geneseebeer.com/, which is owned by Buffalo-based North American Breweries (http://www.nabreweries.com/), the U.S. distributor for all Labatt brands (http://www.labattblueus.com/) Last but far from least is Ithaca Beer Company (http://ithacabeer.com/) just a quick three hours down I-86 in Ithaca. Go figure?

It is worth noting that almost all of these companies offer brewery tours, tastings and/or dine-in options. I highly recommend you take a look at their websites for these activities, and to peruse their different product offerings. Of course, we also have many local pubs that brew their own beer, but do not distribute to stores.

Impressed by the local brewers? The list of local wine makers is even longer. Because the list is so long, I will merely provide links to the four major wine regions, all within one hour drive (or less) of Buffalo Niagara:

Another great way to enjoy all the food and drink New York has to offer is just to visit the New York Wine and Culinary Center in nearby Canandaigua, NY: http://nywcc.com/

As always, be sure to enjoy these local products responsibly! Happy holidays!