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David Robinson

David Robinson is the deputy business editor for The News, where has worked since graduating from Syracuse University in 1985. A New Hampshire native, he started out in the News' Tonawanda bureau and moved into the business news department in October 1987, exactly a week after the stock market crash.


Business

UltraCell Insulation, a runner-up in the 43North business plan competition in 2016, has wrapped up a $5 million funding package that will clear the way for the company to open a factory in the Buffalo area. The funding, which includes previous rounds of fundraising, along with $1.6 million raised in a new round, will allow UltraCell to begin making and selling its high …

The Buffalo Niagara unemployment rate inched up to 6.4 percent in February as seasonal jobs disappeared slightly faster than people dropped out of the labor force, the state Labor Department said Tuesday. The main reason for the higher unemployment rate, which was up from 6.2 percent a year ago, is that about 3 percent more people across the Buffalo Niagara region were …

Business

Athenex Inc. said Monday it expects its new factory in Dunkirk to be completed by the end of March 2019, but the drug development company's shares tumbled by 5 percent after its fourth-quarter loss was far bigger than analysts expected. Athenex reported a loss of $28.3 million, or 49 cents per share, during the quarter that ended in December. While that was less than th…

Business

Wanna buy a power plant? The Huntley Generating Station, the coal-fired power plant that shut down two years ago, is now officially for sale. The plant's owner, NRG Energy, has listed the 84-acre site with local real estate broker CBRE/Buffalo. The asking price? Neither CBRE nor NRG is saying. "We will be looking for proposals from qualified buyers, rather than se…

Business

Tops Markets plans to ask a bankruptcy court judge to allow it to reduce its contributions by nearly two-thirds to the already underfunded pension plan that covers most of its employees, according to officials from the largest union representing workers at the supermarket chain. Tops has not yet asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to reduce the payments, but officials from …

Business

The Buffalo Niagara job market stayed strong during February, adding jobs at one of the fastest rates over the past two years, the state Labor Department reported Thursday. The robust job growth meant that the region added 6,900 new jobs over the past year – a growth rate of 1.2 percent that was nearly double the region's overall growth rate for all of last year. …

Business

The Buffalo News has promoted two top newsroom and advertising officials to new positions as vice president. Shawn Buffum, The News' advertising director since 2015, has been named vice president of marketing and digital advertising. He will oversee a wide range of services, from creative services and circulation customer service, to promotions and marketing technology.…

Business

Claire's, the teen jewelry chain that filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, plans to close its store in the McKinley Mall in Hamburg as it tries to restructure its nearly $1.9 billion debt. The McKinley Mall store is one of 92 underperforming stores – three in New York – that Claire's plans to close in March and April. The retailer, which closed 166 stores in 20…

Business

Buffalo Niagara manufacturers kept humming along in February. A new report, based on a survey of local purchasing managers, indicated that business at the region’s factories grew slightly slower in February, but still robustly, fueled by strong hiring and solid growth in production and the flow of new orders.   “February and January look great relative to…

Business

It won't be clear sailing for Tops Markets as it tries to revamp its business in bankruptcy court. Representatives of a Teamsters union pension fund are asking a bankruptcy court to reject a key agreement between Tops and C&S Wholesale Grocers, its main grocery supplier, claiming that it's a bad deal for the supermarket chain. Not so, say Tops officials. They arg…

Business

Record revenues during the fourth quarter helped Synacor Inc. nearly break even, even though the Buffalo internet content provider now says sales from its much-anticipated contract with AT&T will be far less than originally anticipated. Synacor said it lost $106,000, or less than a penny per share, compared with a loss of $3.1 million, or 10 cents per share, a year …

Ecology & Environment's second-quarter loss widened as a one-time charge related to the new federal tax law added to a modest loss from the Lancaster environmental services firm's operations. E&E lost $768,000, or 18 cents per share, during the quarter that ended in January, more than double the loss of $318,000, or 7 cents per share, a year ago. The tax law cha…

Business

For the first time in 30 years, Moog Inc. will start paying dividends to its shareholders. The Elma motion control equipment maker said it will start paying a dividend of 25 cents per quarter on June 1 in a move that CEO John Scannell said reflects Moog's strong cash flow, which will allow the company to make the payments to shareholders while still having enough cash t…

Business

State regulators on Thursday approved a new rate plan for National Grid that will raise the average residential customer's monthly bill by about 11 percent over three years. The agreement approved by the state Public Service Commission spreads out the impact of the higher rates, adding $2.22 a month to the typical residential customer's bill immediately and by a total o…

Business

The Buffalo Niagara unemployment rate held steady at 6.2 percent in January as an uptick in hiring tempted more workers to start looking for a job, the state Labor Department said Tuesday. The revised data from the Labor Department also indicates that the local jobless rate over the past year has been running higher than initially reported, averaging 5.4 percent through…