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David Robinson

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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.

The Buffalo Niagara unemployment rate jumped to 5.8 percent during January as holiday-related jobs came to an end, the state Labor Department said Tuesday. The increase in the jobless rate, which rose from 5.6 percent in January 2016 and 5.1 percent in December, was expected. Jobless levels typically rise sharply from December to January as seasonal jobs tied to the hol…

Buffalo Niagara manufacturers are on a steady growth spurt. With production rising, hiring on the upswing and new orders steadily flowing in, business at the region's manufacturers improved for the sixth straight month during February, a new survey of local purchasing managers found. The February gain was further evidence of a turnaround at local manufacturers, rever…

The 43North business plan competition is entering its fourth year, and organizers are continuing to focus on attracting quality applicants to the $5 million business plan contest. "I think we made significant strides in that regard," said William Maggio, the 43North chairman. "We're doubling down on that this year." Many of the changes that 43North organizers impleme…

When it comes to jobs, it turns out that our gut feeling was right. New data released last week showed that the Buffalo Niagara job market last year was stronger than the tepid numbers initially reported in January. In fact, 2016 was the best year for hiring in the last 17 years. And with hiring on the upswing, wages also are on the rise, giving workers a double-dose…

ACV Auctions, the fast-growing online auto auction company that won the 43North business plan contest in 2015, has raised $15 million in new venture capital funding that will help it expand into new markets and hire new workers. The investment from Bessemer Venture Partners, a $4 billion venture capital firm that has funded early-stage investments in firms like Skype an…

It won’t be Tesla or SolarCity that runs much of the solar panel factory the state is building in South Buffalo. As the $900 million RiverBend factory gears up to begin production this summer, Panasonic will play a large role at the plant as Tesla’s partner in producing solar cells and panels and as an experienced solar panel manufacturer in its own right. Tesla …

J.P. and Ulla Bak aren’t ordinary business people. They’re business people who want to do good at the same time. It’s a novel concept – a business with a social conscience that puts people on par with profits – and the Danish-born Baks have put Buffalo at the heart of their unusual vision. Their tablet factory on Michigan Avenue has grown, in a little more …

Gibraltar Industries has agreed to acquire Package Concierge, a Boston, Mass., company that makes package locker systems for apartment buildings. The $20 million cash deal will combine two companies that already have a relationship. Gibraltar makes the package locker systems that Package Concierge sells. The acquisition will expand Gibraltar's presence in the package…

John Koelmel has never been afraid to think big. He turned a sleepy local thrift, Lockport Savings Bank, into one of the nation's 30-biggest banks through a series of bold acquisitions, only to see his biggest deal fall flat and lead to his ouster at First Niagara Financial Group. He then took over as president of HarborCenter, the $200 million hotel and entertainment c…

The Connecticut investment firm that unsuccessfully offered to take Ecology & Environment private last year said the Lancaster-based environmental services company's board of directors has "eviscerated" shareholder value after five years of declining sales and profits. Mill Road Capital, which owns about 15 percent of E&E's Class A common stock and is seeking tw…

SolarCity eliminated a little more than 3,000 jobs – or about 20 percent of its workforce – over the past year as the solar energy systems installer moved to cut costs as its business cooled. SolarCity said last year that it was moving to cut jobs and reduce costs but provided few details of its plans. It disclosed the scope of the cutbacks Wednesday in a regulat…

Bud Crumlish inherited a mess when he took over as CTG's new CEO last July. Six months later, he has a plan to fix the long-struggling Buffalo information technology company – and investors are buying into it, at least for the moment. "In short, we are taking the necessary steps to address sustainable and profitable growth," Crumlish said during a conference call …

Buffalo Manufacturing Works could be headed to a new home – and a bigger role in helping the region's companies become more innovative and more productive. The second phase of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's Buffalo Billion plan would move the innovation hub from Main Street to the Northland Corridor on the East Side, partly to spread more of the program's benefits to a stru…

Just a few months before Tesla Inc. plans to start making solar cells and solar panels at its Buffalo gigafactory, the electric vehicle maker is looking for ways to save cash in its solar energy business. After all, Tesla already has its hands full, with opening its battery gigafactory in Nevada and preparing to start producing its more affordable Model 3 sedan – a $…

The SolarCity solar panel factory in Buffalo is expected to begin production this summer, with the solar roofing tiles that will be one of the factory's flagship products hitting the market by the end of the year. That's what Tesla Inc. said Wednesday, in its first update since the electric vehicle maker acquired the solar energy systems installer in November. The fa…