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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.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo got to take the first Uber ride in upstate Tuesday on his way to a stop in Buffalo. Cuomo and Howard Zemsky, the CEO for Empire State Development, took an Uber ride to the Rev. Dr. Bennett Smith Sr. Family Life Center on Michigan Avenue. New York City-based driver Tariq Nawaz, a Buffalo native, was at the wheel. Nawaz said he might be able to mov…

The controversial Start-Up NY economic development program that granted lucrative tax breaks to businesses has created 288 new jobs in Western New York in its first three years, a new state report said. The 288 jobs at the 43 companies participating in the Start-Up NY program in Western New York jobs amounted to 40 percent of the 722 net new jobs that were created la…

In some ways, economic development is a lot like cooking. You need a good recipe and you need the money to buy the right ingredients. So when the State Legislature this week approved funding for projects valued at $525 million for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion II, it was a big deal because it ensured that the state will have plenty of money to buy the ingredient…

A fledgling Clarence company thinks it has discovered a way to turn a closely regulated cousin of the marijuana plant into the next big agricultural crop. It is a most unlikely pairing, pitting 22nd Century Group, a money-losing cigarette maker that shares a nondescript Main Street office with a dentist, potentially against some of the nation's giant corporations from B…

Life Storage has increased its dividend by 5 percent, the Amherst-based real estate investment trust said. Life Storage said it is increasing its quarterly dividend by 5 cents, to $1 per share from the old rate of 95 cents. The increased dividend will be paid on April 26 to shareholders of record on April 18.  

Synacor Inc. shares tumbled by 18 percent this morning after the Buffalo-based internet content provider sold additional shares of its stock for $3.50 per share. The stock offering was priced at about a 16 percent discount to its $4.15 per share closing price on Wednesday. Secondary stock sales typically are priced below a stock's current trading price because the addit…

The second phase of the Buffalo Billion is evolutionary, not revolutionary. The first Buffalo Billion, launched three years ago by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, was focused on big projects. Each was aimed at creating hundreds of new jobs and jump-starting entire industries, while also giving a psychological pick-me-up to the Buffalo Niagara region’s battered psyche. [Relat…

Falling food prices are creating challenges for Tops Markets – and Frank Curci, the supermarket company's long-time CEO, can't remember another time like it. "This is the largest deflationary trend I've seen in my lifetime," Curci said in an interview Friday. "Deflation doesn't make it any better to do our business. Our business has a decent amount of fixed costs,…

Economist Gary Keith is bullish on Buffalo. The M&T Bank economist has been watching the Buffalo Niagara economy for a long time, mostly during the region’s dark days when it struggled with a rapidly shrinking manufacturing base and missed out on long periods of nationwide prosperity. These days, however, Keith sees a very different Buffalo – he calls it "Buf…

The Buffalo Niagara unemployment rate rose to 5.9 percent in February as a wave of retirements among the Baby Boomers left fewer local workers holding jobs, the state Labor Department reported Tuesday. Even with the modest increase in joblessness, the local unemployment rate remained below 6 percent during February for just the third time in the last 15 years. "These…

Thomas J. Hook, the Integer Holdings Corp. CEO who moved the former Greatbatch Ltd.'s headquarters from Clarence to Texas, has resigned as the medical products manufacturer's president and CEO. Hook's resignation after 11 years as Integer's CEO and 13 years after he joined the company caused the company's stock to tumble by 6 percent, or $2.60, to $38.10 per share on Mo…

Tesla Inc. plans to start taking orders in April for the solar roof shingles that it will begin making at its South Buffalo solar panel factory later this year, Elon Musk said Friday. Tesla unveiled four different designs for solar shingles at an event in Hollywood last October, but the electric vehicle maker still has not disclosed pricing details. The roof product is …

When it comes to technology jobs, the Buffalo Niagara region still is one of the industry’s backwaters. That’s a problem, because employment in the technology sector across the country is booming, growing roughly three times faster than the overall pace of U.S. job growth. Even worse, at a time of such rapid growth nationwide, the Buffalo Niagara region’s techn…

Gibraltar Industries has promoted Timothy Murphy to replace the retiring Kenneth Smith as chief financial officer of the Hamburg-based building products manufacturer. Murphy, 53, has worked at Gibraltar since 2004 and has been its treasurer since 2013. Before that, he was a senior manager at accounting firm KPMG. He has a bachelor's degree and a master's in business adm…

A plan to create a more self-contained power grid on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus that would enable it to better maintain operations during blackouts moved forward Thursday when the state awarded nearly $1 million in funding to the project. The Medical Campus plan was one of 11 projects statewide to win funding from a state-sponsored program to encourage the devel…