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From Business Today:The HSBC strategy session in London on Wednesday yielded a  lot of concerns for Western New York, but few specifics. HSBC Holdings CEO Stuart Gulliver is pushing the bank to cut expenses and focus on major cities with significant wealth and international trade possibilities. Buffalo has been home to HSBC and its local predecessor Marine Midlan…

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From Business Today:Details are coming out of the HSBC strategy meeting in London, and it's a mixed message so far for Upstate New York. CEO Stuart Gulliver said the number  of bank branches will be reduced, but no specifics were outlined. HSBC has 375 branches in New York State, including 71 in the eight-county Western New York region. More information abou…

The wooden boards that have covered the windows of the Statler Towers are coming down this week, a sign that the historic property is awakening from its bankruptcy-induced slumber.The Niagara Square landmark, mothballed since January 2010, is scheduled to reopen for some business in August.Event planners already have booked late-summer and fall dates for a variety …

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From Business Today:HSBC Holdings Plc., the giant global bank, is holding a first-time strategic meeting on Wednesday when it could reveal some big changes. New CEO Stuart Gulliver  is pushing to boost the company's returns, and rumors have swirled about possible changes to HSBC Bank USA, which employs more than 5,000 people in Western New York. HS…

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From Business Today:When the Bills take the field in the fall (notice the affirmative statement!), they'll be playing on a new field built by a local company. A-turf, a Cheektowaga company started by Jim Dobmeier, won the contract to install a new, softer field. The project will take about three weeks at the end of June into July. The company has done colle…

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From Business Today: Astronics Corp. says it's all about the orders, and its orders are looking good. The East Aurora-based maker of aircraft electronics and lighting systems last year reported a record-high $210 million orders, setting the stage for what it expects will be a strong 2011. Peter J. Gundermann, the president and CEO, reviewed the company's perfor…

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From Business Today: Five Star Bank plans to build a bigger presence in the region. Its parent, Financial Institutions, has outlined a plan to expand Five Star's branch network in the next five years, by expanding into the region's more urban markets, including Buffalo, while maintaining a dominant market share in rural communities. Mod-Pac is showing signs …

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From Business Today:Area manufacturing, long the backbone of the Western New York economy, may be a shadow of its former formidible self, but it still sets a tone of the local economy. Making things creates good paying jobs that help support many other jobs in the service sector. So it is good news that the local purchasing managers index - which tracks the health of…

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From Business Today:First Niagara Financial Group will receive $5.7 million in state tax credits to help create 500 jobs in the state, most of them in Western New York. The bank has tripled in size during the past two years via several acquisitions. Now some of that far-away growth is going to yield more jobs at the bank's headquarters in the city's Larkin …

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From Business Today:First Niagara Bank continues its growth, this time in Buffalo.  The bank, which has tripled in size in the past two years, will be adding 500 jobs, mostly in Buffalo. The bank has $30 billion in assets and has helped solidify Buffalo as a regional banking headquarters.Moog Inc.'s earnings rose 22 percent, propelled by industrial and military …

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From Business Today:When the administrator of the Small Business Administration selects your company to highlight how things should work, you must be doing something right. Administrator Karen Mills dropped in at the EcoStar factory in Holland to celebrate the small company's eco-friendly business model and the fact that it used SBA money to expand. The federal progr…

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From Business Today:Wilson Farms stores, the successful convenience stores that were   spun off from Tops Markets, have become vital neighborhood stores in many neighborhoods. The Nanula family has run the stores with the hands-on focus that marked their early ownership of the Tops Friendly Market chain. Now it will be up to 7-Eleven Inc. and …

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From Business Today:Sometimes when great things are happening in our midst, we don't  realize what is happening. First Niagara Financial Group, the grandchild of the old Lockport Savings Bank, has grown into a $30 billion bank. That's a pretty big bank. And it has done it with shrewd acquisitions and sharp operations. The bank has a strong balance sheet, a t…

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From Business Today:Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York locked out 400 workers today when the contract expired. Talks are continuing as the members  of Local 212 of the Office and Professional Employees International Union are prevented from entering the insurers headquarters. The workers are customer service representatives, claims processors, docume…

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From Business Today:The giant printing plant on George Urban Boulevard has had many names during its nearly 50-year run: J. W. Clements, Arcata Graphics, Quebecor, Worldcolor and finally Quad/Graphics. Through all those ownership changes the bottom line at the plant remained the same: quality work at affordable prices. That formula kept the plant running while many others…