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Construction on the Buffalo Sabres’ planned HarborCenter complex is “right on schedule” for a September 2014 opening for the rinks, restaurant and parking ramp, as the work crew shifts from driving piles into the ground to pouring concrete pillars, HarborCenter President John R. Koelmel said.He described the work site as a “beehive of activity.”“Our excitement …

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Ford Motor Co.’s stamping plant in Hamburg over alleged violations, but the automaker is disputing the claims.OSHA cited Ford for eight “serious” violations of the agency’s asbestos and respiratory protection standards at its Route 5 plant, which produces stamped metal parts for vehicles. Ford faces $41,80…

Workers at Williamsville Suburban Nursing Home will vote July 23 on a tentative labor agreement that union and management negotiators reached Wednesday.About 200 workers covered by the agreement are represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. The union’s negotiating committee is unanimously recommending approval of the deal.The union says details of the deal …

Workers at the Williamsville Suburban Nursing Center have authorized their union to issue a strike notice to management of the facility, if an agreement is not reached during negotiations Thursday.1199SEIU represents about 200 certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, activity aides, maintenance staff and unit clerks. They voted to join the union last Novem…

Premiere Credit of North America, a debt collection firm based in Indianapolis, will be adding 100 new jobs to the Batavia call center it opened early last year.The new positions are part of a $325,000 expansion of the Mill Street center. The center will also receive a tax break of about $26,000 through the Genesee County Economic Development Center.The Batavia center is h…

Sales are down at Fisher-Price, but Mattel believes robust growth is on the horizon.Fisher-Price’s worldwide gross sales slipped 3 percent to $396.7 million as parent company Mattel Inc.’s second-quarter profits dropped 24 percent.Fisher-Price Brands’ results were “not unexpected,” according to Geoff Walker, the company’s executive vice president who leads its …

Buffalo

The hotel boom along Buffalo’s long-ignored waterfront took another step forward Wednesday with the announcement of a second Marriott International hotel coming to Canalside. HarborCenter Development LLC said the hotel component of its ice-rink and hospitality complex in front of First Niagara Center will carry the international lodging company’s flagship Marriott bran…

Business

M&T Bank Corp.’s second-quarter profits rose 49 percent from a year ago, a strong showing bolstered by selling its holdings of Visa and MasterCard shares.The bank reported net income of $348.5 million, compared with $233.4 million a year earlier, for the quarter ending June 30. Its diluted earnings per share were $2.55, compared with $1.71 a year ago.“Our earnings qual…

A University at Buffalo spin-off company whose software helps university admissions officers sort and analyze data from thousands of applicants has moved out of UB’s Technology Incubator into nearby offices in Amherst.Academic Software Plus and its 30 employees moved into office space on John James Audubon Parkway while taking the name of Liaison International, a softwar…

Business

Sales of General Motors Co. vehicles rose by 3.9 percent worldwide – to more than 4.85 million vehicles – in the first half of this year, although growth was slowed by declines in Europe and South America.That puts the Detroit automaker narrowly ahead of Volkswagen, which last week reported a first-half sales gain of 5.6 percent, to 4.7 million vehicles.Toyota Motor Co…

U.S. employers are “staying the course,” according to a new survey of pay increases planned for 2014.A Mercer survey released Tuesday said employee raises averaged 2.8 percent this year and won’t change much next year. A 2.9 percent average is expected. Raises averaged 2.7 percent in 2012 and 2011. But the survey also noted that salary increases for top-performing em…

Art

It’s not often that you find bicycle builders, sculptors, craft beer brewers, furniture makers and other artisans plying their skills under one roof.The Foundry bills itself as an artisans’ incubator, learning community and oasis for do-it-yourselfers.The building at 298 Northampton St. near Jefferson Avenue was once a laundry. The artisans who have set up shop there a…

Business

PLANO, Texas – J.C. Penney’s turnaround is about to be tested as parents decide where they’re going for back-to-school shopping.The Plano-based department store chain always needs to score high during the fall apparel season, which is second only to Christmas in sales. But this year will be an even bigger test.“Do they have a lot to prove to investors the next coup…

Business

John Courtney is already feeling the pain of rising gas prices.In a little more than a week, pump prices locally have jumped by 9 cents a gallon, squeezing the budgets of drivers like Courtney, who says the $20 he budgets each week for gas isn’t taking him as far.Analysts say that upward trend is likely to continue for at least the next few weeks, possibly adding as much…

Buffalo-based Rich Products Corp. will close a manufacturing plant in Rochester, eliminating 92 jobs.The facility, which makes pizza crusts and flatbreads, is set to close Oct. 10, said Dwight M. Gram, a company spokesman.The Rochester plant was one of four that Rich added when it acquired Goglanian Bakeries last December. Another of the four plants – a larger facility i…