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Craft beer + Buffalo + Canada = a tourism bonanza? That's the hope behind the latest idea to bring visitors to downtown Buffalo. The Buffalo Brewery District - which has two brewers at present - is being promoted by the Binational Alliance and the founder of the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery. The idea is to coordinate with local hotels to create cross-border overn…

A group led by developer Earl A. Ketry is interested in acquiring the remnants of the Erie Freight House and using them in a new building across the Buffalo River that would become a riverfront event center and brewery.Ketry has been in negotiations with developer Samuel J. Savarino over a possible deal in which the nearly 150-year-old Erie Freight House would be torn down…

Local restaurateurs and tourism officials think beer may be the key ingredient in luring visitors to downtown Buffalo.A group of downtown restaurant operators and tourism officials said Wednesday they hope a marketing program built around the Buffalo Brewery District, comprising two existing and potentially two other craft breweries in the downtown area, will help lure m…

Office Depot is downsizing some of its stores around the nation as it struggles with increased competition from many sources. The Buffalo store opening today on Delaware Avenue at Hertel Avenue is among the first of the smaller venues. The company was a hot stock until mid- 2007, when things started to go south. The bottom dropped out in 2008, with share prices falling …

Office Depot is moving into a smaller, new-format store in North Buffalo, an approach the chain is adopting around the country in a bid to draw more customers.The new store opens today on Delaware Avenue just north of Hertel Avenue, in a former Blockbuster Video location. Office Depot relocated from its longtime home on Elmwood Avenue in North Buffalo.The new store has abo…

Andrew J. Rudnick, a key figure in Western New York’s economic development efforts for the past 28 years, will retire in June as president of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.Possibly the most visible business spokesman in local history, Rudnick presided over the merger of the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce and Greater Buffalo Development Foundation in 1992 to create upstate…

Several interesting projects are in the works in Western New York. Four that received help from the Erie County IDA are: ATSBNY, a company that tests engines from the GM Powertrain plant in Tonawanda, is moving to the former Packaging Corp. of America plant on Military Road, also in Tonawanda. Kissling Interests is rehabbing a building at 298 Main St. in downtown Buffalo …

The transformation of Main Street along the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is about to get started.Fencing went up Monday, and construction is expected to begin soon on a major medical office building on the block bounded by Main, High, Ellicott and Goodrich streets.The major tenants will include doctors associated with the University at Buffalo medical group known as UBMD…

Assemblyman Sean M. Ryan is stepping up his pressure on the Clarence Industrial Development Agency to reject tax breaks for a planned new Towne Mini dealership on Main Street and to share details of the requested incentives before the board meets Thursday.Towne Automotive has applied for financial assistance for a $1.9 million standalone dealership it plans to build across…

Cheektowaga packing company Cello-Pack Corp. has been acquired by a downstate packaging firm, Trinity Packaging Corp.Trinity is expected to continue Cello-Pack’s local operations, at 55 Innsbruck Drive, where about 150 people work. Employment at the Cheektowaga facility is not expected to change, according to documents filed with the Erie County Industrial Development Ag…

A Kenmore business that tests engines made at the General Motors Powertrain plant in the Town of Tonawanda and a sister plant in Tennessee is receiving nearly $60,000 in tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Agency to move to a new site on Military Road.ATSBNY plans to purchase a vacant 115,000-square-foot building at 1110 Military Road that was home to the Packaging …

A local Realtor is teaming up with Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs on an initiative to encourage military veterans to become licensed real estate agents.Under the new program, Metro Roberts Realty will pay 100 percent of the start-up expenses for a veteran to get licensed to sell real estate, including the costs of all required licensing classes, Multiple Listing Services d…

This is it for many small retailers, the homestretch. Stores can make up to 40 percent of their annual operating profit during the holiday season, with much of that coming in the final week of shopping. Western New York is full of interesting small retailers battling it out with the big box stores. Most stay in business with smart purchasing and  clever marketing. &#…

Lee Meister is back in Buffalo business.The economic development consultant had been the state’s representative in the Toronto market for 22 years, until New York officials closed the Ontario office last April in a cost-cutting move.Local development officials criticized the shutdown at the time, and the weakening of the region’s link to the Canadian market continued i…

For retailers, the fourth quarter is the most profitable, but also the most pressured-packed.“The last two months of the year can be 25 to 40 percent profitability, so it’s very important to retailers.” said Burt Flickinger III, a retail analyst and managing director of Strategic Resource Group in New York City.So while Macy’s and Walmart dole out millions for mult…