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22nd Century Group, a Clarence company that is developing very low nicotine cigarettes, has signed a $7 million research license agreement with a big British tobacco company.The deal with British American Tobacco, the world’s second-biggest tobacco company, spans four years and gives the British company access to 28 of 22nd Century’s patents and patent applications involvi…

Syracuse-based KJ Electric has acquired the electric motor and repair divisions of Electro-Mech Systems Group in Niagara Falls and will move those operations to its facility in Tonawanda.Electro-Mech’s three employees, including former owner Greg Barker, will continue working for KJ, a spokeswoman said.

A family-owned local company is growing again with its fifth Western New York location.Carpet Factory Outlet opened Tuesday at 2630 Delaware Ave., next to Target. The company sells remnants, area rugs, laminate, vinyl, tile and hardwood flooring products.The company has been in business since 1970. It has locations on Union Road in Cheektowaga, Sheridan Drive in Amherst, T…

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“Today’s the Day” was spread across the top of the newspaper ad in yellow letters 1½ inches high.“You don’t have to wonder if you can afford a quality health plan,” it said.In reality, many New York State residents had to wonder a little longer before they could check out their health insurance options on the New York State of Health website. The site received more than 2 …

Buffalo

After an 88-hour wait, a city-owned lift bridge finally opened Tuesday morning and a large Canadian freighter was able to pass through and deliver tons of grain. “It happens,” said Jim Siddall, vice president of operations for Lower Lakes Towing, which owns the freighter. But waits at bridges “are pretty rare to be that long,” he said.The Robert S. Pierson and its load of …

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M&T Bank Corp. and First Niagara Financial Group remain the heavyweights among banks in the Buffalo Niagara market as measured by their share of deposits, according to the latest figures from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.The FDIC annually provides a one-day snapshot of banks’ deposit market share for metro areas around the country, including the Buffalo Niagara regio…

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U.S. monthly auto sales declined in September for the first time in more than three years, in part because of a calendar quirk that landed Labor Day weekend sales in the August report.Auto information company TrueCar.com estimated that by the time all of the automakers reported their results Tuesday, sales will have topped 1.1 million, about a 4 percent decline from Septem…

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Silicon Valley venture capitalist Victor Hwang looks at Buffalo and sees plenty of assets – such as universities, talented people and civic pride – necessary to build the type of “innovative economy” his home region is famous for.“The only thing left is to unlock the relationships and the culture between everybody, so they can create great things together,” Hwang said Tues…

A strike by Wegmans workers in Rochester does not seem imminent, and officials from the supermarket chain said they are taking steps to make sure a work stoppage wouldn’t affect its Buffalo stores if one did occur.The more than 900 Wegmans workers affected by the contract dispute are truck drivers, warehouse workers and mechanics who do everything from maintaining the flee…

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State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman made good Tuesday on threats of legal action against an embattled crematory in the Town of Tonawanda by filing a lawsuit seeking to permanently block its operation.The lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court marks the latest in a series of setbacks for the dormant Sheridan Drive crematory operated by the Amigone family, which has be…

Will Poultry Co., the venerable Buffalo wholesale food distributor whose roots date back from before the Depression, is changing owners.The business has been sold to a group of local investors and expects to continue its operations virtually unchanged.“The transition is going to be as seamless as possible,” said Donald E. Will, the company’s CEO and owner. “It’s going to k…

Cleveland BioLabs has landed a $10 million loan from a technology finance company that will give the Buffalo life sciences firm enough cash to fund its operations into the second half of next year.The loan from Hercules Technology Growth Capital will give Cleveland BioLabs the cash it needs to keep operating well into 2014 while it continues to pursue up to $50 million in …

Astronics Corp., moving to bolster its aircraft electronics business, has acquired a New Hampshire company that makes the antenna systems used to bring satellite and ground-based communications into an airplane.The move to acquire AeroSat Corp. in a $12 million cash deal expands Astronics’ line of products that help airline passengers use their electronic devices during fl…

Following a spate of negative press reports and complaints from Congress about fees associated with payroll debit cards, federal regulators have issued a warning to employers that they cannot force workers to receive their pay on the cards.The bulletin was issued this month by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the consumer watchdog agency created in the wake of the…

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Americans probably will be paying the lowest prices for gasoline since January 2011 by Christmas, with some drivers filling up for less than $3 a gallon.Prices may drop 25 cents to 30 cents by Dec. 25, said Michael Green, a spokesman for AAA in Washington, D.C.The U.S. is heading toward October with the lowest seasonal pump prices since 2010. The average cost for a gallon …