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From Business Today: A local real estate executive is leaving one real estate firm for another. Senior executive Dennis Penman has been with MJ Peterson for 40 years. But as of Tuesday, he will join Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. as an executive vice president and a principal at the developer. Penman said he is eager to work in commercial real estate after working for s…

Here is today's MoneySmart tip of the day:   Make meals from scratch. They're cheaper, they taste better and it's a fun activity the family can do together.   ---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

From Business Today: The sale of HSBC's upstate New York branches ranks number one in our list of the year's top business stories. The Statler's survival and the collapse of the Steven J. Baum foreclosure firm followed in the second and third spots. Do you agree with our rankings?     Sears Holdings Corp. will try to revive the company by closi…

From Business Today: Our panel of financial advisers are hoping they can do a better job of picking stocks this year than last year. Looking ahead to 2011, a panel of local advisers predicted a better than 9 percent gain by the Dow Jones industrial average and a nearly 12 percent jump by the Nasdaq. The Dow was up 6 percent in 2011 as of press time, and the Nasdaq was act…

From Business Today: Temp agencies have reported a rise in temporary jobs. The usual need for holiday retail help is included in those numbers, but so is something else. Many employers are looking to temporary workers to fill the gap left by employees who take vacation time around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Temp industry executives say that is a sign…

From Business Today: The Town of Hamburg has chosen the company that will redevelop a 145-acre former Bethlehem Steel property. Krog Corp., which has offices in Buffalo, Corning and Jamestown, specializes in brownfield development. It has been chosen to transform the sprawling Bethlehem Steel site into a commercial or industrial park. The vacant property, called Lake Eri…

From Business Today: Unemployment in the Buffalo Niagara region grew last month. The local unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent from October's 7 percent. Still, it's the lowest November number since 2008. The jobless rate, which stood at 8 percent a year ago, has dropped in part because the region has 4,800 fewer unemployed workers than it did a year ago, accord…

From Business Today: Happy days are here again for local retailers. Stores in local malls and shopping districts have reported that holiday sales have bounced back from their 2008 recession doldrums. In some cases, retailers are reporting their best years ever in sales. It echoes a national trend.   New-car sales in the Buffalo Niagara region were up again last month…

From Business Today: Two buildings in Orchard Park have sold. One was bought by a local dentist looking to expand, the other was bought by two parties with the intention of being divided among them. Pediatric dentist Michael Foley bought 3364 Southwestern Boulevard for $465,000 to be used as a second branch of his dental practice. The former Bally's Matrix …

From Business Today: The local labor market has screeched to a stop. The Buffalo Niagara region added no jobs this November over the same month a year ago. It's the first time in 12 months we didn't see a job increase, and the worst numbers we've had in 16 months. Despite a much celebrated increase in construction jobs, most other sectors were weak. The pri…

From Business Today: A democratic assemblyman from Buffalo has some critical words for Western New York's industrial development agencies. Echoing a common sentiment, Sean Ryan said IDAs only help Erie County communities steal businesses from one another rather than helping the region grow. He made his statement outside of Prime Wines (better known as Premier Liquor)…

From Business Today:   A Lancaster manufacturing company will expand with help from tax breaks. WNR Pattern and Tool will nearly double its workforce and its footprint on Pavement Road near Broadway. The Lancaster Industrial Development Agency has approved $84,000 in tax breaks for the $102,000 project. The IDA estimated the project's impact at $1.5 million. …

From Business Today:   Three real estate professionals have formed a full-service development firm in Amherst called Manguso Development Co. LLC. Nickolas Manguso of Buffalo Excavating is its CEO, Colby Smith (who spent the last 20 years at the McGuire Development Co.) is president and James A. Manguso Jr.  of architectural firm Lauer Manguso is C…

From Business Today: Western New York is one of the four big winners across the state in the competition for state money. The local council headed by Howard Zemsky and UB Presdient Satish K. Tripathi put together a presentation that brought home $100 million for local projects. Well done!   A local medical device maker is closing down its operations here, putting…

From Business Today: First Niagara Financial Group has priced its offering of 52.94 million shares of common stock. Common stock is priced at $8.50 per share, while preferred stock will sell for $25 per share. First Niagara is hoping to raise $450 million from the common stock offering to partly finance its $1 billion acquisition of 195 HSBC branches. A Long Island …