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NEW YORK – Gasoline prices are getting an early start on their annual spring march higher.The average U.S. retail price rose 13 cents over the past two weeks to $3.42 per gallon, and within a few days it will likely set a record for this time of year.Prices have not risen that much in Western New York, yet, but if history is a guide, they will. A gallon of regular averag…

Financial Institutions reports that fourth-quarter profits increased by 10.6 percent, as total revenues grew faster than expenses and the bank integrated its purchase of eight former HSBC Bank USA and First Niagara Financial Group branches.The Warsaw-based parent of Five Star Bank reported late Wednesday net income for common shareholders of $6 million, or 43 cents per sha…

The two full-time employees promised for the region after the Canadian government closed its consulate in downtown Buffalo in August have started working in an office on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.The employees – Linda Soltis, a trade commissioner, and Rachael Homewood, a foreign policy and diplomacy service officer – started work earlier this month in the Thom…

Business

The New York City-based owners of the HSBC tower have developed a preliminary plan, modeled after the John Hancock Center in Chicago, to redevelop Buffalo’s tallest building with a mix of luxury residences, offices and a hotel.The plan, still in the early stages, would convert the 38-story tower into a mixed-use project, similar to what Uniland Development Co. did when i…

Buffalo

Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy was in Buffalo Wednesday to help launch Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s new Center for Personalized Medicine. Researchers in the center are trying to decipher patients’ genes, with the idea that better tests and treatments can be targeted to their genetic abnormalities.“I’m confident that it will result in a better, more effective and more …

Business

Upstate business officials don’t think the economy is in great shape, but they’re feeling better about their prospects – and efforts to improve the business climate here – than they were as the Great Recession was ending, pollster John Zogby said Tuesday.An unscientific survey of upstate businesses, conducted for the Accelerate Upstate conference held Tuesday in Bu…

Business

Consumers who are battling lawsuits, court judgements or garnishments over credit card, student, medical or car debts now have a new ally in court to fight off abusive creditors.Attorneys at the Western New York Law Center are promoting a new free consumer law service, specifically designed to assist consumers who are not represented by a lawyer as they battle debt collect…

Buffalo

An outdoor public space that will feature fountains, seating and a tree grove just south of the former Donovan State Office Building is headed for construction this spring. Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. representatives will appear before the Planning Board today to present plans for the $5 million East Canal park project at 125 Main St., part of the Canalside devel…

Business

After all the hoopla and rhetoric surrounding his release of the 2013-14 budget last week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo must now sell it to an often skeptical business community.That’s exactly why he dispatched Kenneth Adams, president of the Empire State Development Corp., to the Amherst Chamber of Commerce luncheon Monday at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens in Lancaster. As Adams…

Business

Controversy over President Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board has drawn attention to a panel with two members who have Buffalo ties.The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., last week said Obama’s three recess appointments in early 2012 were “constitutionally invalid” because the Senate was not in recess at the time. One of the appointe…

Sunday's special Prospectus section looked at whether homegrown startups could hold the key to reviving the city's business ecosystem. Meanwhile, Alphonso O'Neil-White, chief executive officer of HealthNow, was the keynote speaker Jan. 24, 2013 at the 9th annual Buffalo News Prospectus Premiere kickoff dinner in Salvatore's Italian Gardens, Lancaster. The head of the large…

NEW YORK – Manufacturers have been using technology to cut blue-collar jobs for years. Now they’re targeting their white-collar workers, too.Factory Automation Systems makes machines that help companies cut, bundle and load products faster and cheaper than humans can. But it didn’t realize how much technology could help its own business until the Great Recession hit.…

Buffalo

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus has made slow but steady progress over the years toward the goal of becoming a downtown hub of medical care, research and education. But 2013 promises to make slow and steady a thing of the past.A slew of projects are expected to get under way this year that will focus public attention and mark a significant turning point in developing th…

Buffalo

A building boom has started in downtown Buffalo, ushering in a torrent of projects that will transform parts of the city and lay the foundation for the new century.At least 11 projects totaling more than $1 billion are in the works or have just been completed, most of it at the two ends of downtown Buffalo – the waterfront and the Medical Campus.Hard hats already dot the…

Business

December’s ugly employment numbers, which painted a picture of a region that’s shedding jobs and beset with the highest unemployment levels since the mid-1980s, make it look like the sky is falling on the Buffalo Niagara labor market. But local economists say they believe the picture is much brighter than what statistics from the state Labor Department show. They think…