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The roles that innovation and research play in the economic vitality of a region will be the topic of a panel discussion Friday among seven of the most prominent local college and university presidents and top economic development officials.With the strategic plan developed by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council placing a high priority on tapping int…

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WICHITA, Kan. – To steal huge shipments of valuable cargo, thieves are turning to a deceptively simple tactic: They pose as truckers, load the freight onto their own tractor-trailers and drive away with it.It’s an increasingly common form of commercial identity theft that has allowed con men to make off each year with millions of dollars in merchandise, often food and beve…

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Buffalo developer James R. Swiezy’s long-simmering plan to convert the vacant but historic Bosche Building in the 900 block of Main Street into market-rate apartments got a boost Monday from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, which approved $355,000 in tax breaks for the project.Swiezy, who has been working on the conversion project for more than four years, pl…

NEW YORK – McDonald’s is introducing some higher-priced options to its Dollar Menu and renaming it “Dollar Menu and More” to spur sales in the U.S.The company announced the changes to its popular low-priced menu on Monday, the same day that the world’s biggest burger chain reported that its third-quarter profit rose 5 percent as it benefited from a Monopoly promotion in th…

M&T Bank Corp. was the dominant leader locally under a U.S. Small Business Administration loan program for the 19th straight year.For the just-ended 2013 federal fiscal year, M&T was tops in volume as measured by loan dollars – about $45 million – in the Buffalo-Rochester market for the SBA’s 7(a) loan program, a popular source of financing by many small businesses. The fe…

Computer Task Group reported flat earnings for the third quarter, as operating expenses fell but so did revenues because of a slowdown in its health care business.The Buffalo-based information technology programming and staffing company reported net income of $3.86 million, or 23 cents per share, just 1 percent higher than $3.81 million, or 23 cents per share, a year ago.R…

NEW YORK – The Standard & Poor’s 500 index eked out the smallest of gains to set a record high Monday as investors assessed third-quarter earnings news.Earnings will hold investors’ attention this week as major U.S. companies including McDonald’s, Boeing and Procter & Gamble report their results. Rising profits have been one of the key supports for this year’s rally in sto…

Hires/Promotions/HonorsMaryann Stein, director of international programs at the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, will join the Binational Alliance as director of trade development. The alliance has also moved to a new office, at the lower level of 92 Pearl St. in Buffalo. It was formerly based at the ECIDA’s offices on Oak Street, which have since relocated to th…

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A North Carolina developer is planning to demolish a former pharmaceutical manufacturing facility on Forest Avenue and build a gated community of college apartments for nearly 600 students, aimed at SUNY Buffalo State.Campus Crest Group of Charlotte wants to knock down the vast former Contract Pharmaceuticals plant at 100 Forest and build nine four-story apartment building…

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Executive AirShare, which offers clients fractional ownership of private jets, is expanding its presence at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.The Missouri-based company signed a 10-year lease for additional space with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, and is doubling the size of its local operations. Under the agreement, which runs through 2023, Execut…

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HealthNow New York, in an effort to offset its expenses with some rental revenue, has consolidated some of its operations in its headquarters building and will sublease a portion of space to engineering and construction firm URS Corp., the health insurer and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency announced Monday.The international engineering firm, which specializes…

Are you going stir-crazy yet? The time of year is making it more difficult for parents with young kids to play outside for very long. But indoor entertainment options that don’t cost an arm and a leg are limited.Here are some free, store-sponsored events at local retailers to get you out of the house. Of course, stores have an ulterior motive for offering them: It gets the…

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Before there were store credit cards, there was store layaway.Since the Great Depression, shoppers have used layaway to set items aside at a store and pay for them a little at a time until the purchase is paid in full. Once everything is paid for, the consumer brings their purchases home, debt free and without paying a cent in interest. Amanda Huttenmaier of Buffalo uses l…

It used to be that the price was the price.Sure, there were sales, special offers and discounts galore. But there wasn’t a different deal for each consumer. And the price didn’t constantly shift, based on supply and demand.But combine consumer data and speed-of-light technology, and that’s what you get.Every day, Atlanta-based Post Properties sets rent for 22,000 of its ap…

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SAN FRANCISCO – The digital domain is creeping off our desktops and onto our bodies, from music players that match your tunes to your heart beat, to mood sweaters that change color depending on your emotional state – blue for calm, red for angry. There are vacuum shoes that clean the floor while you walk and fitness bracelets, anklets and necklaces to track your calorie bu…