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10 SMALL FIRMS IN WNY TO GET LOW-COST POWER

Ten small businesses in Erie, Niagara, Wyoming and Genesee counties will receive low-cost electricity as part of a program that aims to bolster business during the state's transition to an open power market.

In return, the local companies that will receive 2,674 kilowatts of less-expensive electricity have promised to create or retain 885 jobs. The "Power for Jobs" allocations approved Monday by the New York Power Authority are expected to save the average firm about 25 percent on their bills, according to spokesman Jack Murphy.

Six firms in Erie County received allocations ranging from 20 kilowatts to 548 kilowatts: Jerrico Tool Inc. and Stylecraft Homes, both of Alden; Lancaster Knives of Lancaster and Deck Brothers Inc., Consumer Beverage Centers and TMP Technologies, all of Buffalo.

TMP will also receive a power allocation for its operation in Wyoming County.

Three Niagara County businesses were awarded allocations: Merritt Plywood Machinery Inc. and Niagara Fiberboard Inc., both of Lockport; and Jenson Fittings Corp. of North Tonawanda. The other local allocation will be made to Tompkins Metal Finishing Inc. of Batavia in Genesee County.

The "Power for Jobs" program began four months ago as a three-year effort to spur economic development across the state by providing 400,000 kilowatts of low-cost power to companies and not-for-profit corporations. Gov. Pataki claimed the program has already helped to create or retain 35,000 jobs.

Monday's allocations were the first under the program's small business provisions which make awards to businesses with electrical demands of up to 400 kilowatts.

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