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As a business broker working with dozens of local companies, I see the good and bad in doing business in Western New York. Unfortunately, the state government is continuing to make doing business anywhere in New York an exercise in futility.

Many of my clients are restaurant/bar owners who are struggling because of the smoking ban. They bought into the concept that business would come back around once smokers settled in with the new law. It has not happened. So to anyone claiming that these restaurant and bar owners are whining -- think again. Basically, the state is eliminating independent local restaurant/bar owners and profiting the national chains and franchises who have the money and brand name to keep patrons coming.

Now comes the announcement that the state is requiring all businesses to pay an additional $21 per employee by Jan. 31, 2005, to help cover monies borrowed for unemployment. Where will it end? The state borrows money, then asks the businesses employing the population to pay it off. No wonder there are more people leaving than coming. Western New York businesses need a break!

Scott Radin

Orchard Park

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