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Where the money is, 09/09/09

Peruse today's Business Today section of The Buffalo News, and connect these dots:

- East Aurora firm awarded ESDC grant
    A debt collection agency specializing in student loans is getting a $280,000 capital grant from the state to offset the cost of a $2.3 million expansion in East Aurora that will add 140 jobs.

- Smooth transition for First Niagara Firstniagara
    Western New York's First Niagara Financial Group [complete with zoomy new logo] is suddenly the fourth biggest bank in Pittsburgh.
   More from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Philadelphia Business Journal.

- Consumers cut debt by record $21 billion
    Economists expect consumers will continue to spend less, save more and trim debt to get household finances decimated by the recession into better shape. Such behavior, though, is a recipe for a lethargic revival, because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.
   Federal Reserve data.

- From boom to reality in a buyer's market
    The American dream of home ownership is still attainable. Buyers just have to deal with a new set of realities.
   A year after the collapse of the housing market triggered the financial meltdown, lenders are demanding more money up front, high credit scores and proof of income. Paperwork must be in perfect order. Patience and persistence are required. And don't even bother asking about a subprime mortgage.

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

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