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Accelerate Upstate conference starts, Verizon workers may strike, Business activity is up and profits increase at Sovran and Gibraltar

From Business Today:

Adams

The Accelerate Upstate conference kicked off Thursday with a speech from Kenneth Adams, the new head of the Empire State Development agency. New York State is on the right track, Adams said. A property tax cap, decreases in state spending and the development of regional economic development councils are all good signs the business climate here is improving.

VerizonRallyNYC

Thousands of unionized Verizon Communications workers could go on strike Sunday if a contract is not signed by late Saturday. The Communications Workers of America have already voted to authorize a strike, which would involve about a thousand workers in Western New York. Verizon said it has "contingency plans" to make sure the business runs as smoothly as possible, but union leaders said customers will be greatly inconvenienced by a work stoppage. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is also representing Verizon workers.

Xerox

Business activity in Buffalo Niagara's manufacturing sector was up in July after declining in May and June. The rebound was attributed to improvements in hiring, production and order flow. The index of overall business activity jumped to 55.9 in July, up from 47.8 in June, according to numbers from the the National Association of Purchasing Management. An index reading above 50 indicates growth, while one below 50 is a sign of a shrinking economy.

Profits were up at Sovran Self Storage during the second quarter. The Amherst-based real estate investment trust saw an 11 percent boost. Executives said its markets are improving and there are signs it may soon be able to offer fewer incentives and charge higher rates. Sovran's funds from operations were up to $18.5 million, or 67 cent per share, from $16.7 million or, 61 cents per share.

Profits at Gibraltar soared during the second quarter. Profits more than doubled at the Hamburg building products manufacturer, jumping to $7.8 million, or 25 cents per share, from $3.5 million, or 11 cents per share. Sales grew to $209 million from $177 million, mostly due to the recent acquisitions of two companies--D.S. Brown and Pacific Award Metals.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Enjoy your weekend:

 

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