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2 area companies receive $4.5 million in state grants

Empire State Development Corp.'s board of directors approved $4.5 million in grants to support two area companies.

Steuben Foods, a private label food manufacturer in Elma, was approved for a $2.5 million grant. It will cover a portion of the cost of machinery and equipment Steuben is purchasing and installing to expand production of low-acid aseptic and extended shelf life food and beverage products. The total project cost is $26.2 million.

Steuben's project will retain 426 jobs and create 150 new jobs, Empire State Development said.

And Buffalo Lafayette LLC, which was formed to renovate the Hotel Lafayette, will receive up to $2 million to cover a portion of construction and renovation costs. The total cost of the project is $19.2 million; it will retain 30 jobs and create 70 new jobs.

The board approved about $7 million in total grants to support six projects; the grants are expected to leverage more than $153 million in investments.

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Fed to air interest timeline

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve has specified how it will begin signaling when its benchmark interest rate will rise and what the rate will be at points in the future.

Four times a year starting Wednesday, the Fed will show in a chart the year when Fed officials predict they will begin raising the rate. Another chart will show individual Fed members' predictions for the rate at the end of 2012, 2013 and 2014.

More guidance on rates might help lower long-term yields further -- in effect providing a kind of stimulus. Lower rates could lead consumers and businesses to borrow and spend more. The economy would likely benefit.

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Google quarter disappoints

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- What was supposed to be a celebration of the most prosperous quarter in Google's 13-year history instead turned into a major letdown.

The disappointment sunk in Thursday after Google's fourth-quarter earnings report showed the Internet search leader fetched less money per click on its ubiquitous online ads.

That came as an unsettling surprise because investors had assumed a surge in online holiday shopping in the U.S. would enable Google Inc. to charge more for its ads. Instead, the average price decreased by 8 percent from the same time in 2010.

Google executives traced part of the decline to technical changes aimed at delivering more ads that attract people's interest. Those tweaks apparently paid off as the total clicks on Google's ads increased 34 percent from the previous year.

The company earned $2.7 billion, or $8.22 per share, in the fourth quarter. That compared with net income of $2.5 billion, or $7.81 per share, at the same time in 2010.

Revenue totaled $10.6 billion, up from $8.4 billion in the previous year. It's the first time Google's quarterly revenue topped $10 billion, but even that figure fell shy of analyst projections.

After subtracting ad commissions, Google's revenue totaled $8.1 billion.

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Kodak given a year

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) -- Eastman Kodak Co. has a little over a year to reshape its money-losing businesses and deliver a get-out-of-bankruptcy plan.

Girded by a $950 million financing deal with Citigroup Inc., the photography pioneer aims to keep operating normally during bankruptcy while it peddles a trove of digital-imaging patents.

After years of mammoth cost-cutting and turnaround efforts, Kodak ran short of cash and sought protection from its creditors Thursday. It is required under its bankruptcy financing terms to produce a reorganization plan by Feb. 15, 2013.

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Restaurant to open

Mulberry Italian Ristorante in Lackawanna will open "Della Mostra" restaurant on Wednesday in the former Intermission Lounge next door to Shea's Performing Arts Center's ticket office at 658 Main St.

The restaurant, whose title means "exhibition," will serve patrons attending shows at the main theater and Shea's Smith Theatre, with entrances from Main Street. The bulk of the offerings will be regional Italian dishes with an upscale slant.