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David Robinson

David Robinson is the deputy business editor for The News, where has worked since graduating from Syracuse University in 1985. A New Hampshire native, he started out in the News' Tonawanda bureau and moved into the business news department in October 1987, exactly a week after the stock market crash.


Business

Buffalo Niagara manufacturers keep gaining strength. A new report, based on a survey of local purchasing managers, indicated that business at the region’s factories grew – but at a slightly slower pace – during July, fueled by strong hiring and solid growth in production and the flow of new orders. The economist who compiles the monthly report warned against reading …

Business

Tops Markets’ grocery business got stronger as summer began. The bankrupt supermarket chain’s core grocery business had its best month yet as summer began, reporting its fourth straight monthly operating profit, according to new documents filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The slow strengthening of Tops’ grocery business is a positive sign for the company, which filed…

Business

Athenex Inc. reported a bigger-than-expected $37 million loss during the second quarter as the Buffalo drug development company's rising research spending more than offset a doubling of its revenues. The company also said construction of its new factory in Dunkirk still is expected to be completed by the end of December. The loss was not a surprise for Athenex, which…

Business

Workers at the union representing most Tops Markets employees have approved a key pension agreement that will reduce their retirement benefits but also will remove one of the biggest remaining hurdles facing the supermarket chain as it tries to emerge from bankruptcy. Members of the United Food & Commercial Workers union Local One voted overwhelmingly in favor of th…

Business

It was a record-setting month for the scorching hot Buffalo Niagara housing market in July. Home prices continued their surge upward — rising by nearly 11 percent to an all-time high – as potential buyers continue to outnumber the supply of homes for sale. That makes it harder for buyers to find a home they like – and when they do find one, home shoppers often face stif…

Business

Elon Musk apparently has had enough of the constant questions and the scrutiny from Wall Street, especially from investors who are betting that he will fail. The Tesla Inc. CEO wants to take the electric vehicle-maker private in a deal that would be worth nearly $72 billion – one of the biggest going-private transactions ever. If he succeeds – and Wall Street analyst…

Business

An electronic trail of text messages and phone calls forms the foundation of the case by federal prosecutors alleging that U.S. Rep. Chris Collins was part of an insider trading scheme involving the stock of an Australian biotechnology company. The electronic trail, outlined in an indictment handed up by a federal grand jury, allowed federal prosecutors to track calls a…

Business

Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants to take Tesla private. Musk said he was considering taking Tesla private at a price of $420 per share – a 22 percent premium over the stock's closing price on Monday. After a series of Musk tweets that he was considering the proposal led to trading being halted in the company's stock, the Tesla CEO confirmed that he was, indeed, …

Business

For a Canadian diplomat, Phyllis Yaffe's foray into international relations couldn't have started at a more challenging time. Yaffe, who started out as a librarian in Winnipeg and went on to become a media mogul in Toronto, took on her latest job as Canada's consul general in New York just two months before the 2016 election. Since then, President Trump has called Ca…

Business

The Trump administration's deep cut in corporate taxes is helping National Fuel Gas weather a drop in natural gas prices. The Amherst-based energy company's profits rose by 6 percent, topping analyst forecasts, with all of the increase coming from National Fuel's smaller tax bill, after the new tax law slashed the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. Tha…

Business

Maybe, a year or two from now, we'll look back at Tesla Inc. and see that this is when the electric vehicle maker truly turned the corner. If that turns out to be the case, it will be good news for Buffalo and the company's ambitious plans to make its innovative solar roof at its sprawling RiverBend factory. Tesla has only installed a few hundred of its solar roofs, …

Buffalo

Tesla Inc.'s solar energy business remained sluggish during the spring, but the company said it is "steadily ramping" production of its solar roofing panels in Buffalo and expects to further increase output at the RiverBend plant toward the end of the year. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during a conference call Wednesday that the company had installed the solar roof on sever…

Business

The clock is ticking on Tesla's promise to bring 1,460 jobs to Buffalo. While the sprawling solar panel factory on South Park Avenue has been operating for more than a year, it wasn't until mid-April that state and Tesla officials agreed that the facility was essentially complete. That started the clock on Tesla's promise to create 1,460 jobs at the RiverBend factory…

Business

Charter Communications' top executive is vowing to fight attempts by New York regulators to force it to sell its communications businesses in the state. Thomas M. Rutledge, Charter's chairman and chief executive officer, said Tuesday that the company's Spectrum cable television, internet and telephone business in New York is meeting the terms of the 2016 deal it struck …

Business

Columbus McKinnon is planning to sell three of its businesses as part of a restructuring program that focuses most of the Amherst material handling equipment maker's resources on the most profitable portions of its business. Columbus McKinnon said it plans to sell its tire shredding business in Florida, along with its crane building business and a German company that it…