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From Business Today:It's got to be nice when a long-term investment turns into a bonanza. Softbank, the Buffalo-based investment vehicle headed by Jordan Levy has had two such winners recently. Last week it sold its share of KIT digital Inc., a global provider of cloud-based video management services based in Prague, Czech Republic. And on Sunday, the sale of the Huf…

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From Business Today:For years Goodwill Industries, the Salvation Army and Amvets have operated large, successful thrift stores across Western New York. Now a for-profit company is moving in on their turf. Savers, a Washington-based company, is opening a thrift store in Hamburg. It links up with a local charity, and sells donated goods and donates some of th…

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This year is the 50th anniversary of the Ken doll (his hair still looks perfect). To mark the milestone, Mattel Inc. -- parent company of East Aurora's Fisher-Price -- is asking the public to decide whether Ken and Barbie should get back together.             Voters can weigh in at  http://www.barbieandken.com/ Results will be…

Think "Dallas" and "Buffalo" and "Super Bowl," and unpleasant memories flood to mind. (Unless you count Don Beebe knocking the ball out of Leon Lett's hand.) But there is a local tie to Super Bowl XLV in Dallas on Sunday. Amherst-based Birdair supplied the fabric membrane roofing and clamping to create what would become the world’s l…

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From Business Today:Things must have been terribly wrong at Allcare Dental when it decided to suddenly close all its offices across the country on Dec. 31. The abruptness of the closing and the fact that the owners did not tell anyone has triggered a cascade of legal problems. People have struggled to get their dental records, others complain of paying for services n…

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From Business Today:Manufacturing in the Western New York region is chugging along, growing slowly. That's about as good as it gets in manufacturing these days. The area purchasing managers index has been positive for four consecutive months, showing that the folks who make things around here are having some success. The expectations are that the growth will sta…

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From Business Today:The CEO of GEICO Corp., Olza M. "Tony" Nicely says his company has found an excellent workforce in Western New York, and he attributes the company's success to its people here and around the country. Speaking at the 19th annual Prospectus Premiere  sponsored by The Buffalo News, Nicely outlined the history of the company and the dire circumsta…

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From Business Today: National Grid says it is preparing to cut 1,200 jobs in the United States, but the answer to the big question on local minds -- how many of those cuts will happen in Western New York -- is not yet known. The company says the nonunion job cuts will affect about one of every five management and administrative employees across its U.S. operations. Nation…

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From Business Today:After standing vacant for years in the City of Tonawanda, the former Tonawanda Armory has come back  to life as the Tonawanda Castle. Mostafa Tanbakuchi bought the giant building seven years ago for $70,000 and started a rehab labor of love. Today the castle hosts weddings and other events and offers tours. Neighboring business…

This year's edition of Prospectus -- The News' annual business forecast -- comes out Sunday and features more than 50 stories detailing the latest developments in the Western New York economy, from the real-estate sector to the employment outlook. Earlier this week, News Business Editor Grove Potter and reporters Jonathan Epstein and Matt Glynn discussed some of …

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From Business Today:Gov. Cuomo has taken a step toward revamping the state's economic development efforts, naming Kenneth Adams, president of The Business Council, as CEO of Empire State Development Corp. The Business Council is a conservative, pro-business voice in Albany that has been outspoken about the cost of government. Adams is stepping into the frey, tak…

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From Business Today:From the "It's About Time!" file: the eyesore on Grand Island just  off the I-190 near the north bridge may finally get spruced up. The abandoned, graffiti-covered office building, once home to Hooker Chemical and then Dunlop, has been a visual symbol of inaction for almost 20 years. The current owner, James Metz, who also …

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From Business Today:When M&T Bank Corp. first agreed to take TARP money from  the federal government, it did so as a sign of support for the federal plan to rescue banks. The U.S. Treasury Department wanted healthy banks to accept money under the Troubled Asset Relief Program to remove the stigma of receiving federal aid. Now, as a result the healthy bank has had …

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From Business Today:Iskalo Development Corp. really likes Williamsville. the company has quietly amassed significant holdings along Main Street, the commercial heart of the village. Company founder and CEO Paul Iskalo says the firm is positioned to be "the developer of choice" for any business seeking a place in the attractive locale. Adding to his portfoli…

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From Business Today:Renting office space in Buffalo isn't as tough as in some  other cities. The vacancy rate of 11 percent is well below the 18.8 percent in Rochester or the staggering 20.8 percent in Cleveland. The latest survey by CB Richard Ellis shows a steady, stable market in Buffalo. The looming threat of huge vacancies in the HSBC Tower doesn't seem…