Monthly Archives: August 2013

Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino opens

The new Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino opened this week.  The 67,000-square-foot casino is the first gambling destination in the City of Buffalo to offer table games and slot machines.

Original plans included a hotel, restaurant and entertainment venues, like the other Seneca casinos and resorts but plans were scaled back after legal challenges.

Rep. Chris Collins (R) said, “Compared with what was initially proposed, this fits a lot better.”

Taste NY debuts at Thruway’s New Baltimore service area

As we reported last week, the first Taste NY kiosk is up and running on the New York State Thruway. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the New Baltimore Service Area on the New York State Thruway is the first location in the state to offer ‘Taste NY’ products year round. Additional locations will soon open at other Thruway service areas in western and central New York.

“With thousands of motorists traveling along I-87 every day, the New Baltimore Service Area was an easy pick for the first location to offer Taste NY products year-round,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Taste NY initiative is designed to highlight the tremendous products that are grown and produced right here in New York State, and doing so along major sources of travel is sure to grow the list of loyal consumers and support the state’s agriculture, culinary, and tourism industries.”

In his 2013 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of New York’s largest tourism campaign in decades. ‘Taste NY’ is a key component of the nearly $60 million plan to grow New York industries, create jobs and attract even more visitors to the Empire State while promoting New York grown or produced products.

The goods that are currently available for purchase at the New Baltimore Service Area include products from:

· Ronnybrook Farms (Columbia County)

· Yancey’s Fancy New York Artisan Cheese (Genesee County)

· McCadam Cheese (Franklin County)

· Nelson Farms (Madison County)

· Red Jacket Orchards (Ontario County)

· Merle Maple Farm (Wyoming County)

· Mad Foodz (Allegany County)

· Joe’s Jerky (Oneida County)

· Rob Salamida Company (Broome County)

· New York State Maple Producers (statewide)

· New York Apple Association (statewide)

I-STOP takes effect today

Prescription drug oversight legislation known as the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or I-STOP, takes effect today.

The measure will result in a real-time database that gives physicians information on a patient’s prescription history before prescribing potentially addictive drugs.  Pharmacists will be required to provide information and a safe drug disposal program for expired or unused medication will be implemented.

Brokers as health insurance catalysts

A new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows agents and brokers serve as health insurance catalysts for businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

The study found small firms in more competitive agent/broker markets are more likely to offer health insurance to their active employees; increased competition is associated with lower premiums; and premiums are less dispersed in markets with more competition.

The study says changes brought about by The Affordable Care Act will improve “transparency and reduce search costs” although the role of brokers in the health exchanges has yet to be determined.”

Buffalo manufacturers see growth

Manufacturers in the Buffalo area say business improved in July.  Companies saw increased production and orders.

The July growth continued the fifth month of solid production. The National Association of Purchasing Management – Buffalo said its index of business activity at local factories show growth rose sharply during July to its highest level since July 2012, extending a growth streak that begin in March.

Plan makes SUNYIT nanocenter shovel-ready

The town of Marcy and Mohawk Valley EDGE reached an agreement that will allow for the nanocenter site at SUNYIT shovel-ready.

The Marcy Town Board approved the agreement last week and will now receive a 2-percent host fee in addition to receiving the 9.99 percent of the revenue set aside for taxing jurisdictions.

Town Supervisor Brian N. Scala noted the fee would cover the costs it will incur when companies develop the nanocenter site.

Moody’s moves New York state outlook to positive

Moody’s Investors Service has changed the New York state’s outlook to positive, and affirmed the Aa2 rating on New York’s $3.5 billion of General Obligation Bonds.

According to Moody’s, the positive outlook reflects improvements in the state’s economy, governance, financial position and fiscal outlook that, if continued, would allow the state to improve its reserves and draw closer to structural balance.

Moody’s outlined various strengths and challenges for the state.  It noted a broad-based, mature, and wealthy state economy that attracts a highly educated and global workforce, a strong state pension system (compared to other states) and significant “rainy day” reserves.  Challenges included revenue volatility and minimal protection against it and slow economic recovery in light of the state’s unemployment rate that remained below the national average.

NYS Community Schools’ initiative

On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the NYS Community Schools initiative, a new statewide program aimed at helping schools in distressed communities.

“NYS Community Schools will help give New York students and families a brighter future by transforming our public schools into community institutions that serve the needs of our neighborhoods,” Governor Cuomo said.

Under NYS Community Schools, approximately 30 schools will be selected in the first round to receive grants of up to $500,000 each over three years. These grants will go toward building community partnerships that deliver academic, health, extra-curricular and social services primarily in the school building.

Muriel “Mickie” Siebert dies at 80

Muriel “Mickie” Siebert, head of the Siebert Financial Corporation passed away this weekend. Siebert’s company is a member of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. and she had served continuously on The Council’s board of directors since 1984.

Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council described Siebert as an “amazing person and a pioneer who cleared a path for other women to follow.”

The New York Times has an article featuring her life and accomplishments in striving for equality for women in business.

She was the first woman to purchase a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and fought to end discriminatory practices at social clubs in New York City. She also worked in New York state government for a five-year term as Governor Carey’s state superintendent of banking.