Business

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 8:17 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, EPA, Chris Collins, agriculture.

Press release

Congressman Chris Collins and local Farm Bureau presidents applauded the Trump Administration’s decision to either rescind or revise the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Obama administration.

“This rule was an example of reckless government overreach, that brought undue burdens to farmers in Western New York,” Collins said. “I was proud to lead the bipartisan effort in Congress to scrap the WOTUS rule and applaud President Trump and Administrator Pruitt for taking this common sense step to support our nation’s agriculture industry.”

Both Collins and Farm Bureaus located within New York’s 27th Congressional District have been vocal in their opposition to the WOTUS rule. In May 2014, Collins led a bipartisan letter signed by more than 200 members of Congress to former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Department of the Army Secretary John McHugh outlining concerns related to this rule. Collins believed the WOTUS rule was “built on incomplete scientific study and a flawed economic analysis” and formally requested the rule be returned to their respective agencies.

“Today’s announcement is a win for New York’s agricultural community. Wyoming County is a top agricultural producer in New York State and the repeal of WOTUS will help ensure the future of farming in Western New York,” said Jeremy Northup, president of the Wyoming County Farm Bureau. “We commend Congressman Collins for his aggressive efforts to repeal WOTUS and will continue to work with him on the issues important to Wyoming County family farms.”

“The WOTUS rule was an overreach since it was first proposed and we’ve seen the negative impact it has had and would continue to have on our local agriculture industry,” said Christian Yunker, president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau. “In the end, common sense prevailed and everyone’s hard work has paid off. I appreciate all of Congressman Collins efforts—this is fantastic news for all of agriculture, not just here in Genesee County.”

“Today’s announcement is great news for Ontario County agriculture and will help to protect the future of our region’s family farms,” said Lisa Grefrath, president of the Ontario County Farm Bureau. “We commend Congressman Collins for his efforts to repeal this burdensome mandate and look forward to continuing to work with him on the issues impacting local family farms.”

“For the last three years, we have worked with Congressman Collins to end this unfair federal overreach and protect local farms. Today’s announcement is exciting news for local farm families,” said Joe Swyers, president of the Livingston County Farm Bureau. “We will continue to work with Rep. Collins regarding protecting the future of family farms in Livingston County and appreciate his efforts to end WOTUS. No one cares about more about our environment than local farmers that make their living on our land and we will continue to be the best stewards possible.”

See related: The Farm Bureau and county board oppose the new Clean Water Act ruling

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 6:32 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Business, government.

Beginning on or about July 1, New York State will be implementing Paid Family Leave (PFL) coverage under the disability policy all employers must carry. According to the New York State website, the premium will be fully funded by employees through payroll deductions. 

The key difference between Disability Leave (DBL) and PFL is DBL can only be taken for the employee’s own injury or illness, while PFL can be taken to care for someone else, for example, a child or parent or after the birth of a child.

“The employer may choose to pay the insurance on the employee’s behalf, but that is a choice,” said Wyoming County Chamber President Scott Gardner. “It will affect all businesses who have employees and anyone who is an employee.”

Employers will be required to purchase a PFL insurance policy or self-insure. While both benefits premiums are paid by the employer, the employer has the option to recoup the cost through employee contributions. However, contributions are capped at the state-set maximum level – $.60 per week under DBL and .126 percent capped at the current average weekly wage of $1,305.92 under PFL. The wage under PFL is determined each year by Sept. 30 by the Department of Financial Services.

“Businesses must comply with the new regulations or be subject to penalties, claim costs, and fines. While the employee will be contributing to the policy, it is up to the employer to contact their disability insurance provider and put a policy in place. Additionally, the employer will have to establish a protocol for deducting the calculated contributions from the employees.”

Key differences between DBL and PFL include:

    • Full-time employees: Under DBL – a person working the specific employer’s normal work week and worked at lease four consecutive weeks for any covered employer(s). Under PFL – persons working 20 or more hours a week and employed at least 26 consecutive weeks at their current employer. 

    • Part-time employees: DBL – completed at least 25 work days at any covered employer(s). PFL – completed at least 175 work days at their current employer.

    • DBL will pay 50 percent of the average weekly wage (maximum $170 per week). PFL provides 50 percent of the average weekly wage capped at 50 percent in 2018 and gradually increased to up to 67 percent (capped at 67 percent once fully implemented in 2021).

    • While there is a seven-day waiting period before DBL benefits kick in, PFL benefits kick in on the first day of the qualified leave. Also, DBL will cover 26 weeks in a consecutive 52-week period, while PFL will cover eight weeks beginning in 2018, increasing to a maximum of 12 weeks in 2021. 

DBL and PFL benefits cannot be received concurrently, they have to be taken consecutively. However, if an employee qualifies for both benefits, the combined duration may not exceed 26 weeks in a consecutive 52-week period. 

    • There is no job protection when an employee is out on DBL leave. When an employee returns from PFL, an employer must provide the same, or comparable, position in wages and benefits.

“It is another regulatory burden on businesses large and small. The other issue for businesses with Paid Family Leave is when an employee takes the time for up to 12 weeks, the employer must hold the job for the employee. This leaves the employer in a very difficult position with regard to business performance. While they could hire temporary employees, not all employees can be easily replaced temporarily. In the end it could cost the business in productivity and other costs.”

State officials say employers should contact their current New York Disability Benefits carrier to learn more about adding Paid Family Leave coverage. If you renew or start New York State Disability Benefits in 2017, benefits won't start any earlier than Jan. 1.

Friday, June 23, 2017 at 12:34 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Warsaw, Business.

The Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism office recently held its annual organizational meeting at River Spring Lodge, Bennington. As per the bylaws, directors and officers are elected annually at the meeting and the staff present the annual report of the organization, says Chamber President Scott Gardner.

The following were elected directors:

One-year term:

    • Darren Long, Prestolite, Inc.; 

    • Michael Hardie, Tompkins Insurance Companies; 

    • Nicole White, Freed Maxick CPA; 

    • Becky Ryan, Wyoming County Board of Supervisors; 

    • Austin Fish, Complete Payroll; 

    • Brock Beckstrand, Upstate Door Inc; 

    • Jackie Hoyt, Arts Council for Wyoming County; 

    • Teresa Gibson, Pioneer Credit Recovery/Navient; 

    • Chris Lester, Arcade & Attica Railroad; and 

    • Daniel Burling, Rivellino Realty.

Two-year term:

    • John Wheeler, Bank of Castile; 

    • Daniel Egan, Beaver Hollow Conference Center; 

    • Norb Fuest, Apple Tree HR Safety Consulting; 

    • Lisa Seewaldt, Ash-Lin’s Elegant Rose; 

    • Jenifer Bannister, DeLaval Dairy Services, Inc.; and 

    • Andrew Rice, Five Star Bank. 

    • Andrew Stang from PrizmTech Document & Technology Solutions (remains on the board).

Elected officers for a one-year term include:

    • Norb Fuest, chairman; 

    • Hans Kunze, vice-chairman; 

    • Nicole White and Colleen Kennedy, treasurer.

“The staff and I look forward to continuing our work with this group of diverse and dedicated members and directors,” Gardner said. “Our board of directors are leaders in their respective fields and bring a great wealth of knowledge to the organization. We deeply appreciate their commitment to the membership and the business that the chamber serves.”

The following members have served multiple terms and are not returning:

    • Tom Carpenter from Clark Patterson Lee; 

    • Rachael Becht from Koike Aronson Ransome; and 

    • Jason Beck from Brixwood Realty. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, building, Warsaw, Business.

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It was two-and-a-half years in the making, but Warsaw will be home to a newly built senior living facility.

During a groundbreaking ceremony held late Tuesday morning, Calamar officials, as well as local and county dignitaries, and members of the community, gathered in the empty lot just off North Main Street to celebrate the project. 

Officially named Grandview Terrace, the county’s older community members will soon have the option of residing in Calamar’s 11th built, 55-year-old-plus independent living community in the Northeast region. 

The property will feature: a community room with kitchen for events and entertaining that is also available to residents free of charge for private events; a well-appointed lounge/library with fireplace for informal living outside the apartment home; a community laundry; a fitness center for physical well being; and much more for residents to enjoy. Garages are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at an additional cost.

Both one and two bedroom, pet friendly apartments are available with pre-leasing rents ranging from $849 to $1,185 per month. All apartments will be furnished with a washer and dryer as well as all major kitchen appliances. 

Not only will the 120-unit apartment complex be new to the county, the town will be gaining a new road. 

Grandview Terrace will have a yet-to-be-determined address on what will be called Conable Way, says Warsaw Town Supervisor Becky Ryan.

“Part of the contract with Calamar is that they build a roadway to the facility and we (the Town) will be responsible for it,” Ryan said. “Along with the maintenance of the road, it also fell to the Town to name it. It is the first time in a long time we’ve had an opportunity to name a road.”

The Town decided on Conable Way in honor of Judge John Conable, and the late Barber Conable. Both men were World War II veterans and local residents of note, says Ryan. 

The new residences, a $14.2-million capital investment project, meet the needs of the community and create job growth for the county’s residents, says Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Executive Director Jim Pierce. 

“This is the second-largest private-capital investment in Wyoming County,” Pierce said. “This is the first housing development project we’ve ever done. And adding a piece like this project adds to the overall quality of the county.”

Grandview Terrace is a private sector capital investment project in which the IDA is allowed to be involved. Calamar met the eligibility for IDA incentives, which in turn provided a commitment on the part of Calamar to build in Wyoming County. Additionally, the incentives were contingent upon local government approval, says Pierce.

Also, having the infrastructure already in place – the Town contracts through the Village for the water and sewer district – was an added incentive to bringing this project in, says Ryan.

“We are all about creating a better quality of life and (the project) provides a vital need in the community,” Pierce said. “My belief is this project may help spur some other commercial development projects in the county.”

One of the marketing strategies the IDA uses is the county’s cost competitiveness, citing project costs would be higher in a more urban area for all aspects of construction or remodeling. Pierce says this project shows that a company is not afraid to invest more than $14 million in the county. 

“It sends a message to developers that Wyoming County is a good place to do business and build a business. We are more laid back. Calamar did their homework and knows it’s a good investment for them.”

“Grandview Terrace will cater to middle-class-income households. Our model will enable our residents to enjoy comfortable living at competitive and economical pricing facilitating seniors to preserve their assets for their individual long-term goals”, said Northeast Regional Director Michael Morris. “The economic issues of today have greatly impacted seniors and we are excited to continue to forge forward and bring this affordable housing model to Warsaw.”

The apartment complex fills more than just the need of the county’s older residents, it also opens up housing stock for younger people or those who want to upgrade their housing situation, says Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism President Scott Gardner. 

“We know there are people looking for residential properties,” Gardner said. “This project helps out two generations at the same time. The other benefit is you create a community of 120 units and it gets new people to possibly come into this area.”

The senior living community is somewhat self-contained, but not so much where its residents aren’t going to go out into the surrounding towns and villages for goods and services.

“Potentially 120 new people moving into Warsaw to use the shops and services offered in the county. The potential for new business to grow, or pop up, or to move here, plus those family members that come visit…and they can maybe stay in a bed and breakfast or local motel. 

There is a multiplying effect in the county – the services and providers. Restaurants, the hardware store… People need furniture and decorations…Anytime you have something like this, it multiplies the impact in the county.”

And with new residents comes a gain in sales tax revenue generated by local purchases made, which has a direct impact on the county budget. Additionally, once the PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreement has been completed – the program abates the real property tax on the increased value of the property once the project is complete – Calamar will be paying property taxes, says Wyoming County Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Berwanger. 

The IDA does not reduce the existing tax obligation; the base assessment value or assessed amount of the existing property remains billable at normal tax rates, IDA officials say.

“We are thrilled they are here,” Berwanger said. “It’s a major private investment for our county.”

But before the residents even begin to move in, the project will need manpower and building materials for the new construction, all in supply within the county, thus adding to immediate growth for the community.

“We are really excited about this whole project,” Ryan said. “It’s a great facility for the area and those who are in the middle-income level. It’s good for the snowbirds to come back to because the maintenance will be taken care of.”

Officials also anticipate the increase in population will bring further progress in the Valley, but at this point don’t really know what the next steps will be.

“It was a great effort and learning experience to get all the pieces together,” Ryan said. “A special thanks goes to Kathy Smith (Warsaw town clerk). She had a lot of work and time frames to work within. Not only did a multitude of agencies work together to get the project to come together, Calamar has been great to work with.”

Grandview Terrace is expected to be completed by late summer 2018. There are no entry fees, buy-ins or surcharges. For more information, contact Mary Beth at (716) 946-6444.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 3:24 pm
posted by Billie Owens in Warsaw, Warsaw Kiwanis Club, Business, Wine in the Valley.

Press release from Kevin Carlson, former chairman “Wine and Brews in the Valley” for the Warsaw Kiwanis Club:

It started as a fundraising idea and took off from there. Originally just "Wine in the Valley"; it brought people out and walking the streets, and seeing all the local businesses that we have here in Downtown Warsaw.

Over the last four years it has grown thanks to the support of the local businesses, and the loyal tasters that not only come back every year, but bring more friends. The Warsaw Kiwanis Club has been able to raise approximately $50,000 since it started. These dollars were spread around to about 25 different organizations and individuals.

The success of the event has also meant challenges in organizing and planning that have reached beyond what myself and our local Kiwanis Club can provide. In order for the event to continue, we needed to find a group that had enough volunteers to do all the tasks that were needed. Several groups were approached and in the end, the United Way of Wyoming County stepped forward.

We are pleased with the enthusiasm and spirit they have shown so far. They have divided up the various tasks and I am helping out in an advisory way when needed. I am confident that this event will continue to grow and be successful for them and the community. The additional volunteers that are on board will assure that the event will be the best it can be!

They have some new ideas that should make it easier for businesses to participate. They have a new website up already, www.WineAndBrewsInTheValley.com. If you have any questions, you can leave a message through the website, and the right person will get back to you.  

On behalf of the Warsaw Kiwanis, I'm pleased that the event will continue to grow and that the proceeds will help those in our community much the same as Kiwanis has. The Warsaw Kiwanis will still be present at the event, continuing the Basket auction and wine tub raffle at the check in location. Anyone wishing to donate a basket to this can contact me (Kevin Carlson at 786-2871).

I personally would like to thank the members of the Warsaw Kiwanis Club, my family (who put up with me), friends who volunteered, the Wyoming County Chamber, and members of the business community for helping me over the last four years with this event. I couldn't have done it without your support. It has been a pleasure working with everyone!

I hope to see you at “Wine and Brews in the Valley” -- 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16th(Note the new times, moved up one hour earlier.) Have a great day!

Friday, June 9, 2017 at 12:27 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Perry, Business.

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Press release, photo submitted

Perry resident Tyna Slocum was recently promoted to senior vice president – commercial loan officer at Tompkins Bank of Castile.

Slocum has been with Tompkins Bank of Castile for more than 20 years, most recently serving as vice president. In that role she was responsible for the bank’s managed asset portfolio and served as a commercial loan officer. In her new role, Slocum will focus on working with the bank’s commercial business customers.  

“Tyna’s extensive experience in commercial loans and her ability to work with our clients to come to a resolution is exceptional,” said Tompkins Bank of Castile President and CEO John McKenna. “She is an asset to this company, and most importantly, our customers.”

Slocum holds a degree in accounting from Genesee Community College, and graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, Boulder, Colo. She is active in the community, serving on the fundraising board for Letchworth Nature Center, and volunteers for Wyoming County Kid Ventures, Wyoming County United Way, and the American Red Cross. 

Tompkins Bank of Castile is a community bank with 16 offices in the five-county Western New York region. Services include complete lines of consumer deposit accounts and loans, business accounts and loans, and leasing. In addition, insurance is offered through an affiliate company, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Wealth management, trust and investment services are provided through Tompkins Financial Advisors. Further information about the bank is available on its website, www.bankofcastile.com.

Friday, June 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm
posted by Howard Owens in ridesharing, Business, news.

The demand for ride sharing in Western New York, including Wyoming County, is strong and has been growing for years, according to the two leading companies expected to provide service locally as soon as it's legal on June 29.

Representatives of both Uber and Lyft said they anticipate being able to provide service to communities such as Warsaw and the rest of the county that day and they're getting ready to meet the demand.

Both companies are eager to be ready for a potential surge in demand around the July 4 holiday.

Ride sharing services are a child of the mobile digital age, allowing private drivers to make themselves available to offer rides to people who hail them through a mobile app on a smartphone.

Both Uber and Lyft have become global companies with valuations in the billions of dollars and both companies compete fiercely for drivers and riders. It's been years since either company has been able to expand service in a U.S. market, such as Upstate New York.

Sen. Micheal Ranzenhofer sponsored a bill passed by NYS Legislature and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make ride sharing legal upstate in time for the July 4 weekend, after the Legislature had previously approved ride sharing this year.

The lobbying effort by Uber and Lyft included more than $2.6 million combined in campaign contributions. Details do not yet seem available on how much in campaign contributions Ranzenhofer might have received.

A spokesperson for Uber said the company has been eager to start service in Upstate because the demand for the service has been so wrong. Certainly in Buffalo, but even in Wyoming County, said Alix Anfang, said drivers have been signing up in numbers that give the company confidence they will be able to provide fast and reliable service.

"New York, Upstate New York, is one of the last places in the country to have access to ride sharing and people in the area have been demanding it for years," Anfang said. "The governor and the Legislature listened to their constituents and their desire for better transportation options and we're excited we will be able to offer the service."

While there is a bus service, ride sharing helps enhance such services rather than compete against them, Anfang said.

"The reports show that more ride sharing available, the more people use public transit," Anfang said. "The real competition for ride sharing is personal car ownership."

Oftentimes, Anfang said, ride sharing is a "last-mile solution" for people who would want to use public transit, but a bus doesn't get them close enough to their intended destination. Many ridesharing customers, she said, take a bus and then use ride sharing for that last mile.

"If you can get reliable ride sharing, you're more likely to leave your car at home," she said.

Bar and restaurant owners may be one of the biggest beneficiaries of ride sharing. It's smarter to hail a ride, and even plan ahead, with an app on a smartphone than it is to risk a DWI arrest, which is one reason Uber and Lyft were eager to get the service legal and up and running by July 4.

Uber isn't just successful in large cities, Anfang said. Throughout the country, Uber has found willing drivers and demand for services in rural areas as well.

"We want to be everywhere and serve every customer as soon as we possibly can and we're working to make sure we can be ready, especially with the July 4 holiday coming," Anfang said.

Campbell Matthews, representing Lyft, provided the following statement:

"We are excited to officially become a part of communities across New York State,” said Jaime Raczka, regional director of New Markets for Lyft. “In every community in which ride sharing operates, it improves road safety, boosts local economies, and brings local families needed income. We thank the thousands of New York State residents who fought to bring these benefits to their neighborhoods and cities, and we look forward to becoming New Yorker’s ride-sharing platform of choice.”

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 6:19 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Perry, Business, arts.
Event Date and Time: 
June 9, 2017 - 5:30pm

The Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism Office will be hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Rural Arts Center, 21 & 23 S. Main St., Perry, at 5:30 p.m. Friday. 

The Rural Arts Center offers a mixture of fine art and handcrafted items made by local artist and artisans. Additionally, the center will also be offering arts and crafts classes for all ages and is currently looking for workshop instructors.

The center is open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. 

Friday, June 2, 2017 at 12:06 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, agriculture, agribusiness, Business, Castile.

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File photos

The seventh annual Agri-Palooza 2017 will be held at Southview Farms, 5073 Upper Reservation Road, Castile. It is sponsored by Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism and the Wyoming County Farm Bureau and highlights agriculture in Wyoming County. The public is invited to discover, experience, and enjoy farming and all that it entails by spending the day on a working farm. 

The free event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. June 4.

Agri-Palooza features educational displays, farm tours, and children’s games and activities. Attendees will also see the variety of Wyoming County products on both display and for purchase. 

For more information visit GoWyoming.com.

Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, healthcare, Attica, Business.

Gateway Home Board of Directors Member Jeff Clark is going to jail June 10. 

Well, he’s not going to a real jail, but he will be held in a temporary jail as a fund-raising event for Gateway Home in Attica.

The event, which runs from 1 to 6 p.m., will be held at Louie’s Lounge, 38 Market St., Attica. Food and drinks will be available and raffles and live auctions will also be held.

Gateway Home is a comfort care facility for the terminally ill, with three months or less to live. Admittance is based on need and age is not a factor. Additionally, residents are not charged for services, nor does the home accept insurance.

“Gateway home is a nonprofit organization that provides this care 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week,” Clark said. “It is staffed by professional medical personnel and they are aided by trained volunteers. The care and the operation of Gateway Home, on Main Street in the Village, is provided by the support of our community. Funding is from donations, bequeaths, capital fund raising, and grants.”

For more information about the organization or to make a donation, visit GatewayHomeAttica.org and click on the donate button. 

See related: Gateway Home to provide comfort care for terminally ill patients

Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 2:17 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Warsaw, Business.

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The New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) conducts an annual competition to recognize excellence in economic development marketing. 

Jim Pierce, executive director for the Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency received a Marketing, Literature & Promotion Award May 25 at NYSEDC’s 2017 annual meeting in Cooperstown. 

Nominations are submitted on behalf of local and regional economic development organizations, which compete in several categories and in two budget levels.

Effective marketing influences how the world views a community or organization. The nominations of the 2017 Marketing, Literature & Promotion Award winners demonstrate creativity, impact, and visual appeal, NYSEDC officials say.

The development brochure is used to attract new businesses, capital investment and job creation to Wyoming County that will enhance its existing business community. Its importance is to raise the awareness of the business advantages Wyoming County has for businesses that may be looking to relocate or expand.  

“It is used to attract three industry targets that are a good fit for Wyoming County based on a strategic marketing plan we put together,” Pierce said.

Those industry targets are recreation/tourism, manufacturing and agribusiness.  

“The IDA’s mission is to encourage and increase private investment that creates new job opportunities, retains and stabilizes the existing employment base, and generates added tax revenues through increased economic activity in Wyoming County.”

Some of the projects that have recently received approval for IDA assistance include the Grand View Terrace senior housing complex in Warsaw, and the expansion of Creative Food Ingredients in Perry. Additionally, the IDA continues to work on a multi-modal rail facility in the Town of Gainesville. Once completed, it will provide county businesses the opportunity to have accessible rail service.

The nominations are judged by a jury of four experts in business marketing and public relations. The 2017 judges were:

    • Joseph D. Russo, National Grid

    • Dave Homsey, Zone5

    • Paul Hook, Overit Media

    • Michelle Lansing, Think Write Studio

The NYSEDC has been the state’s principle organization representing economic development professionals, businesses, and colleges and universities for more than 40 years.

For information about the IDA visit http://www.wycoida.org/

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 8:27 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, announcements, Warsaw.

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Press release, photo submitted:

Seven entrepreneurs graduated May 23 from the Wyoming County Business Center’s spring class of the Kauffman Foundation FastTrac New Venture Program. 

Graduates completed 10 fast-paced and challenging entrepreneurship classes delivered over a 10-week period. The program covered a wide variety of topics including: analyzing the feasibility of the business concept; assessing the market place; projecting cash flows; marketing; business legal matters; and developing a viable business plan. 

“I’m very impressed to see the level of qualifications of our microloan-financing applicants who are former FastTrac New Venture graduates,” said Wyoming County Business Center President Jim Pierce. “There’s a real benefit to going through an in-depth business planning process and targeted entrepreneurship training prior to obtaining business financing. This is evident when we look at many of the successful FastTrac Program businesses who continue to operate years after obtaining a business startup loan from the Wyoming County Business Center.”

The program’s first three classes are devoted to determining the viability and market potential of the business concept. The last seven classes help build the framework for a solid business plan.

The classes, which are intentionally kept small in size, are facilitated by two local experienced entrepreneurs. FastTrac participants work on their own business concept throughout the course.

The program moves at a brisk pace and is energizing, using guest speakers and interactive activities. Graduates also have lifetime access to resources through the online FastTrac Toolkit.

The business concepts from this cycle included energy products/services, microbrewery, golf resort and banquets, clock/watch repair, homemade jellies/family restaurant, exotic gourmet mushrooms, and a not-for-profit organization.

The Business Center Board of Directors and the county Board of Supervisors support the FastTrac New Venture program, recognizing that entrepreneurship and new business startups are a primary source of job growth for Wyoming County. FastTrac New Venture is a great tool to implement this strategy plus it has the resources of the Kauffman Foundation for support.

FastTrac New Venture will begin its next cycle of training on Sept. 5 in Warsaw, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. To register for the fall class, contact Jennifer Tyczka at the Wyoming County Business Center at (585) 786-3764 or email jtyczka@wycoida.org.

For more information about the program visit www.fasttrac.org

The program is sponsored by Tompkins Bank of Castile, Complete Payroll and Five Star Bank and the workforce development resources available to participants through Community Action for Wyoming County.

Friday, May 26, 2017 at 1:04 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, health, news, Business, Perry.

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Serving those with disabilities just got a bit easier for Independent Living of the Genesee Region. The organization recently opened a satellite office at 6470 Route 20A (in the Community Action building), Perry. To celebrate its opening, a ribbon cutting and open house was held at the new office.

The organization got its start in Batavia in 2010. Although the Batavia office has served residents with disabilities in Wyoming, Genesee and Orleans counties, the Warsaw office will make getting services more convenient to those in Wyoming County.

“It’s important to have a presence here because going to Batavia was inconvenient to some of our clients,” said Independent Living Director Rae Frank. “It was time to expand into other communities.”

According to its website, the organization is “designed by people with disabilities for people with disabilities.” Staff help their clients become advocates for themselves, while also being advocates for change in the community. 

Independent Living specialists can assist those with disabilities with Social Security, housing, employment, and other areas to improve the quality of their lives. Additionally, a facilitated enroller is available to help with the Medicaid application. 

The office is open from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For more information visit http://ilgr.org/ or call (585) 969-4258. 

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Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 5:01 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, announcements, Business, Warsaw, Attica, Perry, Arcade.

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Each year, the Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism recognizes three businesses for their contributions to the economic vitality and quality of life in the county.

The three businesses celebrated at a recent Chamber Awards Dinner held at The Lodge at Hidden Valley Animal Adventure, Varysburg. They include: Harding’s Attica Furniture and Flooring, Small Business of the Year; Complete Payroll, Large Business of the Year; and Arcade & Attica Railroad – Chris Lester, Tourism Business of the Year.

Other criteria for the award include: capital investments, business expansions, job growth and retention, community involvement, and contributions that strengthen its business sector here in the county.

Harding’s Attica Furniture and Flooring

Harding’s dates back three generations when Gordon “Gub” Harding opened the business in 1973. Gub and his wife, Sally, have since passed the family business on to their children and grandson –Ted, Mike, Debbie and Luke.

“The Harding family is an institution in the Attica area and it’s because of their strong roots and the quality business they run,” said Chamber President Scott Gardner. “They are family oriented because they are family. You can see it in how they work together and relate to their customers. They’re friendly and inviting and always willing to go the extra mile for almost anyone they meet.”

But the heart of the business doesn’t just end at the family name, they contribute much of their success to their employees.

Sam McKenzie’s tenure with the company spans 15 years and Amy Cramer’s hit the decade mark. Other employees include Mike Stengel, James Manarite, and Brendon Burg.

In 2003 they added a new flooring warehouse to the business and in 2007 the store entrance was updated. 

Along with remodeling the front showroom in 2014 and the Flexsteel showroom in 2015, the company renovated the flooring warehouse, and remodeled again in 2016.

Starting at some point late this, early next year, a new furniture warehouse is expected to be constructed.

“You know a small business is good, when people drive in from other counties just to shop with them. That’s absolutely true of Harding’s.

“Earlier in the year I ran into one of their customers who said after the great experience, they had they wouldn’t go anywhere else. That in and of itself is the true mark of success.”

Complete Payroll

“Since its inception in 1992, Complete Payroll has processed millions of checks, billions in tax payments and earned a following of thousands of loyal clients. Today they are regarded as one of the top payroll processing firms in the United States. At the end of 2016, Complete Payroll had 1,700 clients and 50-plus employees working across their several locations. In 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Complete Payroll was nominated by Buffalo Business First as one of Western New York’s best places to work.”

The company, located in Perry, was founded in 1992 by Rick Fish Sr., Jim Genduso and John LaFever. 

Early on, Fish identified a need for an accurate, affordable, customer-driven payroll company that could compete with the payroll giants in the United States.

In 2008, Fish’s son, Rick, took the reins of the company. In early 2012, his other son, Austin, took over the position of chief operating officer. Both men have worked in various positions throughout the company prior to their current positions.

“While Complete Payroll is still owned and managed by two generations of the Fish family, they have expanded to welcome an amazing array of talent to their strategy group of well-rounded and well-versed professionals specializing in payroll and human capital management. They include Kevin F. Herbek, director of Finance; and directors include Jason M. Pearl, director of Sales and Marketing; and Richard White, director of Client Services. They are also known as the Fab Five.”

In 2001 Complete Payroll underwent a major software upgrade. By 2004 the conversion was completed.

Since 2012, the company has opened offices in Henrietta, Amherst, and a second location in Perry on Lake Street.

This year marks the 25-year anniversary of Complete Payroll. As a way to celebrate the milestone, and give back to the Perry community, the company recently planted 25 trees in and around the Village.

Arcade & Attica Railroad

Not only was the railroad named Tourism Business of the Year, it is also celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Small, incomplete railroads were scattered across the countryside throughout Western New York during the 1800s. With railroads stretching across the country, Western New York farmers saw a link to the cities. 

The Buffalo, Attica & Arcade Railroad was formed when the Pennsylvania Railroad bought the incomplete railroads and linked them together. This allowed the rail to connect Attica, through Arcade, to the Pennsylvania state line then onto Pittsburgh.

“The rails passengers ride today were first spiked down in 1881 and standardized in 1895 to connect with the Pennsylvania Railroad.”

When the railroad was in danger of shutting down in 1917, businesses along the rail sold stock to farmers, merchants and others and raised $79,000 and formed the Arcade & Attica Railroad Corporation.

While the railroad went through many changes throughout its 100 years, it still runs regular freight service and passenger excursions from Arcade to its Curriers Road depot.

The Arcade & Attica Railroad will be holding a ribbon cutting and other special events on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.. For more information visit gowyoming.com.

For information about the Chamber or Tourism departments visit wycochamber.org/

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Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 1:54 pm

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Its mission is to bring schools and businesses together to provide opportunities for youth to have a stronger workforce.

The Wyoming County Business Education Council (BEC) named Jeff Fitch, owner of Signlanguage, as its 2017 Outstanding Business Partner in Education at its annual breakfast meeting held at the Byrncliff Resort & Conference Center, Varysburg.

Signlanguage opened in the summer of 1986 after Ron Bouchard, Dave Caito and Fitch discussed and made samples of what they thought would be a unique type of sign for Western New York. Jumping at the opportunity, the trio began producing sandblasted and carved redwood signs.

The company’s first big sign produced – a 3- by 8-foot beauty – was purchased by Byrncliff.

By 1989 the business had increased so much it allowed Fitch to work full time.

“Nobody starts a business to win awards or to be recognized,” Fitch said. “We are in business to make a profit and stick around a few years… then it became five, then 10, then 15, and now it’s like ‘Wow! I’ve been digging holes for 31 years.’ “

In other business matters:

One of the BEC’s biggest highlights of the year was providing a Junior Achievement program at Warsaw Central School as a 6:30 a.m. class, says Executive Director Linda Leblond.

“The kids are there that early in the morning and they are intent to learn,” Leblond said. “We had a record number of Junior Achievement programs this year. Each of our schools are recognizing the importance of the Junior Achievement.”

The program is a self-contained business educational program that meets New York State education standards, officials say. 

“Because of the endless number of volunteer in the county to step up to the plate, we’ve been able to expand our Career Days to include agribusiness this year. More than 1,500 students were able to participate.”

In addition to the volunteers, Marquart Farms donated 700 bags of potato chips for the participating students.

“We are fortunate to have those days and volunteers,” Leblond said.

And the success of the Junior Achievement Program was seen recently when Leblond was getting things organized for the annual meeting. The center pieces on the tables were flower boxes with a chalkboard front. Positive, inspiring words were written on the board. The idea came about from doing mock interviews years ago where members of the BEC asked students to name five adjectives to describe themselves. 

“My niece came to visit me in the office and asked about the flower boxes. So I told her,” Leblond said. “She asked what kind of words and I said positive words. Then I asked her, ‘If I were a boss and you came to me for a job and I asked you to give me five words to describe yourself, what would they be? She said 'honest.' And I asked her for another one, and she said 'dependable.' So I said ‘You’re on a roll. I need 23 more.’ And she did it. She came up with them and wrote them on the boxes. And it give me great pleasure knowing that what we are teaching…the kids are getting it.”

Third-grade students at Letchworth Central School have been learning about city management in the Our City Program. Third-grade teacher Tyler King heads the program that helps students learn why things are where they are in a city, town or village. 

In addition to learning about city planning, economics was a big part of the program.

“The kids played a game similar to the game of Life,” King said. “They have bank accounts and learn how to balance a checkbook and pay bills. It gives them a glimpse of what their parents take care of on a regular basis.”

They children also had an opportunity to have a business model for a restaurant, for example, and they also learned how news is spread in today’s world.

Older students were given an opportunity to create a business plan and pitch it to “potential investors.”

Gipsie Prickett decided on a school store called The Hive, and Madeleine Goulet developed a plan for a hotel and waterpark combination called Slide City. 

The Perry High School students developed the concepts and presented their ideas to a panel of five investors. At the end of their presentations, participants of the meeting cast their votes for the best business idea.

Other accomplishments of the BEC include:

    • College preparatory opportunities for high school students; 

    • Professional development for teachers; and 

    • Collaboration with Marquart Trucking, Gainesville, to offer a BOCES program at its facility.

BEC Board of Directors:

    • Business members include: Jeffrey Fitch, owner of Signlanguage; Sonia Dumbleton, of Five Star Bank; Rachell Becht, human resource and safety manager at Koike Aronson Inc.; and Steve Hull, human resource director at Morton Salt;

    Education members include: Julia Reed, superintendent at Letchworth Central School; Jessica Hibbard, Genesee Community College; Ben Halsey, superintendent at Pioneer Central School; Joseph Englebert, superintendent at Warsaw Central School; Daryl McLaughlin, superintendent at Perry Central School; and Kathleen Schuessler, superintendent at Wyoming Central School; and

    • Members-at-large include: Donald O’Geen, Wyoming County District Attorney; Andrea Aldinger, director of Wyoming County Youth Bureau/Office of the Aging; Roxanne Dueppengiesser, Cornell Cooperative Extension; Brent Hastings, Town of Eagle supervisor; and Vanessa Zeches-McCormick, Town of North Java supervisor.

2017-2018 Slate of Officers are:

    • Julie Donlon, assistant superintendent at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, president;

    • Brianna Stone, branch manager of Tompkins Bank of Castile, Warsaw branch, vice president;

    • Bryce Thompson, superintendent at Attica Central School, treasurer; and

    • Connie Almeter, director of nursing at Wyoming County Community Hospital, secretary; and Norbert Fuest, Apple Tree Consulting Services, past president.

“One thing that hasn’t changed has been the support for the BEC,” Donlon said. “The BEC was established in 1980. Since then, this countywide agency has ensured programs can flourish because the programs can now cross county lines. With the increase in students participating, the programs can continue to grow.”

Currently, the BEC has more than 250 members, which include business members, financial support and volunteers.

And who won the vote for the best business idea? Slide City.

For more information on the BEC visit http://www.wycobec.org/ or the office in the Ag & Business Center, 36 Center St., Warsaw.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 4:15 pm
posted by Howard Owens in Warsaw, agriculture, GCC, education, schools, news, Business.

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Press release:

"What is the biggest challenge you face in your business?" is a question often asked by the Agri-Business Academy students during tours of local agriculture businesses. The answer is almost always the same. "Labor."

The challenge of finding dependable, hardworking individuals for stable, well-paying careers in agriculture has been a constant battle for agriculturalists for years. As the instructor of the Agri-Business Academy, I've spoken with local agribusiness people from more than 100 local agribusinesses and the need for good employees is a common thread.

The common misconception is that these are not careers, but physically demanding jobs that do not require a college degree and involve a way of life that many would not willingly choose. Today, agribusinesses are usually seeking applicants with college degrees, technology and management experience, and business and communication skills. What is most important is that the compensation aligns with these requirements. In addition, the benefits and satisfaction that comes from working in the agriculture industry is unlike any other.

Agriculture continues to be the number one industry in Genesee County and the driving force of the local economy. When students of the Agri-Business Academy toured Torrey Farms, among the largest agribusinesses in New York state, they heard Maureen Torrey Marshall explain that Torrey Farms does not simply employ a few people in the surrounding community. She described the multiplier effect, which means that other businesses, such as trucking companies, mechanic shops, equipment dealerships, transportation hubs, technology, fuel and fertilizer suppliers, and many others are all part of the agribusiness economy.

Most people do not recognize the many different aspects of agriculture and the need for individuals with a broad array of interests and expertise. Animal and plant systems, food products and processing, agricultural mechanics, precision agriculture, agribusiness networks, international trade, environmental and conservation systems, and energy use are just a few of the trades under umbrella of agriculture.

To ensure that the agriculture community has the employees they need to thrive, and to continue to be the bedrock of our community the Agri-Business Academy is again seeking high school seniors to learn about careers in all aspects of agriculture. The Agri-Business Academy is a one-year partnership program between the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and Genesee Community College.

Through this program, the students earn 15 college credits through the ACE program at Genesee Community College. They spend half the school day in the Agri-Business Academy enrolled in the following five college courses: Western New York Agriculture, Career and Educational Planning, Principles of Business, Principles of Biology and Public Speaking.

Throughout the year students tour area agribusinesses to learn and experience these businesses, job shadow professional producers and at the end of the year each student participates in a two-week internship. This year's Agri-business Academy students are working at their internships experiencing many different aspects of agribusiness -- from robotic and organic dairies to maple syrup and crop management and much more.

The following locations throughout Western New York are currently sponsoring student internships: DeLaval Dairy Services in Corfu, WBB Farm in Alden, Beaver Meadows Audubon Center in North Java, Merle Maple Farm in Attica, Cottonwood Farms in Pavilion, Cornell Cooperative Extension in Wyoming County, Schierberdale Holsteins, Perry and WNY Crop Management in Warsaw.

If you know of a current junior or underclassman who is interested in business or agriculture, or is unsure of a career path, please encourage them to apply for the Agri-Business Academy at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. Through the Agri-Business Academy, students explore the plethora of wonderful careers available to them -- locally, internationally or often it is a dynamic blend of both.

Whether they like working inside or outside, with their hands or crunching numbers, handling heavy equipment or studying the nuances of soil (agronomy), tending to livestock or discovering how technology can help feed the world -- the "Ag Academy" is a career starter.

Jack Klapper, an Agri-Business Academy graduate and Cornell University assistant men's basketball coach said, "I would recommend this academy to anyone, whether they are pursuing a career in agriculture or not. The life skills I developed in this program are some of the best skills I have ever learned."

Applications are available at http://www.genesee.edu/home/ace/career-pathways/agri-business-academy/. The first 20 students to submit their application will receive a free Genesee Community College flash drive wristband. Questions? Please do not hesitate to contact me at 585-344-7783 or kirchardson3@gvboces.org. Check out the Agri-Business Academy on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Agri-Business-Academy-680673051998953/

Top photo: Agri-business Academy student Cherie Glosser of Warsaw High School with calf at Post Dairy Farms.

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Agri-business Academy students at Torrey Farms, in Elba.

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Agri-business Academy students at Porter Farms in Elba.

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Agri-business Academy students at SJ Starowitz Farm, in Byron.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 7:19 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Attica, Business.

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A pair of workers install a new sign for the Attica Pharmacy located at 2 Market St., Attica.

Monday, May 22, 2017 at 5:53 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Perry, Business.

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As a way to commemorate its 25 years in business, employees of Complete Payroll, 1 Lake St., Perry, planted 25 trees in and around the Village Friday afternoon.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 9:57 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, Warsaw, announcements.

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The Gathering Quarters has brought the time-honored tradition of the quilting circle to Warsaw – with a twist. Located at 63 Perry Ave., it houses four bedrooms – enough for eight guests – one and one-half baths, a full kitchen, and many tables to gather around to work on quilting projects, crafts, scrapbooking and more.

During the early 1800s, members of rural communities frequently joined together to work on large projects, quilting was not an exception. The quilting bee, or quilting circle, was not only a social event, but also a way for women to complete several quilts in a single day instead of weeks or months.

The business is a “home away from home to visit with friends and create,” reads The Gathering Quarters website. 

For more information email owner Penny Muniak at pennymuniak@gmail.com or call (585) 356-0707.

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Monday, May 8, 2017 at 10:03 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, news, Perry, dogs.

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Press release:

When Melissa Henchen opened Paws Perrydise in April 2015, even she didn’t know what kind of a reception the business would get. While she saw the need for dog training, daycare, boarding services, and supplies, she wasn’t sure the need alone would be enough to keep her doors open.

“A lot of people — even people with no dog experience — will try to do their own training to save money,” Henchen said. “They usually find themselves overwhelmed because of the lack of accurate, consistent and humane information available for free.

"There’s tons of bad advice available for free, and most people don’t know the difference. Professionals — like myself — tend protect their investment, because they pay for education and certifications to provide the most effective way to teach our dogs.”

Two years later, however, Paws Perrydise has amassed a pack of loyal customers. Daycare, which started out with a few dogs three days a week, is so consistently full that Henchen added a fourth day and has had to cap attendance. 

With three classes running at any given time, she has built a consistent following for puppy class, and basic obedience training. Additionally, she looks to offer more specialized classes such as introduction to agility, scent work, and gun dog training.

“I’m working with a great group of nationally recognized trainers who will be coming in to offer positive gun dog training in June at the Silver Lake Sportsman’s Club. I’m excited to offer that in our county, where hunting is such a big activity.

“I’m also hoping to add some staff, which would allow me more time to focus on those more specialized activities and classes.”

In addition to classes, Paws Perrydise also carries a large selection of high-quality treats, chews and toys. Her favorite products are the front-clip harnesses, citing the effectiveness of the product as well as the humane alternative to choke chains and prong collars for dogs that pull when leashed.

“It’s a great feeling to do the research on products so my clients don’t have to. I look for products that are made in the U.S. without recalls, ones that have excellent quality, guarantees, and of course, are safe to use on our companion pets.

“People who come in tend to have a lot of questions, and I can answer them without the corporate jargon. I’m hand-picking the products in my store, so I know exactly why they’re there and how they work.”

Getting any kind of business off the ground is no easy feat, and dog training is no exception – Henchen works 11-hour days and is open six-days-a-week. It may not always be the idyllic puppy playtime people tend to imagine, but Henchen wouldn’t trade it for anything. She said the things that surprise her can be the best aspect of the job.

“I’m wildly surprised by the number of people who want daycare for their dogs to avoid separation anxiety or boredom. The same goes for the amount of people who come in with enough empathy for their dogs’ needs that they want in-home boarding versus kennel boarding. I have people drive over an hour to board with me because I have a different level of compassion for dogs with anxiety or fear, or who may have special needs.”

To learn more about the services and products offered at Paws Perrydise, visit pawsperrydise.com.

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