Touring Commercial Real Estate Sites in WNY

Summer is the time for road trips.  The Invest Buffalo Niagara team recently visited our partner Jim Pierce in Wyoming County.  InBN relies on our engagement with our local partners to stay on top of the assets and advantages to be found in our eight county area we market.

During this most recent visit, we toured available land and buildings in Arcade, NY.  Just over the border from Erie County to Wyoming County, Arcade has a distinct advantage of being a municipal power district – having their own source of low-cost power. Arcade is home to some of the largest industrial operations in Wyoming County due to the availability of affordable power, including Koike Aronson, Prestolite and API Air Tech.

Potential sites for future industrial operations include:

This 4.28-acre vacant land is located in Arcade’s Municipal Electric District with one of the lowest rates in New York and is potentially a ‘START-UP NY tax free site’.Steele Avenue Site This 4.28-acre vacant land is located in Arcade’s Municipal Electric District with one of the lowest rates in New York and is potentially a STARTUP NY tax free site.





steele and obrien


Steel & O’Brien Formerly used for the manufacturing of machine stainless steel fittings for the food and pharmaceutical industry, this metal construction building is situated on 7 acres with 7 drive-in doors. The building features office space with HVAC, manufacturing space and warehouse space.


With the Buffalo metro area’s industrial real estate market vacancy trending down and at a historical low of 4.5 percent, it is important to identify inventory for both new prospects and locally growing companies. Staying in touch with our local partners is an important part of understanding our assets and being able to fulfill our mission of bringing new investment to region.

Lorrie Abounader, Business Development Manager

Allegany County: Connecting Agriculture and Industry

Land for future development along the I-86

Land for future development along the I-86

In November, members of BNE’s team had the opportunity to tour the many aspects of Allegany County to visit firsthand the resources and assets it has to offer.  Hosted by Allegany County’s Department of Planning and Development, we met with leaders from the county’s Chamber of Commerce, real estate owners and brokers and college officials.

A stop during our tour was Alfred University, home to the Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology, a leader in ceramics engineering and R&D.  The BNE team toured Incubator Works, a resource for business start-ups that need manufacturing and lab space while their product goes through the commercialization process.

The county also has the advantage of being home to Alfred State College, one of the most advanced technical colleges in the nation.  A drive through its Wellsville Campus highlighted the academic programs in the trades that the school has to offer and the hands-on work experienced by the students.

Other visits during our tour were a number of available real estate options, with some properties in proximity to the Wellsville Airport.  Other notable stops on our tour include the Beef Haus Restaurant, a Wellsville landmark and Northern Lights Candle, an employer of more than 200 people and a supplier of candles to major retailers nationwide.

In the end, BNE left the visit with a better understanding of the real estate options, academic resources and infrastructure assets that are available in the county.  Most importantly, it gave us a renewed connection with our partners and the knowledge to help businesses grow and expand there.

Constuction of the Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Center at Alfred State College

Constuction of the Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Center at Alfred State College

Lufkin manufacturing facility located in Wellsville, NY

Lufkin manufacturing facility located in Wellsville, NY

by Lorrie Abounader, Business Development Manager

From Egypt to Eden, NY – TexWeb’s  “Made in USA” Label is a Win

Hany Tadrous, business development director and Ehab Tadrous, Owner at their new TexWeb facility in Eden, NY

Hany Tadrous, business development director and Ehab Tadrous, owner at their new TexWeb facility in Eden, NY

When Buffalo Niagara Enterprise declares a project a regional “win,” our relationship with the company does not end there.  The BNE team continues to be a partner and resource to that new operation as it grows from the “big idea” phase to reality.  A good example is the Egyptian-based company, Petrolift, which came to BNE in 2013 with an interest in establishing a location that would enable them to produce “Made in USA” products.  Petrolift is a successful manufacturer of web slings and lifts for industrial applications in the oil & gas industry.  They are ISO 9001 certified and are a member of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), the Webbing Sling & Tie Down Association (WSTDA); among other accreditations.  In considering potential U.S. locations, the company began exploring Buffalo Niagara due to our geographic proximity to Canada.

In 2014, after a successfully identifying the ideal WNY real estate and an incentive offer from Empire State Development, Petrolift began working on its U.S. operation, which they named TexWeb.  Work soon began on renovating an old furniture factory in Eden, NY and specialized weaving equipment from Germany was ordered.  To date, TexWeb has invested well over one million dollars to set up the facility and start production.

BNE was pleased to have the opportunity to tour the entirely renovated facility and watch the new weaving and finishing machines in action.  Each machine can continuously weave many strands of nylon and polyester to produce various widths of narrow fabric.  These tightly woven fabric straps are then heat-treated to add additional strength, and dyed in order to color-code and identify the maximum tonnage it can lift.  By completing this process, the narrow fabric is converted into lifting material (webbing) used in the production of various products.   TexWeb produces a web sling that can carry up to six tons, with higher strengths to be accommodated within 3 months’ time.  All of their products are tested and certified using their in-house testing machine in accordance with the WSTDA accreditation.

And they are growing jobs.  TexWeb has hired six employees in the short time they have been in operation, and will be adding another six people to their workforce before the end of the year.

by Lorrie Abounader, Business Development Manager

Make Movie Magic in Buffalo Niagara

With the magic of movies and television, people all over the world Tax graphicare familiar with the landmarks of New York State, whether it’s the soaring towers of the Manhattan skyline or the natural wonder of Niagara Falls.  But creating a movie or television show isn’t just about pointing a camera and filming.  Once a production has completed its principal photography, it then goes into post-production work.  This is when New York State can continue to benefit.

In 2012, Governor Cuomo signed a bill increasing the tax credit for production studio that contract to have post-production work completed in New York State.  Originally only a 10% tax credit, it was enhanced to 30%, with an additional 5% credit available for post-production costs incurred in upstate New York.  The Post Production Tax Credit is available where the project was filmed predominantly outside of the State and the film production company contracts their post-production work to companies in NYS specializing in post-production work.  The tax credit is also fully refundable.

Enhancing the tax credit to 35% for upstate NY offers a great opportunity for Buffalo Niagara businesses in musical composition, music rerecording and mixing, visual effects, graphic design, animation and sound editorial to capture work in this industry.  It will also attract post-production facilities to expand in the region to take advantage of the low cost of doing business in Buffalo, as we offer affordable real estate options, a highly educated workforce, proximity to major film production markets in New York and Toronto and an advanced telecommunications infrastructure to stay connected with those areas. In addition, Daemen College now offers a unique Visual Effects Certificate Training Program to help students enter the growing visual effects/post production industry workforce in Western New York.

The Buffalo Niagara region has already seen the establishment of a new post-production facility in the City of Buffalo when Empire Visual Effects opened its studio in July 2013.  With the pledge to create 150 new visual effects and other post production jobs within five years, it will pave the way for the creation of a new post-production and visual effects industry in the Buffalo Niagara region.

To learn more about the Post-Production Tax Credit, please visit NY Loves Film.

by Lorrie Abounader, Business Development Manager

BNE Gives a Lift to Petrolift’s U.S. Expansion

Located in the northeast corner of the continent of Africa, Egypt bridges the worlds of the Sahara and the Middle East.  Its long and storied history is centered on the Nile River, whose fertile banks and logistical value have helped establish the prosperous Egyptian economy.  Evidence of Egypt’s economic strength is in its Gross Domestic Product of $272 billion, ranking the country 40th globally, according to the World Bank.

It’s not surprising that Egyptian companies are seeking opportunities for growth and expansion in the U.S.  Recently, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise was instrumental is assisting an Egyptian manufacturer to locate in Western New York.

Petrolift is a Cairo-based manufacturer of web slings and lifts for industrial applications in the oil and gas industry. From manufacturing to inspection and safety training, Petrolift is a one-stop for specialized lifting equipment.  The lifting industry is growing in North America due to the increase in demand of domestic oil and natural gas production.  After 15 years of successful business in Cairo, Petrolift recognized the opportunity to expand its manufacturing operation into the U.S. to capture this growth.

A key driver for U.S. expansion is the acquisition of a coveted “Made in USA” label for its products.  In its consideration of possible American locations, the company began exploring Buffalo Niagara because of its proximity to Canada. The company saw great benefit in locating to a region that allowed easy access to two international markets.

Petrolift appreciated BNE’s experience in assisting Canadian and International companies in making direct foreign investments into the Buffalo Niagara region.  Through our connections with a host of professionals experienced in international business — including attorneys, bankers, and human resources — BNE was able to aid Petrolift in establishing a $1.7 million operation in Eden with ten employees.

View this and other success stories on our website

By Lorrie Abounader, BNE Business Development Manager

The Data on Data Centers

Increasing smartphone usage and information stored on the “cloud” have made data centers a necessary part of IT infrastructure. According to an IBM study, 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years. To keep up with demand for capacity, over 80% of data center owners/operators have built new or upgraded a facility within the last five years. Competition to host a data center is fierce for the status a well-known brand holds as well as economic benefits to the region.

Tracey Hyatt Bosman, a Managing Director with Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co., a leading site selection firm, recently wrote How Data Centers Benefit Communities. (See pg. 12 of

Data centers demand sophisticated server equipment and state-of-the-art systems for cooling, security and power generation and need to be continually updated and “refreshed.” Typically this occurs every three years, as increased storage capacity is required. Investing in building and maintaining a data center operation can deliver a steady stream of tax revenue to the host community.

Operating a data center requires engineers and IT administrators with advanced level degrees earning average annual wages exceeding $60,000. Non-IT related staff is necessary as well as jobs in security, maintenance and marketing.

Data centers generate a significant amount of property tax, as the assessed value of the site increases with the development of a multi-million dollar project. Other revenue includes sales tax, income tax, and more depending on the community’s tax structure.

Data centers use power 24/7/365 to run servers and maintain temperatures controls. Utility companies appreciate data centers for the revenue they generate and the consistency of their power consumption, making it easier for the utilities to balance the system with other users.

And last, having a “tech” image enhances a location’s competitive advantage. Being labeled a tech community can help attract IT businesses seeking to cluster with like-minded companies. A company like Google or Microsoft attracts others seeking to benefit from proximity to an anchor data center, increasing the quality and quantity of talent to pull from.

by Lorrie Abounader, Business Development Manager

Click here learn more data center opportunities in the Buffalo Niagara region.



Yahoo! breaks ground on $150 million expansion in Lockport, NY

by Lorrie Abounader, Business Development Manager

On October 18, internet giant Yahoo! broke ground on the expansion of their Lockport, NY data center.  Their current facility that opened in 2010 is roughly the same size as the deck of the aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan.  The expansion will add another 150,000 square feet and use 7.2 megawatts of power, enough to power half a million homes.  Typically a data center that size IMG_20131018_112125004_HDRwould use more power and water to run and cool the server rooms but Yahoo! chose the Western New York region for it’s cool climate, allowing the ambient air to circulate through and cool the computer equipment.  This is an enormous cost savings for the data center.  Operating costs are dramatically reduced on top of the low-cost power awarded through the New York Power Authority.

The groundbreaking was well attended by elected officials, economic development representatives and local businesses as Yahoo! has been a great neighbor to the business community.  Local business may experience an uptick in activity as the expansion will provide at least 115 more jobs in the future through the establishment of Yahoo!’s customer care contact center on the IMG_20131018_114701343_HDRcampus.  Yahoo! refers to the department that resolves customer issues their “center of excellence” as these employees are the first line to giving Yahoo! users a great customer experience.   Due to the fact that Yahoo! is extremely happy with the quality of the talent recruited, company execs consider their Lockport facility the one they could replicate into all their data centers worldwide.

Click here to learn more about the previous Yahoo! Data Center expansion in 2010 and here to view a video about their expansion.

Click here to read about Data Center opportunities in Buffalo Niagara.

Start With A Business Plan

Lorrie Abounader, business development manager, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise

Canisius College Women’s Business Center

Many people dream of starting their own business.  Whether they want to be their own boss, supplement current income, or turn a hobby into a career, over 600,000 Americans start a new business every year.  So how does one start a business?  How can one reduce the risks or avoid the pitfalls that cause businesses to fail?  There is not foolproof method but a strong, healthy business starts with a strong business plan.

A business plan is your roadmap for success.  It outlines the route an entrepreneur intends to take to reach, maintain and grow their business.  Not only does a business plan act as the guidebook for the business owner but also expresses the goals that the owner has for their company.  It tells the story that you have envisioned for your future business and provides the storyboard in which an outsider can follow the intended progress you have imagined.  Very few of us have the eloquence to translate verbally our ideas and a plan is a consistent message that can be easily shared and viewed.  This can be especially important in earning the support of banks and investors for raising capital.

There are several resources to use online that provide templates for a business plan, but just as two entrepreneurs are never alike, so are their businesses.  The elements of a business plan are fairly consistent but what you do with your business is unique to what your goals are for it.  It is important to customize the plan according to your ultimate ambitions, your commitment to working on the business and your creativity to shape the business.  To avoid a cookie-cutter business plan, work with the professionals at your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  Hosted by local colleges and universities, a SBDC is a one-stop source for professional guidance on writing, researching and constructive feedback on your plan.  In the Buffalo Niagara region, we have three excellent SBDCs at Buffalo State College, Niagara County Community College and Genesee Community College.  At Canisius College, women entrepreneurs can use the resources of the Women’s Business Center.

Remember that your business plan is a living document – it changes as the business changes.  What you planned for the business in year one will differ after the business has matured.  Update the plan every 3-5 years with the assistance of the SBDC.  They are not just for start-ups but for any business needing guidance.

Starting a new business can be daunting but an entrepreneur knows that the risk of starting a new business is often outweighed by the rewards.  Having your guidebook in-hand and up-to-date is important to the success of your business.

To learn more about starting a business and to find additional resources, please visit:

Small Business Administration

Small Business Development Centers

Canisius Women’s Business Center

New York Consolidated Funding Application – Round Two!

Lorrie Abounader
Business Development Manager
A second round of funding has opened up through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process.  This is a process where an organization can apply for multiple programs from various New York state agencies through one application. 
The deadline to complete the CFA is July 16, 2012 with supporting documentation due July 23, 2012 through online submission. A variety of programs are available through the CFA process.  To start the process, visit:
$750 million in program funding is available in this CFA round for private businesses, not-for-profits and communities.  For a full description of the programs and to evaluate if they are applicable to your organization, please review:
Highlights of key programs categorized by state agency and their funding amounts geared towards direct business assistance are as follows:

Empire State Development
• Up to $ 150 million for Regional Council Capital Fund
• Up to $ 70 million for Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits
• Up to $ 20 million for Empire State Economic Development Fund
• Up to $ 4 million for Urban and Community Development Program
• Up to $ 3 million for Regional Tourism Marketing Grant Initiative (I LOVE NEW YORK Fund)
• Up to $ 350 million for government tax-exempt bonds for private projects with a public
• Up to $ 1 million for Environmental Investment Fund
Department of Labor
• Up to $ 5 million for Workforce Investment Act-related training and workforce development
Agriculture and Markets
• Up to $ 3 million for Agriculture Development Program
Environmental Facilities Corporation
• $ TBD million Green Innovation Grant Program
Department of Environmental Conservation
• Up to $ 2 million for Clean Water State Revolving Fund Engineering Planning Grant Program
Energy Research and Development Authority
• Up to $ 50 million Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects and Programs
• Up to $12 million for Regional Economic Development and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program
New York Power Authority
ReCharge New York-low cost power
A few eligibility requirements to keep in mind – the state will not fund your entire need but will limit the award to 20% of your project costs and require the business to have 10% equity in it as well.  Also keep in mind that funding is offered as an inducement to start the project but funds are generally disbursed until after the expense is incurred.  All applications are reviewed by the Western New York Regional Council for compatibility with our strategic plan.
Following the first round of CFA applications, the state has incorporated feedback which will allow the funding process in this round to be more efficient.
If you require assistance, BNE Business Development staff can guide you in the right direction:
·         Alan Rosenhoch, 716.541.1724
·         Carolyn Powell, 716.541.1740
·         Lorrie Abounader, 716.541.1744
·         Tony Kurdziel,; 716.541.1780

Resources for Small Business Startups

Small businesses employ about half of the workers in the U.S. and accounted for 65 percent (9.8 million) of the 15 million net new jobs created between 1993 and 2009.

There are over 450,000 small businesses in New York State, 55,000 of which are located in the Western New York/Finger Lakes regions.  Small businesses are major economic drivers within 14 counties of Western New York and employ in excess of 450,000 people.
Credit conditions for small business are improving, making it a little easier to get started. In 2010, Commercial banks began to ease the tight lending conditions on small businesses that began a few years back.  Credit has also continued to flow, as loans under $1 million totaled $695 billion in FY 2009.  Venture capital investment which had been on the decline increased in mid-2010 as well.  Further, the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of loan programs to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
In addition, theUS Small Business Association Website, following are links to a few great resources for entrepreneurs looking to get started:
Technical Assistance:
·       U.S. Business Advisor,
·    Sample Business Plans (no endorsement),
·       Angel Capital Foundation,
·       Manufacturing Extension Partnership,
·       Grant Opportunities,
·        Foundation Center,
·        Community Development Financial Institutions,
·        Council of Development Finance Agencies,
·        Export-Import Bank of the United States,
·        U.S. Department of Energy Inventions and Innovations,
·        Peer Lending (no endorsement),
·        Factoring (no endorsement),
Foundations & Organizations:
·        Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation,
·        Edward Lowe Foundation,
·        National Federation of Independent Business Owners,
·        National Business Incubation Association,
·        Angel Capital Association,
·        Association for Enterprise Opportunity,
More local information is available at .
Buffalo Business Online also notes some great resources for local entrepreneurs and highlights useful tools for businesses just getting started.
I also encourage you to check out the upcoming 2012 Venture Forum May 16-17, 2012. To register, go to
Lorrie Abounader
Buffalo Niagara Enterprise
Business Development Manager