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Buffalo Next: What to know about the week ahead | Business premises


Welcome to Buffalo Next. This newsletter from The Buffalo News will bring you the latest coverage on the changing economy of Buffalo Niagara – from real estate to healthcare to startups. Learn more at


A quick read of the news from the past week and a preview of what’s to come.

Workers are hard to come by in the Buffalo Niagara area – and a big reason for that is the decision of thousands of locals to stop looking for jobs.

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Labor shortages are the top concern identified by members of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

Robert Kirkham/File Photo

We’ll have new information about workers returning to job search on Tuesday, when the state Department of Labor releases the local unemployment rate for March.

A report released last week showed hiring rose in the region for three consecutive months – the region’s fastest job growth in a year. But the recovery here is much slower than in most other parts of the country.

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Thus, if the local unemployment rate is at its lowest level in decades, it is not because the labor market is booming and hiring is not on the agenda. Instead, the unemployment rate is low because many workers have decided not to seek employment, whether due to health issues, a lack of affordable childcare, salary expectations that don’t match what employers are offering or countless other reasons.

How to attract and retain workers: Meanwhile, employers can get pro tips on how to attract and retain workers amid ‘the big quit’ at a free professional development event to be hosted April 25 by the University. of Buffalo and the M&T Bank.

“Attracting and Retaining Talent During Unprecedented Times,” will be held at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 25 at Seneca One in Buffalo. Mike Wisler, Chief Information Officer at M&T Bank and President of 43North, will deliver a keynote, which will be followed by a panel of recruitment experts. Attendees will also hear from graduates of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) at the ‘UB School of Management and will get information on the GrowGrade business assessment tool.

Prime: Network with other professionals and get tours of Seneca One and the M&T Technology Center. Register before April 18 at

Buffalo Boot Contest. Two competitions for startups and early-stage ideas are happening this week: UB’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Tech Entrepreneurship Competition and Buffalo Startup Weekend.

The Panasci competition is an opportunity for five UB-led companies to field a panel of judges for a grand prize of $25,000. The finals are open to the public and will take place from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday at the UB Incubator at the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, 701 Ellicott St.

Buffalo Startup Weekend challenges attendees to brainstorm a business idea and create a plan in a single weekend. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and ends on Sunday with final presentations and judging at 4 p.m.

We hire: Home Depot plans to hire 630 workers for the spring season and potentially beyond at its Buffalo-area stores. These full-time and part-time positions include Customer Service/Sales, Store Support, Freight, Merchandising and Warehouse Associates. The Home Depot has 12 stores from Dunkirk to Lockport, stretching east to Batavia.


The recently adopted state budget includes $68 million to the University at Buffalo to build iconic new buildings for their engineering schools. It’s part of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s plan to make the SUNY system “a global leader in economic development and upward mobility and help UB attract $1 billion in primarily federal research funding by 2030.

Dozens of people are back this season at the iconic Broadway Marketmany are returning to the Easter tradition of shopping and visiting for the first time since the year before the Covid-19 pandemic ended one of Buffalo’s most revered traditions.

Governor Kathy Hochul confirmed a Buffalo News report during a radio spot Wednesday that the Buffalo Bills initially asked the public to pay 100% of construction costs for a new $1.4 billion stadium. She also said reports that there was a chance the Bills could move without a deal for a new stadium are real, noting that cities that have lost teams in the past called Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula .

State county governments, including Erie and Niagara counties, are trying to decide if they want to join the state gasoline tax exemption. The state budget will save consumers 16 cents per gallon from June 1 through December 31 by suspending the state’s sales tax and excise tax on fuel, according to a report by the Association of counties in New York State.

University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi thinks UB is one of the reasons Western New York is set to win one of the federal government’s planned $100 million tech hubs. According to Tripathi, UB has experts and research in all growing technology fields, from artificial intelligence and data science to robotics, cybersecurity and biomedical sciences.

42 North launches ‘Resolve’ craft beer in support of Ukraine and a dear friend: The beer, which sold out last weekend, is named after the Ukrainian people’s determination to maintain their country’s freedom.


Three readings of Buffalo Next:

1. Over the past decade, Erie County and New York State have spent nearly $50 million buying land, moving railroad tracks, and laying the groundwork for development of the former Bethlehem Steel complex in Lackawanna. It’s starting to pay off.

2. Hiring has resumed across the region, but the recovery here is still much slower than in most other parts of the country. And clouds hang over the economy as interest rates and prices rise. Businesses are heading into a potential downturn with a reduced workforce rather than a full workforce. It would certainly reduce the pressure to cut staff if things went wrong.

3. What is the future of McKinley Mall? Even its key stakeholders disagree: Mall owner Kohan Retail Investment Group and developer Benderson Development Co. have yet to speak, and they appear to differ on their visions for the property and its outdoor plots.

The Buffalo Next team gives you insight into the region’s economic revitalization. Advice by e-mail to or contact Buffalo Next editor David Robinson at 716-849-4435.

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