Amazon announced last week that it's looking for a home for its second headquarters. Could Rochester be in the running?

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy says yes, and he has already written two letters to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, touting Rochester's qualifications.

Amazon says it will invest $5 billion in "HQ2" and create 50,000 new jobs over the next two decades. Its requirements for a new home include a metropolitan area with at least a million people, a skilled labor force, and access to transit.

But what would it take to bring Amazon to Rochester? What kind of tax credits, workforce grants, and utility incentives would be required to woo the company here? And if Rochester delivered and won the bid, would it be worth it? Our guests weigh in. In studio:

There’s a reprieve of sorts for workers at a Kraft Heinz plant in Steuben County who were expected to get layoff notices soon.

Kraft Heinz had sent out a notice to 330 employees of the plant in Campbell  earlier this year, saying that it is possible they could lose their jobs. That notice is required by the NYS Labor Department, and came after the company announced in 2015 it would close seven manufacturing facilities.

Now, Kraft Heinz has filed a new notice with the state, which says 380 workers at that Steuben County plant could be laid off by August 23.

Wegmans/Roadside Development

Wegmans is on track to open its first store in Washington, D.C.

The news no doubt, music to the ears of loyal fans and Rochester transplants who live in the Washington DC area.

In fact, a web story from one of the TV stations in that area started off by saying, “We thought this day would never come, but it’s finally here !

Wegmans first store in D.C will be part of the former Fannie Mae headquarters complex on Wisconsin Avenue NW, in Washington.

The Eastman Business Park is welcoming a new tenant, a company involved in photonics. It's actually the first independent photonics company to locate at the business park.

There is a research hub being developed at the park, called a Testing, Assembly and Packaging or ‘TAP’ facility which will serve a number of photonics firms in the area.

Paychex reported first quarter results Wednesday that beat Wall Street estimates for both earnings and sales.

The company saw net profits of just over $217 million, up 4 percent over a year ago; Revenues of $785 million were up 9 percent compared to a year ago.

But even with the solid results, the stock lost about four and a half percent on Wednesday, falling $2.77 to close at $57.50 a share.

CEO Marty Mucci says that may  have been because the company lowered some of its revenue guidance.

A local manufacturer is adding jobs.

Optimax Systems, a maker of precision optics, is expanding its research and development operations and will create 35 jobs. The Wayne County company says the expansion will also help them retain 271 existing jobs.

It is a $3 million expansion, and Empire State Development has offered a grant of up to $250,000 in return  for the  job creation commitment.

Optimax also says it will be buying equipment from QED, a Rochester based company.

What makes for an ethical, enduring, and excellent organization? A new book called Triple Crown Leadership explores this question and offers practical advice for creating good leaders.

The author, Bob Vanourek, will be the keynote speaker at an event on Wednesday sponsored by the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation and the Rochester chapter of Conscious Capitalism. First, Vanourek joins us on Connections to share what he learned from interviewing more than 60 businesses in 11 countries. Our guests:

  • Bob Vanourek, co-author of Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations
  • Bob Whipple, CEO of Leadergrow Incorporated, RABEF board member, and charter member of the Rochester Chapter of Conscious Capitalism
  • Tom Brady, chair of the Rochester chapter of Conscious Capitalism, and founder and president of XLR8

ALBANY (AP) A leading business advocacy organization is calling on New York state lawmakers to cut taxes for small businesses and fight large increases to the minimum wage in 2016.

The Business Council of New York State's agenda for 2016 also calls for big investments in roads, bridges and other infrastructure and stronger workforce development efforts.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called on lawmakers to gradually increase the minimum wage from its current $9 an hour to $15.

That has concerned many business owners who said it will lead to higher prices and fewer jobs.

Three finalists are vying for a chance to occupy some rent free space on St. Paul Street for a year for their new business.

They were chosen by a crowd of about 160 last night as part of the Retailent Rochester contest.

A panel of judges will select the winner from the three finalists. Allison Wassink, who works at a downtown law firm, is proposing a grocery store called Love Local, featuring local food.


The Rochester area didn't do very well in terms of being a business friendly region, at least according to a new survey by the website Thumbtack.com. That website is an online service for matching up small service businesses and customers.

We scored a letter grade of  “D+”  for being friendly to small business. This region ranked 84 out of 95 cities that were surveyed.