Economy and Business news

Associated Press

The minimum wage is going up at year's end throughout New York state. 

Around New York City, it will go to $10.50 or $11 an hour, depending on the size of the business.

In the rest of the state, it will go to $9.70 an hour, with the plan to raise it to $12.50 by the end of the year 2020.

The regionalized, phased-in increases are part of a plan approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers earlier this year to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15. 

TOKYO (AP)  Japanese electronics company Panasonic and U.S. electric car maker Tesla plan to begin production of photovoltaic cells and modules at a factory in Buffalo. 

The two companies said Tuesday that Panasonic will pay capital costs for the manufacturing. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla made a ``long-term purchase commitment'' to Panasonic.   They gave no financial figures. 

Associated Press

The minimum wage is going up at year's end throughout New York state.

In the Rochester region, and the rest of the state outside New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County, the minimum wage will rise to $9.70 an hour, up from the current $9 an hour.

Within New York City the wage will rise from $9 to $11 per hour, though the increase will be smaller for employees of small businesses. Their wage will increase to $10.50 an hour.

On Long Island and in Westchester County, the minimum wage will go to $10 an hour.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Funding from a new Southern Tier casino's $20 million license fee is being distributed to six surrounding counties and one municipality as well as public schools throughout the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the first $16 million from the Tioga Downs license fee will be distributed to schools statewide. The Democratic governor says Tioga County and the town of Nichols will get $1 million each as the casino's host county and municipality.

Office of NY Gov Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced state funding for a cheese processing facility to be built in Livingston County.

Cuomo says the state is contributing $2 million toward the nearly $50 million facility which will be built in the Town of York.

The facility is collaboration between Craig’s Station Ventures, Denmark-based Arla Foods and Dairy Farmers of America which is a national, farmer-owned dairy cooperative.

After an expensive holiday shopping season, Americans are expected to end 2016 with $80 billion more credit card debt than they started with, according to a recent study by WalletHub, a financial website.

The fact that U.S. consumers racked up a record-setting $21.9 billion in credit card debt during the third quarter of 2016, the study said, is serious cause for concern.

Mortgage rates continue to climb

Dec 16, 2016
freeimages.com/Svilen Milev

For the fifth straight week in the aftermath of Donald Trump's election, long-term U.S. mortgage rates are higher.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan rose this week to 4.16 percent. The previous week average rate was 4.13 percent.

It's now well above its 3.97 rate from a year ago.

But Toni Connors, president of the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, does not expect the higher rates to have a negative impact on potential buyers locally.


WASHINGTON (AP)  Manufacturers in New York state expanded more quickly this month than in November, driven by a big jump in new orders. 

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Thursday that its Empire State index rose to a reading of 9 in December, up from 1.5 in the previous month. Anything above zero signals that factories are doing more business. 

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

The Finger Lakes region was a top performer at this year’s Regional Economic Development Awards, receiving $80.5 million from the state.

Mayor Lovely Warren celebrated the award with co-chairs of the Finger Lakes Council Anne Kress and Danny Wegman Thursday evening.

Warren noted that while they are excited to use some of the money to create advanced technology and manufacturing jobs in the area, their focus is also on poverty reduction.

A new Siena College survey shows that holiday gift spending among New Yorkers will be pretty similar to what it was last year.

The survey shows that more than half of those polled will spend under $500, according to survey director, Don Levy.