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Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Photos: Easter Bunny at Oliver's Candies

It’s an annual tradition that has some patrons make an hour-long trek to continue. Oliver’s Candy Store on Main Street in Batavia welcomed Spring with the arrival of the Easter Bunny earlier today. 

Genesee County’s “sweet spot” has extended business hours – from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, April 4. Oilver’s is closed only two days a year – Christmas and Easter – regular business hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Sunday.

Friday, March 27, 2015 at 10:14 pm

Photos: 2015 Chamber of Commerce Home Show

Who is ready to jump into a pool, hot tub or just get outside? The second annual Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Home Show, "Think Spring!", is being held at the Falleti Ice Rink, 22 Evans St., Batavia. The event kicked off Friday featuring more than 80 booths and 60 vendors.

The event continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Friday night's crowd hailed more than 300 visitors, according to Kelly Bermingham, chamber director of membership and special events. The home show is anticipating another couple thousand attendees throughout the weekend.

Tickets are $3 and include a chance to win $500 at your choice of vendor at the home show. Some booths are offering their own event specials.

For a detailed map of the event click here: http://www.geneseeny.com/homeshow

Friday, March 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm

GCEDC board scheduled to vote on Darien Lake proposal

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Darien, darien lake, GCEDC

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider a project from Darien Lake Theme Park Resort at its March 30 board meeting.

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort is planning to add several new attractions, including a 75-foot “super loop” thrill ride and dual waterslide complex speed ride for the 2015 operating season. The projected capital investment is approximately $2.5 million. The company is seeking final approval of a sales tax exemption of $180,000.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 10 a.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the first-floor Innovation Zone Conference Room at MedTech Centre -- 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, across from Genesee Community College.

Friday, March 27, 2015 at 11:42 am

Notre Dame wins business competition

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, education, Notre Dame, schools

Press release:

Wednesday, March 25, was the Virtual Business Trade Fair at Genesee Community College. Nine high schools from the G.L.O.W. region competed with 11 businesses created entirely from scratch by students. At Notre Dame, this year-long project is incorporated into the college credit course Principles of Business or BUS 101 through collaboration with GCC’s Accelerated College Enrollment Program (ACE).

This is the first year Notre Dame participated in the event, but that did not stop the eight-member team from receiving multiple recognitions at the fair. Their teacher, Lindsay Warner, says the team has shown incredible commitment to the project since it began in September.

“They have had a contagious enthusiasm for this project that propelled them to a well-deserved victory!” Warner said.

This course is driven by student-centered projects. Each member has developed public speaking, problem-solving, and communication skills. They have learned to work together and value input of others, even if it is different from their own. They have learned that hard work pays in the end and that learning can be valuable and even fun. There are no tests and no quizzes but Drew Morabito, senior and chief financial officer, wants to clear up any confusion, saying “I have never worked harder in any class.”

Students learn because they want to succeed and suceed they did. 

Notre Dame placed in four out of five judged categories at the trade fair. The Cupcakery -- a small bake shop specializing in upscale cupcakes -- received First Place for Salesmanship and Number of Transactions. They also placed 2nd for Transaction Dollar Amount and tied with T&T from Pavilion High School for Best Booth Design.

The teams will also be judged on 20+ page business plans submitted at the event as well as product catalogs and Web sites with results expected in the next few weeks.

Notre Dame’s Bus 101 class and Cupcakery business owners are: Lindsey Bender -- chief marketing officer; Dylan Fix -- financial executive; Joseph Falkowski III -- human resource manager; Chase Hughes -- financial executive; Drew Morabito -- chief financial officer; Caleb Nellis -- human resource executive; Taylor Perzia -- chief executive officer; and Joseph Zickl -- marketing and sales executive.

ND currently offers Economics, Introduction to Careers, Personal Money Management, Accounting 1, and Accounting 101 in addition to Principles of Business. Business-minded students can graduate Notre Dame with 12 college credits, equivalent to one semester of college.

Anyone interested in learning more about this program and the other opportunities Notre Dame is providing its students should contact the school or visit during the upcoming Open House, April 19, from 2 - 4 p.m.

Total # of Deposits:
The Cupcakery                  Notre Dame                       256
Vision Vacations               Dansville                              155
Able Sports                         Elba                                        114
Oatkan Outdoors             Le Roy                                    114

Total Amount of Deposits:
Vision Vacations               Dansville                              $378,009.35
The Cupcakery                  Notre Dame                       $330,624.33
Road Trip                             Attica                                    $187,953

Booth Design:
The Cupcakery                  Notre Dame                       770
T & T Services                    Pavilion                                                770
Elite Feet                             Way-Co                                                743
Sugar Shack                        Batavia                                 730

Salesmanship:
The Cupcakery                  Notre Dame                       427
T & T Services                    Pavilion                                                407
Vision Vacations               Dansville                              395

Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 7:44 pm

"Think Spring" at the Home Show

post by Steve Ognibene in business, chamber of commerce, Home Show

Pictured above are Batavia Chamber of Commerce members Kelly Bermingham, director of membership and special events, and Tom Turnbull, president of the Chamber, sitting in a garden landscaped by Ehrmentraut Landscape, Le Roy, who partnered with Cedar Street Rentals in their booth.

Think Spring is the theme for the second annual Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Home Show. The event kicks off from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Falleti Ice Arena. Discount tickets can be purchased from local businesses or at the Chamber of Commerce before Friday evening. Tickets at the door are $3 each and children 12 years and younger are free. More than 2,000 people attended last year.

More than 60 vendors and 80 booths will be on display. Get a jump on spring projects during the weekend event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 10:46 am

Home show this weekend at Falleti Ice Arena

post by Howard B. Owens in business, chamber of commerce, Home Show

Press release:

The second annual Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Home show takes place this weekend March 27-29 at the Falleti Ice Arena.

Sixty-three area businesses will be displaying their products and services at the Home Show and offering home improvement tips and suggestions on a face-to-face basis to the general public that attends.

“Our first Home Show last year was a tremendous success and we have just continued to build on that success this year,” said Chamber President Tom Turnbull. “We have sold out all of the 88 booths that were available.”   

The Home Show will be open Friday, March 27 from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission to the event to $3 with children 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Discount $1-off-admission coupons are available at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce office, 210 E. Main St., Batavia, or at any of the participating businesses.

There will also be a drawing for a $500 gift certificate that can be used at any of the participating Home Show businesses. The drawing will take place on Sunday at 3 p.m. The winner need not be present.

Food concessions will be provided by the award-winning restaurant Alex’s Place.
A complete list of participating businesses and a map of the booth layout is available at:  www.geneseeny.com/homeshow

For more information call the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce at 585-343-7440.

Monday, March 23, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Public documents reveal deep financial hole for local medical business

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Advanced Imaging, business

A Batavia-based medical business has piled up a long list of financial woes, according to public documents obtained by The Batavian.

There are mechanics liens, money judgments, property seizures and demands for back pay to employees against Advanced Imaging, 35 Batavia City Center, Batavia.

The current owner even has pending criminal charges against him for allegedly issuing bad checks.

All told, the pile of debt exceeds $1.3 million.

Advanced Imaging was once owned by Dr. Mitchell Chess, and it's uncertain which if any of the debts were accumulated during his ownership tenure, during the tenure of Mark Zdrojewski, or both.

Attempts to contact Chess and Zdrojewski were unsuccessful.

Zdrojewski has been charged with issuing a bad check at least four times, both to a local contractor and to an employee.

The Department of Labor investigated complaints of unpaid wages to employees and concluded, according to a letter sent to one of the employees, "We have found that your employer owes wages and/or fringe benefits to one or more current or former employees."

As a result, the department issued a formal "order to comply," demanding payment to employees.

Zdrojewski still has time to appeal the ruling.

Former employees also complained that Zdrojewski took checks sent to Advanced Imaging for health insurance premiums under COBRA and used the funds for other expenses instead of paying the premiums.

There are mechanics liens from local contractors exceeding $14,000.

The real eye-popping sums come, however, from the list of money judgments against Advanced Imaging:

  • $966,598 to General Electric
  • $108,988 to Phillips Healthcare
  • $105,145 to Caritas Medical Arts Building
  • $69,410 to Caritas Medial Arts Building
  • $35,792 to Insight Health Corps
  • $3,699 to the Commissioner of Labor
  • $794 to the Commissioner of Labor
  • $13,229 to the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance
  • $13,242 to Turnbull Heating and Air
  • $4,475 to the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance
  • $600 to the Commissioner of Labor
  • $1,343 to the Commissioner of Labor
  • $6,789 to Medrad

The City of Batavia issued tax liens for more than $47,000 in back property taxes according to filings with the County Clerk's Office.

The three parcels of property in City Centre once owned by Advanced Imaging have been seized by the Sheriff's Office on behalf of Philips Healthcare and will be sold at auction at 10 a.m., May 4, at 165 Park Road, Batavia.

Some of the other money judgments may already be satisfied through other means.

Meanwhile, Advanced Imaging remains open for business.

Monday, March 23, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Photo: Work begins to replace Oliver's Candies sign

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Oliver's Candies

The steel frame for the new Oliver's sign was anchored in place today.  The concrete foundation needs to set for as much as four weeks before the new sign is put on the frame. The same day the new sign is installed, the old Oliver's sign will be removed and taken to storage.

Previously: Oliver's Candies planning new neon sign with message board

Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 4:40 pm

Hawley bill would exempt farmers from unemployment insurance for immigrant workers

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, steve hawley

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that he has become a co-sponsor on legislation, Assembly Bill 06256, that will ease the financial burden placed on farmers. The bill would forgo the requirement that farmers who employ aliens admitted to the United States to perform farm labor pay unemployment insurance for such workers. Under state law, alien laborers are not eligible for unemployment insurance, so there is no need for employers to pay into the unemployment insurance fund.

“I have introduced this legislation with Assemblyman Bill Magee (D-Madison County), current Chair of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, after meeting with Farm Bureau representatives from my district,” Hawley said. “As the former owner of Hawley Farms, I know firsthand how hard farmers work for their profits and that sustainability of their business is not guaranteed year to year. This is common-sense legislation that will correct a glaring deficiency in the labor law that mandates farmers pay unemployment insurance for workers who are ineligible. My district contains many farm operations and I will do everything I can to help them keep more of their profits.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Bankruptcy court approves first step of debt restructuring for car parts company with location in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Chassix Holdings Inc.

A multinational car parts company with a location in Batavia has filed for reorganization under federal bankruptcy laws, but a spokesman for the company said there are no plans to eliminate jobs.

Earlier this week, a bankruptcy court granted Chassix Holdings, Inc., a series of "first day" motions that the company says will set the stage for recapitalization and ensure the company is able to continue normal business operations.

Chassix locally is at 4320 Federal Drive, Batavia.

The restructuring deal transfer ownership to the company's bondholders.

The company has been given access by the court to $205 million of debtor-in-possession financing. The new financing, according to the company, combined with cash generated by ongoing sales, will be available to Chassix to maintain operations and meet restructuring needs.

Reuters reports:

Tom Gores' Platinum Equity Advisers, Chassix's current equity owner, signed onto the proposal to cut company debt by 68 percent, from $680 million to $217 million, the company said in papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

Chassix blamed a 2014 spike in demand for chassis components and powertrain products from customers like Ford, BMW and Nissan, saying its inability to keep up led to an "onslaught of quality issues and missed release dates" that increased manufacturing costs.

The Batavia plant produces assemblies, brackets, control arms, knuckles and tow hooks.

The number of people employed locally wasn't immediately available, but a company spokesman confirmed there are no anticipated layoffs in Batavia.

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