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A competition in Rochester this week will decide who among more than two dozen startups will win state funding and get in on the ground floor of the region's photonics industry.

New York State is calling the initiative Luminate.  A panel of optics and photonics experts have chosen 26 finalists teams. Six are from Rochester and one is from as far away as the United Kingdom.

freeimages.com/Darren Shaw

Local realtors are paying close attention to the tax reform debate in Congress.

A House GOP plan would limit the deduction for property taxes to $10,000. Another part of the proposal would also affect homeowners: the popular mortgage interest deduction would be capped at $500,000, down from the current $1 million.

Alex Crichton

There are billions of dollars in state contracts that are going to be available to minority and women owned businesses, or MWBE's, in New York State.

That's according to Lourdes Zapata, Executive Director of Minority and Women's Business Development at Empire State Development.

Zapata is working to develop programs and policies which are designed to increase contracting opportunities for that group.

Zagster looking to expand in Rochester

Oct 31, 2017

The city of Rochester is calling its first season of bike-sharing a success, while Zagster is looking at expanding the system in the spring.

For now, the operator is taking the bikes off the streets for the winter, but spokesman Jon Terbush says they're looking to add on to the 8 thousand riders and 22 thousand bike trips logged since it started in July.

npr.org

A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has found that while the upstate economy fared pretty well during the last business cycle, the economy in Western New York is not as robust.

New York Federal Reserve senior economist Richard Deitz says while a lot of the jobs lost during the recession in Upstate New York have come back, there is still weakness, mainly in Rochester and Buffalo.

The latest numbers from the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors show a decline in home sales, but an increase in home prices.

That has been a recent trend, with not enough homes available to meet demand.  Home sales in the third quarter fell about 12 percent compared to a year ago, and median home prices were up just over seven percent.

The president of the realtors association, Linda Wilson, says there's a lot of demand for homes in Rochester, just not a lot of inventory, and that's a situation going on across the country.

(WXXI News & AP) It's official. The joint proposal developed by economic development agencies in Rochester and Buffalo have now submitted what they are calling “an extremely sophisticated and compelling bid” to Amazon in response to the ‘request for proposals’ put out by Amazon for a second headquarters.

With a project that could see Amazon spending as much as $5 billion and hiring 50,000 workers, it  has resulted in a mad rush of metro areas around the country submitting bids to the online retailing giant. The proposals were due Thursday.

State and local officials say they are seeing a lot of interest in a state-funded competition designed to help startup companies in the optics, photonics and imaging industries in Rochester.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says that Luminate NY, the name of the competition announced earlier this year, has received interest from more than 100 applicants from around the world.

Rochester and Buffalo are hoping that two cities are better than one, when it comes to trying to attract major investment from the online behemoth Amazon.

In September, the company said it needed to build a second corporate headquarters, a project that would see the company spend more than $5 billion and hire as many as 50,000 employees.

A number of communities across the country are vying for that new Amazon facility, and Rochester officials already said they are interested, as did people in Buffalo.

University of Chicago

(WXXI News & AP) The University of Chicago professor who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics has some Rochester connections in his academic background.

On Monday, the Nobel went to Richard Thaler, who is a professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Thaler won the$1.1-million prize for ``understanding the psychology of economics,'' Swedish Academy of Sciences secretary Goran Hansson said Monday.

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