Economy and Business news

Kodak opens first visitor center in Rochester

Dec 6, 2018

Eastman Kodak is celebrating the grand opening of the company's first visitor center in Rochester.

Officials from Kodak, and state and local government joined business leaders and others at the Kodak Center, formerly Theatre on the Ridge to cut the ribbon on the new project.

Kodak CFO Dave Bullwinkle says the center features many historic artifacts courtesy of the George Eastman Museum.


For some, this  may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it also can be a more hazardous time on the roads.

That's according to GasBuddy, which is out with a new study that suggests drivers are 175 percent more aggressive during the holidays than the rest of the year.

The Boston-based tech company that connects drivers will discount gas prices, also monitored driving habits through its app, and communications director Allison Mac says they found drivers around the Thanksgiving holiday exhibited several aggressive driving behaviors.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that Rochester Precision Optics will be adding to its facilities on John Street in Henrietta.

The company actually began as the Optics Group at Kodak’s former Hawkeye plant, and in 2005 it was sold and moved to Henrietta. Rochester Precision Optics makes high precision lenses and optic systems, including work on products like night vision equipment.

The company’s president, Randy Shaw, says they do work for both the military and commercial sector, and they have already seen their workforce increase rapidly in the last year or so.


(AP) A tax exemption that's deemed essential for farmers and growers across New York state has been extended for another decade.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state's Real Property Tax Law exemption has been extended for the next 10 years. Cuomo says the exemption will help farmers and orchard owners to grow their businesses.

The law exempts agricultural producers from paying real property tax on buildings essential to their products, such as temporary greenhouses and dairy barns.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI news

Ed White, who helps oversee the so-called TAP, or test, assembly and packaging facility, gave reporters a tour of the progress being made at the Rochester operation on Monday.

Crews have been working on it for months, bringing in specialized tools and other equipment. There are just a couple of dozen people working in that building now, although that may increase if the AIM Photonics effort continues to attract new customers.

When state and federal officials first talked about making Rochester a photonics hub a few years ago, some political leaders talked about the potential for it creating several thousand jobs.

GM to slash 14,700 jobs in North America

Nov 26, 2018
General Motors

General Motors will lay off 14,700 factory and white-collar workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure as it restructures to cut costs and focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles.

The reduction includes 8,100 white-collar workers, some of whom will take buyouts and others who will be laid off. Most of the affected factories build cars that won't be sold in the U.S. after next year. They could close or they could get different vehicles to build. They will be part of contract talks with the United Auto Workers union next year.

Busy Thanksgiving travel weekend is here

Nov 21, 2018

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is nearly here, and Triple A expects the highest travel volumes since 2005, with an estimated 54.3 million Americans going 50 miles or more away from home.

Spokesperson Lindsay Kensy says the vast majority of travelers, 48 and a half million, will hit the road this holiday.


Black Friday marks the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, but it's not the retail force it used to be, and it hasn't been for years.

Ted Potrikus, president of the New York State Retail Council, said that single day - the Friday after Thanksgiving - isn't unimportant.

"It's still busy, it's still important, it's still a bit of a pace-setter,” he said, “but I think it's a bit of a misnomer to go out there and say, 'oh, it's the biggest shopping day of the year,' because that's reserved for December 21 and 22."

Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority

A new coalition has been launched with the goal of a 50 percent increase in public transit funding over the next five years.

CEO of Regional Transit Service, Bill Carpenter, is part of the group calling itself "New Yorkers for Better Public Transit."

He says millions of New Yorkers rely on the service of transit operators across the state on a daily basis.


The latest numbers from the NYS Labor Department show more job growth in the Rochester area. 

Officials say that the metro area saw an increase of 4,100 private sector jobs in October, compared to this time last year.

State Labor Analyst Tammy Marino says this has been a trend we’ve seen all year long.