September 25 2020

Week in Review: September 21 – September 25, 2020

Stay up-to-date on business and economic development happenings in the Capital Region with the CEG Economic Development Week in Review. Don’t miss out on the developments that are transforming the region by following us on:


Albany Med receives NIH grant to study atherosclerosis

“Researchers at Albany Medical College have received a $2.5 million, four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to study the regulation of inflammation in atherosclerosis.

Also known as clogged or hardening of the arteries, in atherosclerosis, plaque builds up in arteries, inhibiting blood flow over time. Heart attacks, strokes, and tissue death can result when these dangerous plaques rupture. It is not currently known why some plaques rupture, but a prevailing theory is persistent or uncontrolled inflammation.”

Eastern New York Angels has $700,000 to invest, but activity is ‘almost dead’ during pandemic

“The startup investment fund Eastern New York Angels still has $700,000 waiting to be invested, but its founders say it’s been hard to find viable startups for that investment. The pandemic has made it even harder.

While they wait to find a startup worthy of investment, founders Joe Richardson and Dick Frederick said they are focused on the companies in their existing portfolio.”

New owners of Friar Tuck Resort plan investment as large as $120 million

“The former Friar Tuck Resort in Catskill was sold to investors in Flushing, Queens, who have big plans for the sprawling hotel and banquet facility that closed a decade ago.

Their vision includes renaming the nearly 200-acre property the Mindfulness Resort, with 400 rooms, 50,000 square feet of banquet/entertainment space, a spa, small retail stores and other amenities including possibly an ice skating rink and water park.”

Gatherer’s Granola nearly quadruples production during pandemic

“Demand for Gatherer’s Granola has nearly quadrupled since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Previously, the Schenectady-based startup was making 2,700 to 3,700 pounds of granola per week. Now, the company is making well over 10,000 pounds per week, said Sandro Gerbini, president and founder of Gatherer’s Granola.”

One year later: Cree’s $1B factory in upstate New York is on schedule — even in a pandemic

“Cree Inc., the North Carolina semiconductor manufacturer, said construction of its new $1 billion factory near Utica is moving forward. Cree CEO Gregg Lowe visited the site last week — about a year after the state announced the massive deal.

‘There is a structure, there’s five floors built right now and everything’s going according to schedule, earth moving and construction. It’s pretty easy to be socially distanced because that’s kind of the nature of it,” Lowe said during a call with the Business Review Monday. “We had to change some protocols and so forth, but basically we were following those protocols and everything seems to be going well, safety record at the site is great.”

Capital Region unemployment fell sharply in August

“The Capital Region’s unemployment rate in August fell to its lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic in March, according to state Labor Department data released Tuesday.

With 8.8 percent of the labor force still looking for work, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. It was the highest August unemployment figure in data going back 30 years. And it was more than twice the 3.8 percent rate in August 2019.”

Hudson Virtual Tours owner says 3D modeling is next tech ‘mega-trend’

“The owner of Hudson Virtual Tours is pursuing a number of other ventures using the technology he says is the next “mega-trend.”

Hudson Virtual Tours is a real estate photography company in Troy that uses virtual reality technology to create detailed 3D models of buildings.”

Burch Bottle acquires Queensbury site for $2.5 million

“Leaders of Burch Bottle & Packaging Inc. have acquired the former Web Graphics print shop near Northway Exit 18 in Queensbury for $2.5 million.

Taylor Corp. of Mankato, Minnesota, sold the building late last month, a little more than a year after announcing it was shutting down the print shop and listing the 76,000-square-foot building for sale. The listing was handled by Craig Darby, an associate broker with CBRE-Albany.”

GlobalFoundries CEO Tom Caulfield stays focused on taking the company public

“Tom Caulfield is as determined as ever to take GlobalFoundries public amid the growing appetite for computer chips for internet connected appliances, smartphones and audio devices.

‘We are seeing unprecedented demand,’ Caulfield said. ‘It’s not a bubble.’”

Two ports. One industry. The chase for 10,000 jobs

“Divided by 10 miles of water and linked by their history as havens for well-paying, blue-collar jobs, two Hudson River ports are risking tens of millions of dollars to bring a new industry into New York.

The Port of Albany and the Port of Coeymans are buying land, building roads and bridges and purchasing 900-ton cranes in a race to become major players in the emerging offshore wind industry.”

Upstate Concert Hall moving to former Cap Rep space

“The Clifton Park music venue Upstate Concert Hall is relocating to the former Capital Repertory Theatre space at 111 N. Pearl St., where the plan is to eventually have a two-stage facility with a total capacity of as many as 1,300 people, according to the new owner of the building.

A mainstay of the area music scene since 1996, when it opened in a cavernous space in a strip plaza on Route 146 under the name Park West, Upstate Concert Hall and its immediate predecessor, Northern Lights, over the years hosted everything from local favorites like the Lawn Sausages and Ominous Seapods to some of the bigger names in the industry, with acts as diverse as Blue Oyster Cult, Megadeth and Snoop Dogg.”

AlbanyCanCode getting $125,400 for workforce development

“AlbanyCanCode, the non-profit that teaches software programming to workers looking for a new career, has been awarded up to $125,400 as part of a $9 million workforce training initiative created by the Cuomo administration.

AlbanyCanCode will use the money for scholarships for students who take its courses, which are being presented virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

County airport gets $2M for improvements

“The Columbia County Airport received nearly $2.1 million in federal grants for three projects.

The Federal Aviation Administration will cover 100% of the projects’ costs this year, unlike the usual way they are funded — 90% through federal funding, 5% from state funds and 5% from county funding set up for Airport Improvement Program grants.”



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