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The Business Page

Welcome to the business page, a blog where I'll take you behind the scenes of greater Rochester's fast-changing economy. My name is Ben Rand, and I intend to introduce you to some of the personalities, concepts and events that make news in business here. I've been a business reporter for eight years in Rochester and a journalist for 18, working in four states. I grew up in Pittsford, but moved away after college for about a decade. My wife and I live in Irondequoit with our two children.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Back to work

I am back on the job after a week's vacation, which included a lovely drive to Vermont (a place unlike most I have experienced.)

Just a couple of observations:
  • In the category of comings and goings, an arrival: Medley Centre has another new tenant. It's Hobby House Toys, an area toy store. This is actually an expansion. Hobby House has stores in Southtown Plaza and on Pittsford-Palmyra Road. According to Medley Centre, the chain carries unique items, from "models to plush animals, building sets to board games, rockets to magic kits." This comes on the heels of the opening of a new Target store on the Medley Centre property. It also goes against the grain a bit, as independent toy stores have been struggling with competition from Wal-Mart. Owner Susan O'Neil says the secret lies in inventory selection: "you have to spend a lot of time to make sure you don't have what Wal-Mart has."
  • Kodak's third-quarter earnings will be out in the morning. It is again considerably challenging to predict what the numbers will show. Projections reported to Thomson Financial call for adjusted earnings in line with the third quarter a year ago -- 19 cents a share. But those analysts are also forecasting an 8 percent decline in revenue., to $3.2 billion. One outstanding issue is the disposition of the company's health group. Kodak has said it will be considering strategic options and hoped to have an announcement by year's end. Excuse the self-promotion, but we'll have updates at starting at about 7 a.m. tomorrow.
  • Experts are gathering today to compare more notes about seeking economic opportunity out of alternative energy. Called “Turning Green into Growth,” the forum was hosted by Greater Rochester Enterprise; Stantec, an international architectural and engineering firm; and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit coalition promoting buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy. The event was designed to highlight "green” building, and to help move Rochester toward the goal of being a clean energy leader.


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