Western New York is moving up in the latest national rankings of small-business vitality. The Buffalo area is now No. 29 out of 100 major metro areas. A year ago, Buffalo ranked 80th. The Business Journals based the report on a six-part formula, looking at the economy, expansions and the number of small businesses. While Buffalo saw a slight increase in the number of small businesses, most other areas saw declines. Researchers say most other areas also lost more jobs than Buffalo. Austin finished first thanks to a 20 percent jump in population and job growth. Modesto, CA is at the very bottom of the rankings.
A new convention is a blessing of sorts for downtown Buffalo. Business First says a religious gathering this week is expected to bring in $1 million. The Church of God and Saints of Christ is a Cleveland-based group that is spending six days at the Adam's Mark Hotel. More than 2,000 people are expected for a series of religious celebrations, coming from as far away as Bermuda, Great Britain and Jamaica. It begins tomorrow.