USDA launches loan guarantee program to create more market opportunities,

By Press Release
Dec 10, 2021, 11:13pm

Press Release:

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced USDA is deploying $100 million under the new Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program to make available nearly $1 billion in loan guarantees; these loan guarantees will back private investment in processing and food supply infrastructure that will strengthen the food supply chain for the American people. USDA is making the funding available through the American Rescue Plan Act. The program is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to address food system challenges dating back decades and further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. These investments will help essential processing and supply chain infrastructure that will ultimately deliver more opportunities and fairer prices for farmers, they will give people greater access to healthier foods, and they will help eliminate bottlenecks in the food supply chain. “The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities and created extreme disruptions in America’s food supply chain. The reduction in meat processing capacity is just one example of the supply chain bottlenecks that affect small and midsize farmers,” Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is investing in ways to improve America’s food supply chain. The funding we’re announcing today will leverage approximately a billion dollars in public and private-sector investments that will significantly expand meat and poultry processing capacity and finance critical food supply chain infrastructure.” Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program Through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program, USDA will partner with lenders to guarantee loans of up to $40 million to help eligible entities expand meat and poultry processing capacity and finance other food supply chain infrastructure. Lenders may provide the loans to eligible cooperatives, corporations, for profits, nonprofits, Tribal communities, public bodies and people in rural and urban areas. USDA Rural Development (RD) will administer the loans. Funding may be used to:

 start-up or expand food supply chain activities such as aggregating, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling or distributing food.

 address supply chain bottlenecks.

 increase capacity and help create a more resilient, diverse and secure U.S. food supply chain.

USDA is accepting electronic applications from lenders through the Food Supply Chain Online Application System until funds are expended. Paper applications will not be accepted. To access the online application system, lenders must submit a request to For more information, visit or see the notice published in the Dec. 9 Federal Register.   USDA Rural Development encourages applications for projects that advance the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, promote equitable access to USDA programs and services, and reduce the impacts of climate change on rural communities. For more information, visit Background This funding announcement follows the Biden-Harris Administration’s September announcement about the steps it is taking to address concentration in the meat-processing industry. It adds a new commitment of $100 million for guaranteed loans on top of the previously announced $500 million investment to expand meat and poultry processing capacity. These efforts are part of USDA’s Build Back Better Initiative, a comprehensive plan to invest $4 billion to strengthen the resiliency of America’s food supply chain while promoting competition. As co-Chair of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, Secretary Vilsack and USDA have brought together industry, labor and federal partners to address the short-term supply chain disruptions arising from the Administration’s strong economic recovery. This is one of several key steps that USDA is taking to build a more resilient supply chain and better food system and to increase competition in agricultural markets. These steps are pursuant to President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy and his Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains. This initiative will support key supply chain infrastructure investments to expand and scale existing capacity, as well as support long-term investments in new operations. Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page. USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit

BID seeks to hire new executive director

By Press Release
Dec 9, 2021, 11:40pm

Press Release:

The Batavia Business Improvement District is seeking to fill the position of Executive Director. 

The ideal candidate must possess demonstrated experience as a visionary leader with the ability to see beyond today and to lead the BID in development, implantation of ideas and vision, along with creating overall strategic direction for the BID. 

Resumes and Cover Letters may be emailed to

For more information contact the Batavia Business Improvement District at 585-344-0900 or Donald Brown at

Video: Zach Watts proprietor of My Cut talks about his new barbershop

By Howard Owens
Dec 8, 2021, 9:56pm
Video Sponsor

Earlier this year, Zach Watts opened his own barbershop, My Cut, at 202 E Main St, Batavia, and this past week, The Batavian interviewed him at his shop.

Schumer makes pitch to Israel-based semiconductor company to build plant at STAMP, or elsewhere upstate

By Press Release
Dec 7, 2021, 1:50pm

Press release:

Following his continued advocacy to make Upstate NY a global semiconductor manufacturing hub, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer personally called Tower Semiconductor CEO, Russell Ellwanger, about the company’s interest in expanding their operations. Schumer urged the CEO to locate their next semiconductor fabrication (“fab”) plant in Upstate NY. Tower Semiconductor is currently considering New York, along with several other locations, for a new $5 billion semiconductor fab plant that would create up to a thousand jobs.

Schumer said New York boasts several sites across Upstate that are ready to be home to Tower’s next chip fab, from the STAMP campus in Western New York and the White Pine Commerce Park in Central New York, to Marcy Nanocenter in the Mohawk Valley and Luther Forest in the Capital Region.  Schumer added that Upstate New York boasts a thriving semiconductor ecosystem, top-notch universities, a world-class workforce, and a diversity of companies across the supply chain. 

“Tower Semiconductor’s interest in expanding its manufacturing operations in the U.S., and potentially in Upstate NY, is exciting news for the entire state and a potential game-changer for the region. I made it clear to Tower that I strongly support locating their new semiconductor chip fab in New York. I know firsthand Upstate NY has all of the ingredients to be a global epicenter for semiconductor manufacturing and that is why any of our multiple shovel-ready sites from STAMP in WNY, White Pines in CNY, Luther Forest in the Capital Region, and Marcy Nanocenter in the Mohawk Valley is the perfect location for Tower Semiconductor’s new chip fab,” said Senator Schumer. “Our world-class New York workforce and distinguished research institutions, coupled with New York’s considerable experience in semiconductor manufacturing and R&D mean Upstate NY is tailor-made to be the home for Tower’s new fab. I stand ready to help Tower in any way for investment in New York, including securing the federal semiconductor manufacturing and R&D incentives, and further cement New York as a global hub for chip manufacturing.”

Schumer has long emphasized the importance of active federal support for the semiconductor industry including his push to include provisions in the FY2021 NDAA to create new federal semiconductor manufacturing, R&D, and training programs, noting that even though the U.S. revolutionized the semiconductor and broad microelectronics industries and invented nearly all of the key technology used to this day, by 2030, non-U.S. competitors are projected to control 83% of the global semiconductor manufacturing supply while domestic production could be less than 10%, which would be a threat to national security and economic competitiveness.

In June, Schumer successfully passed through the Senate the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), legislation he introduced that combined his Endless Frontier Act to make a significant investment in research, development, and innovation, other bipartisan competitiveness bills, and $52 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to implement the semiconductor-related manufacturing and R&D programs the senator authorized in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act. USICA also created a program to support legacy chip production that is essential to the auto industry, the military, and other critical industries. Schumer is now working with the House to pass USICA, including the historic federal semiconductor incentives, into law as well as supporting the passage as part of the Build Back Better reconciliation bill of a new 25% tax credit for investments in domestic semiconductor facilities and equipment, modeled after the FABS Act. 

Tower Semiconductor is an Israel-based leading foundry of high-value analog semiconductor solutions and provides technology and manufacturing platforms for integrated circuits in growing markets such as consumer, industrial, automotive, mobile, infrastructure, medical and aerospace, and defense.

Lunar Credit upsets at 42-1 in Batavia top trot

By Press Release
Dec 5, 2021, 3:54pm

Press Release By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

 Among the full slate of feature races on the Saturday night (Dec. 4) card at Batavia Downs, the $13,500 Open I Handicap trot drew the most attention after Lunar Credit put on a display of speed and lit up the tote board at 42-1. That was just one of several races that paid out big bucks as longshots dotted the board throughout the night and the biggest carryover in the history of the track was paid out.

Warrawee Shipshape (Dave McNeight III) and Lunar Credit (Jim McNeight Jr.) played tag for the lead with the latter gaining control in front of the stands. Lunar Credit then got to the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.4 where Spoiler Alert (Jim Pantaleano) was charging on the attack with Barn Hall (Kevin Cummings) and Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) right behind. Coming into the stretch, horses were coming from everywhere, but Lunar Credit stuck to his task and closed out the mile with a one length win in a seasonal best 1:57.3.

Lunar Credit ($87.00) scored his fifth win of the year for his owner Jim McNeight Jr. Jim McNeight trains the winner. 
The father and son team of McNeight and McNeight Jr. had a big night Saturday, combining for three wins on the card. Besides Lunar Credit, they also won with One Rock (1:58, $5.50) and Wild Bill M (1:58, $7.20). 
Next came a pair of pacing performances, one of which proved quite profitable. 

Despite a short field of four, the $13,500 Open I Handicap pace was an exciting event that went right down to the wire. Jim Pantaleano put the Pennsylvania invader Captain Cash right on the lead while Stratosphere (Drew Monti) followed intently from second the entire mile. After cutting solid fractions of :27.3, :57.3 and 1:26.1, Captain Cash was feeling the heat from the tripping Stratosphere and Mississippi Rabbit (Dave McNeight III), who had made his way up to second heading into the last turn. As the field made their way into the lane, it became a two horse race as Stratosphere ducked into the passing lane and switched to full speed. And although he whittled down the lead with every step, Captain Cash had enough left to win by a head in 1:54.3.

Making his first start at Batavia Downs, Captain Cash ($4.20) scored his sixth win of the year for owner Matt Morrison. Christen Pantaleano trains the winner. 

The Pantaleano/Morrison connections also clicked again later in the card with Mankat (1:57, $2.70) who also went gate to wire. 

Then in the $11,700 Open II Handicap pace, Jericho Willie (Denny Bucceri) was overlooked at 23-1 despite winning last week. However he tripped-out for the second week in a row, this time behind Sunfirewindrain (Jim McNeight Jr.), all the way to deep stretch where he shook loose in the passing lane and just got up by ¼ length to win in 1:55.3 .

Jericho Willie ($49.60) is owned by Michael Kessler and the Speed To Burn Stable and is trained by Misty Carey. 

Driver Denny Bucceri ended the night with two wins as did Drew Monti. 

The huge payoffs continued in the final race of the night when the long growing carryover pool in the Jackpot Hi-5 was finally hit. One single unique 20-cent ticket was sold on the combination of 9-2-7-5-1 and the lucky bettor collected $29,465, which was the largest payout ever in the history of Batavia Downs. 

When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Dec. 8) there will be two carryovers and one guaranteed pool. 

To start, there is a $2,259 carryover in the Pick-5 wager in the first race and the management of Batavia Downs has announced that the pool will be guaranteed at $10,000 as part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. Free program pages will be available courtesy of TrackMaster on the USTA’s website and the Batavia Downs website and Facebook page on Monday. The Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager that begins in race one and runs through race five.

Then in race four, there is a carryover of $888 in the Jackpot Pick-6. That is a 20-cent base wager and it runs through race nine.

Free full card past performance program pages for Wednesday and every live racing night at Batavia can always be downloaded at under the live racing tab. And if you can’t attend live, you can still watch all the racing action via the Batavia Downs YouTube channel.

Post time for the first race is slated for 5 p.m.

GCEDC Board approves Valiant Real Estates USA Inc. investment of $4.5 million for old warehouse

By Press Release
Dec 3, 2021, 4:22pm

Press Release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved assistance for a $4.5 million project investment by Valiant Real Estate USA Inc. for a bus operations facility in the town of Batavia at its board meeting on Thursday, December 2, 2021.

Valiant Real Estate USA Inc.’s 20,000 sq. ft. facility will include office space, training space, repair areas and storage in order to support school districts and school bus operators across the Western New York and the Finger Lakes regions. The proposed facility will be located less than a mile of Interstate 90 Exit 48, providing a strong logistics base for the project.

The project includes infrastructure to support future utilization of electric/clean energy vehicles and related initiatives.  Over the next three years Valiant Real Estate USA Inc. plans to create up to 19 new jobs and 12 part-time jobs. The $430,120 in estimated assistance to the project is estimated to produce a $50 return for every $1 of assistance.

The GCEDC Board also accepted an application from Mega Properties Inc. and approved scheduling a public hearing on the potential assistance for the purchase of a vacant 142,000 sq. ft building in the town of Batavia and plans to develop the building into a warehouse distribution facility. The proposed $8.5 million financial investment by Mega Properties Inc. would retain nine full-time employees and the creation of up to 11 new jobs. The project has requested approximately $600,000 in property, sales, and mortgage tax exemptions.


Alexander entrepreneur adds liquor and fish fries to her business menu

By jfbeck_99_272012
Dec 3, 2021, 10:52am


There was a time when Jenny Wall thought practically about being a prison counselor, which is why she obtained an associate degree in human services.

But, a decent salary and retirement benefits aside, she pushed away practical and went for the dream. Wall, 38, who has owned and operated J Dubs Pizzas and Subs of Alexander for more than a dozen years, just opened Liberty’s Liquor Cabinet in October of this year, and added fish fries to her menu as of Friday (Dec. 3). 

“For the most part, I really liked running a kitchen, and I took a chance,” the Alexander native said during an interview Thursday. “It’s a lot harder than people think. It’s a lot of hours and a lot of sacrifice, but you do make some great relationships in the community. You’re so grateful that you have to do what you can, you’ve just got to keep on keeping on.”

A big part of Wall’s expansion has included the purchase of a building three years ago to house both of her business ventures at 10594 Main St., Alexander. A former appliance store, it took some renovations to make the place restaurant-worthy: a “nice big kitchen” and dining room expansion to accommodate 30 people. 

The pizzeria had formerly been across the street, but a talk with her dad, doing some research, and an entrepreneurial vision prompted Wall to buy the much larger site and move in with room to grow. Two years later another renovation paved the way for the liquor store. The property also contains three apartments and another woman-owned business of a beauty salon. A 12-space back parking lot was added in the last three years. 

Opening a pizzeria wasn’t a random move, Wall said, as she had worked in the pizza industry for about seven years until the last shop she was at closed. The question of working for someone else or going out on her own wasn’t an easy one, she said. 

“I kind of knew what I was doing; I had been doing every aspect of the business,” she said. “I hemmed and hawed for a week, and then I asked the landlord if I could rent the space. It was super scary.”

J Dubs moved into a spot that had been occupied by six pizzerias, all of which had closed in a 10-year span. Wall had a strategy of not using frozen dough; only freshly made from scratch and the same for the sauce. 

“I use really good products. I’ve kind of built a reputation that if you leave my place hungry, something’s wrong. A lot of customers have turned into family.”

The liquor store seemed like a natural fit, she said, and adding fish fries — using fresh haddock and a genuine “light and crunchy” beer batter — will run through Lent. She wanted all three components to be in the same central location.

Wall’s workweek is upwards of 60 hours, which leaves precious time for her to spend with husband Craig Romesser and their 7-year-old daughter Scarlett. Wall credits her family, her husband’s help for much of the renovation work, and her employees for their ongoing support, even when she took a six-week hiatus after giving birth to Scarlett. 

“I wouldn’t be able to do it without my employees; they are wonderful people. There’s no way I could do it without them,” she said. “It’s a wonderful feeling to have such a tight-knit group. I think you should treat your employees with the utmost respect, or you’re not going to survive.” 

As for respect, Wall has had to deal with people making assumptions about her as they ask to speak with the “boss.” She doesn’t think they mean any harm but wants to make it clear that women entrepreneurs are out in full force making a go of the business world. She’s been able to do it with support from friends, family, and the community, Wall said.

“Anybody can run a business, anybody can do whatever they put their mind to … it’s a different day and age,” she said. ”I have such a great circle, and am so grateful for that.” 

J Dubs is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Sundays during football season. Liberty’s Liquor Cabinet is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and seasonal hours are noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Fish fries are served at the pizzeria from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. To order, call 585-591-3827.

Photos by Howard Owens








Rochester Regional Health Appoints Richard Davis, Ph.D., as Chief Executive Office

By Press Release
Dec 2, 2021, 7:09pm

Press Release from Rochester Regional Health:

Rochester Regional Health announced that its Board of Directors selected Richard "Chip" Davis, Ph.D., as the next CEO. Dr. Davis will assume his new role on March 7, 2022

The Board initiated a comprehensive national search after Eric Bieber, MD, announced his retirement more than six months ago. An internal selection committee was led by David Riedman, Chair, CEO Search Committee. The committee comprised of board members, medical and dental staff, and leadership, conducted a rigorous and inclusive interview process.

"It was clear during our interview with Dr. Davis that he has an unwavering commitment to patient safety and quality. Those qualities, along with his passion for innovation and his more than 25 years of work in complex healthcare environments, make him a great fit for Rochester Regional Health," said Michael Nuccitelli, Board Chair, Rochester Regional Health. "As a seasoned executive, Dr. Davis brings not only extensive experience but a new and energizing vision to Rochester Regional."

Dr. Davis' responsibilities as a CEO at Henry Ford include providing strategic leadership and direction over the clinical operations of the market and leading new clinical, academic, and commercial partnerships. He works closely with clinical and service line leaders to enhance coordination between primary care networks and specialty services. He has oversight of more than 100 care delivery locations, including two hospitals (totaling 1,240 beds) and over $2.5 billion in net patient revenue. Henry Ford Hospital has one of the country's largest post-graduate medical education programs with over 1,000 medical students, 517 residents, 165 fellows, and 900 nursing students. 

While at Henry Ford, Dr. Davis led an initiative to create a state-of-the-art Health System Central Command Center to coordinate transfers, admissions, and discharges across all hospital facilities. He was also instrumental in helping to broker a 30-year definitive agreement for Michigan State University to become the main academic partner for the health system and worked on the team to implement the first Hospital-at-Home program in the state of Michigan. Under his leadership the market made significant improvements in key inpatient and outpatient quality indicators.

"I am very excited to become the next CEO at Rochester Regional Health and look forward to working with all team members, the provider community, and patients and family members to continue the legacy of excellence during these challenging times," said Dr. Davis.

Prior to joining Henry Ford, Dr. Davis spent more than 25 years with Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) in various positions, most recently as President and CEO of Sibley Memorial Hospital, a not-for-profit hospital in Washington, DC. At Sibley, he established an Innovation Hub, the first-of-its-kind healthcare improvement accelerator in a community hospital. Dr. Davis was also the Vice President of Innovation and Patient Safety for JHM, ran ambulatory operations, and led several transformational efforts for the academic medical system. He was on faculty at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, School of Public Health, and Business School.

Dr. Davis received his Ph.D. in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. He also has a Master's degree in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Davis returns to New York with his wife, Morgan Adessa, DAc. He has three adult children - Kylie, Dana and Will.

Rochester Regional's current President and CEO, Eric Bieber, MD, will retire from the health system on December 31, 2021.

  A native of the Finger Lakes, Dr. Davis comes to Rochester Regional Health from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan, where he currently serves as    Senior Vice President and CEO of Henry Ford Health System's South Market and Henry Ford Hospital. With more than 33,000 employees, Henry Ford Health System is the fifth-largest employer in metro Detroit and among the most diverse.

Workforce Development Board honors participants while GCEDC announces new jobs program

By Howard Owens
Dec 2, 2021, 3:55pm


Aaron Barnum was among several honorees Thursday morning at Terry Hills by the Genesee-Livingston-Orleans-Wyoming Workforce Development Board for their achievements in workforce development.

For Barnum, he was honored as a participant who found success working for GO Art! and Genesee Orleans Arc, which eventually led to a permanent job at Arc.

Other awards in Genesee County was Business of the Year to GCEDC for the agency's efforts in workforce development and Shannon Yauchzee for program participation.  There were also awards to individuals, businesses, and agencies in the other three counties.

Chris Suozzi, VP of business development for GCEDC, also spoke with The Batavian about GCEDC's workforce development efforts, which include apprenticeship programs, job shadows, and the annual GLOW With Your Hands event at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.

He also announced a new program set to begin in June called Cornell in High School.  GCEDC is seeking 40 students to participate, initially at Batavia HS and BOCES but other schools may be included to help achieve the goal of 40 participants.  Cornell will provide training, paid for by GCEDC at a cost of $500 per student, in dairy science and sanitation. The goal is to prepare career-minded students with knowledge and skills they can use to get work right after graduation in the county's food processing facilities. 

Each student who successfully completes the program will receive a certificate from Cornell

"That's kind of the things we're trying to do ... come up with new ideas that are meeting the needs of our employers, especially the big employers," Suozzi said.

Mega Properties Inc. considers investing millions for re-use of a vacant building in Batavia

By Press Release
Nov 30, 2021, 9:27pm

Press Relase:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider a final resolution for a proposed $4.5 million financial investment by Valiant Real Estate USA Inc. for a bus operations facility in the town of Batavia at its board meeting on Thursday, December 2, 2021.

The 20,000 sq. ft. facility would include office space, training space, repair areas and storage in order to support school districts and school bus operators across Genesee County. The project would include infrastructure to support future utilization of electric/clean energy vehicles and related initiatives.

The facility would be located on Saile Drive in the town of Batavia. Over the next three years Valiant Real Estate USA Inc. plans to create up to 19 new jobs and 12 part-time jobs. 

The GCEDC Board also will hear an initial resolution to consider the purchase of a vacant 142,000 sq. ft building in the city of Batavia by Mega Properties Inc., which plans to develop the building into a warehouse distribution facility. 

The potential $8.5 million financial investment by Mega Properties Inc. would retain nine full-time employees and the creation of up to 11 new jobs. The project would receive approximately $600,000 in property, sales, and mortgage tax exemptions. 

“There is a huge demand in the marketplace for operations and warehouse space not only regionally but across the nation,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde. “The dynamics of supply chain economics is impacting every industry sector and the need for more storage and distribution space is vital to future economic development.”

A public hearing regarding the Mega Properties Inc. plan will be held at 4 p.m., December 2 at the Town of Pembroke offices on 1145 Main Road in Pembroke.

The December 2, 2021, GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. at 99 Med-Tech Drive.

A livestream and on-demand recording of the meeting also will be available at

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