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BNE continues pursuit of Canadian firms

WBFO News by photo Mike Desmond

After spending five years and a million dollars trying to persuade Canadian companies to locate in Western New York, the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise is moving a step further by hiring an  employee working in Ontario.

The BNE has brought Lee Meister on board as its representative across the Niagara River, working out of Markham, Ontario. He worked previously for Empire State Development Corporation before the state agency closed its Toronto office.

The local development agency has been working hard to attract Canadian companies, stressing familiarity, geography and connections. It's most notable success was prompting Welland's Welded Tube to build a pipe manufacturing plant on the old Bethlehem Steel site.

Buffalo Niagara Enterprise President and CEO Tom Kucharski says the agency helps companies jump through the hoops to locate here.

"We're not charging for our services. We're actively, pro-actively searching for these opportunities and then we're set up to help them get through this process," Kucharski said

Meister says Canadian companies come here because they have saturated their home market and they want to move into the larger U.S. market.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.