Setbacks define business year | News, Sports, Jobs

Valvo’s in Silver Creek closes in 2022.

Overall, it’s been a frustrating year for the local business community.

Victories such as the opening of the Americold cold storage facility in the town of Dunkirk were overshadowed by setbacks. Most notably, mass layoffs at nearby Wells Ice Cream and major changes at the Athenex expansion have hurt workers in northern counties.

Among the smaller businesses, a historic Silver Creek institution closed — but the shuttered Fredonia landmark is being revived.

wells downsizing

The company announced on July 21, “Scale down operations to 5 production lines in 2023” at its Dunkirk plant.

Wells Ice Cream Factory in Dunkirk has announced hundreds of layoffs.

Wells was acquired by the Ferrero Group in early December.Dunkirk mayor Wilfred Rosas says he has “There are assurances that there will be no further cuts.”

However, these reductions are devastating. In September, Wells announced through the state Department of Labor that 319 jobs would disappear by Jan. 11. 1. Before the announcement, the plant had 650 to 700 employees.

athens exit

The struggling pharmaceutical company has sold its leasehold interest in its Dunkirk-Neuve plant to ImmunityBio.

The company continued to post a loss of more than $308 million through September and announced in October that it was cutting about 40 jobs at its Dunkirk plant. ImmunityBio also said the facility would require an extensive revamp, which could take up to a year and a half, to meet its pharmaceutical needs.

The White Inn was sold to two entrepreneurs who were reviving the Fredonia establishment.

Closing of VALVO

After 103 years, Valvo’s Candies and Gift Shop closed for good on September 10. 12.

Owner Elizabeth Valverde said the property will eventually be sold. “I want to thank the wonderful customers, friends and family who have helped us along the way,” she says.

“I am so grateful to everyone who has helped support us.”

She added, “My husband and I would work in the candy factory until two in the morning, and sometimes we would hear a knock on the door. People from the community would come in and help.”

White Inn Sold

Local businessman Steve St. George teamed up with restaurateur Devin Jones to purchase the historic building, which has been closed since 2017, for an undisclosed sum.

The duo plan to restore the structure to its original glory as a hotel, restaurant, bar and event space. State grants, including one awarded just last week, are helping with this effort.

“We’ve been working behind the scenes for many years to help bring about a positive outcome for the hotel,” Mark Geise, who oversaw business development for Chautauqua County, said when the sale was announced. “After several attempts by other interested parties have stalled, I am confident that Mr. Yingshi. George’s efforts will be successful. Steve will not do it halfway.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to Fredonia,” British stone. George said.

nursing home fined

In March, the state Department of Health fined Dunkirk Rehabilitation and Nursing Center $10,000 for failing to perform CPR on an unresponsive resident who later died.

According to the state citation, a licensed nurse who spotted the patient did not perform CPR, activate a blue code for internal emergency assistance, or call 911 outside the building for assistance.

The LPN contacted the ailing nursing director instead. The state report said the agency did not properly schedule registered nurses or designate a full-time nursing director when former nurses were on sick leave.

The nursing home has taken corrective measures, including a plan to ensure registered nurses are covered during required hours and to designate an interim director of nursing while the regular director of nursing is away.


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