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First Niagara Announces $500,000 Business Development Fund to Highlight Company’s $4.0 Million Investment in Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Bank will make funds available to boost community development and encourage small business creation and growth, including $100,000 in funding that has yet to be distributed

Date Posted: May 14, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y., May 14, 2014 – First Niagara President and CEO Gary Crosby today announced the bank is providing $500,000 in funding for start-up businesses and community redevelopment initiatives on or near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC). First Niagara has committed $500,000, of which $400,000 has been designated to date.

The balance of First Niagara’s investment, $100,000, will be awarded to area not-for-profit or other potential partner organizations being sought to administer the funds to entrepreneurs and start-ups on the BNMC and in the surrounding Fruit Belt, Allentown and West Side neighborhoods. Local organizations already designated to administer funding from First Niagara include:

  • Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. - $100,000 to support entrepreneurs it assists through its business development office on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
  • Buffalo Urban League - $100,000 loan fund for minority and women owned start-up businesses on or around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
  • University at Buffalo Office of Economic Development - $100,000 for start-up business on or around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus that sell goods and services outside the region or for companies that directly support the Medical Campus community
  • Westminster Economic Development Initiative - $100,000 to support its microloan program targeting West Side businesses, including assistance to immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs through its West Side Bazaar business incubator

“First Niagara is committed to being at the forefront of the renaissance taking place in Western New York and on and around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus,” said Buford Sears, First Niagara Buffalo Market Executive. “We are proud to enhance and accelerate the development of the Campus and support the innovation and growth taking place there. We are committed to the revitalization of this section of our community that will soon become a world recognized leader in life sciences research, medical education and healthcare services.”

The First Niagara Foundation has provided vital support for not-for-profit entities on and around the Campus for many years. First Niagara’s investment in the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and surrounding area, since 2009, has totaled $4.0 million.

“First Niagara continues to demonstrate a real commitment to actively being a part of Buffalo’s growth,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “The Business Development Fund will provide local small businesses with the sought after resources to help new companies get off the ground and take existing ones to the next level. This investment in the Medical Campus helps sustain momentum along the growing corridor and provides quality job opportunities for local residents.”

Organizations interested in applying to administer the remaining $100,000 in grant funds to entrepreneurs looking to start-up businesses on or around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus should contact Tony Alessi, Director, First Niagara Specialized Banking Operations and Support Services, at 716-819-5549 or

About First Niagara

First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank with approximately 410 branches, $38 billion in assets, $28 billion in deposits, and approximately 5,800 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.


Jodi Johnston
Corporate Media Relations

(716) 270-8612


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David Lanzillo

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