Google Buffalo and you’ll see quickly that the city is home to a host of historic buildings and the gateway to Niagara Falls. Look a little further back in history and you’ll see that Buffalo was a leader in industrialization and that its early commitment to hydroelectric power gave birth to a wealth of industry and development.
But what is Buffalo like today? What industries and businesses are central to the community’s current success and future plans?
According to Invest Buffalo Niagara, the top two employers in the area are part of the healthcare sector. Kaleida Health and Catholic Health both anchor major segments of the population.
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC, Inc.) is a not-for-profit medical consortium that fosters cooperation between Buffalo’s many healthcare-based organizations, including Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo General Hospital and the University at Buffalo School of Medicine. More than 12,000 people work and learn on the Medical Campus each year.
And, in addition to these efforts, Buffalo has also quietly become a hub for important research, with the University of Buffalo’s faculty researchers leading the charge on genetics, genomics and bioinformatics.
The resources and the synergy created through these projects continue to attract talented and qualified professionals to the region and make Buffalo an increasingly desirable area for young professionals in the healthcare and medical research fields.
The Buffalo region is home to more than 20 universities with more than 100,000 students and the requisite academics and staff. The city’s flagship school, the University at Buffalo, is a “premier, research-intensive public university dedicated to academic excellence.” In fact, UB invests more than $400 million annually on research with far-reaching benefits in the technology, manufacturing and healthcare sectors.
Buffalo Public Schools also employ and serve a significant portion of the population. With more than 34,000 students enrolled, the school district employs faculty and staff at more than 70 locations in the area. Throughout the Buffalo-Niagara region, several other school districts employ significant numbers of local residents.
Along with many local and regional financial institutions, two major banks have a large presence in Buffalo – M&T Bank and HSBC. While HSBC’s presence is a legacy of Marine Midland (a former Buffalo area institution absorbed into HSBC’s global holdings), M&T was founded in Buffalo mand maintains its headquarters here.
The M&T branch network extends from Buffalo throughout the eastern United States, with the majority of its back office workforce located in the area. Many other businesses choose Buffalo as a resource for housing back-office functions and pulling from the city’s pool of qualified candidates.
As an example, other financial industry-related businesses with a presence in Buffalo include GEICO, with more than 3,000 employees living and working in the Buffalo area, and Citibank, with about 1,800 employees in the region.
Buffalo has been in the midst of a quiet renaissance, with an influx of development. Tens of thousands of small businesses- from retailers to tech startups to farms- make up the backbone of the Buffalo area and are vital to the continued success of the area.
Companies like Ellicott Development have been working to bring new business, housing and entertainment options to the city. Currently, Ellicott Development is responsible for managing more than 5 million square feet of office space, 1.5 million square feet of retail space and more than 1.5 million square feet of hotel and residential property.
The businesses housed in their locations span a variety of industries, but nonetheless bring jobs and continued improvement to the area, which in turn makes it more attractive for companies and high-skilled workers who are considering relocation.
Growth in Buffalo is happening from the bottom to the top. From local retailers to companies with national and international presence, Buffalo continues to hone its reputation as a place to be. With a low cost of living, world-class entertainment and more, the region continues to attract and retain the people needed to keep top industries in growth mode.