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Special Report

Concerted investments in needy communities continue

While some people may question whether the Community Reinvestment Act remains relevant today, others firmly believe it still serves a purpose. Financial institutions tend to take their CRA commitment very seriously and work to meet its requirements. The Community Reinvestment ...

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Commercial lenders voice optimism, expect good 2014

Commercial lenders at Rochester’s small and large financial institutions expect 2014 to be a good year. “We anticipate growth across all market segments in terms of commercial lending,” says Gary Babbitt, executive vice president and chief lending officer at Canandaigua ...

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Businesses mull refinancing loans in changing climate

See correction and amplification below. As interest rates begin to climb out of a prolonged period of economic stimulus, it is a good time to refinance commercial loans, experts say. David Halladay, chief lending officer at Genesee Regional Bank, says ...

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Home design makes room for comfort, informal settings

Rochester-area design professionals have different takes on this year’s home decor trends, but they agree that most clients value ease and comfort nowadays. As interest in formality has waned, more walls have been painted in neutral colors, high- and low-end ...

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Improving industry climate buoys optimism among architects

Local architects are optimistic about the residential architectural market this year, particularly in the areas of home renovations and green design. They are offering different ways to provide on-the-job support and stressing the importance of hiring an architect experienced in ...

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Homeowners choose to remodel, expect to recoup investments

With many homeowners choosing to remodel rather than relocate, experts say there are some investments that pay off and some that should be avoided altogether. The top remodeling projects are kitchens, bathrooms and master bedrooms, where people spend most of ...

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Go beyond the usual plan, explore relationship building

Overall spending on employee development increased 15 percent in 2013 to more than $70 billion in the United States—$1,169 per learner—and $130 billion worldwide, according to a study released this month by research firm Bersin by Deloitte. Companies of all ...

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EAPs stay as key benefit; some undergo shift in focus

Employee assistance programs remain an important part of benefit plans at Rochester-area employers, though some are undergoing a shift in focus. Initially developed as a source of support for workers with substance abuse and mental health problems, today’s examples typically ...

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Health care costs take center stage, dominate benefits realm

Eric Gilbert remembers when having health insurance just meant carrying a white Blue Cross Blue Shield card in his wallet. Those days are long gone. Now Gilbert, executive vice president of sales and practice at Titan Insurance, says federal health ...

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Bonds are boring but can be a secure bet in uncertain times

I’ve said it before: No one likes bonds. They’re boring, they don’t have much opportunity to appreciate in value, they can be rather complicated and their income is generally subject to unfavorable tax rates. Yes, there is a subset of ...

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Regulations continue to be both burdensome, costly

The regulatory paperwork at community banks continues to increase as 2014 dawns, and it will increase even more as the rest of the new playbook is implemented, bankers say. Asked if he sees the end of the tunnel that is ...

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Dismissed sleep struggles result in long-term symptoms

Thomas Edison dismissed sleep as a colossal waste of time, and it turns out some men still agree. Yet recent research shows that not getting your Z’s means far more than just being grouchy or scattered during the day. Obstructive ...

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Gyms work to meet needs with intense workout regimes

By Men around the Rochester area are trying to stay fit even when hectic business and social schedules limit the time they have to work up a sweat. “Everyone is feeling the pinch to do more with less time,” says ...

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Many men postpone seeing the doctor, being proactive

Though men die an average of seven years earlier than women, men are still much less likely to take an active role in improving those odds. This disparity is alarming, medical experts say. Scores of studies show that men are ...

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Institutions expand recruiting reach to attract more students

Rochester-area colleges often look far beyond Monroe County for new students. The numbers of freshmen who come from outside the Rochester region to attend local institutions of higher learning vary, but recruiting officers expect them to increase in the coming ...

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