Aureon Biosciences closes, Westchester business confidence plummets, and the Weekly Roundup

Lots of mixed news coming out of Westchester this week, but the forces of optimism fought back today with a stronger-than-expected U.S. employment report.

Aureon Biosciences closes in Yonkers, after an 11-year run. The company had been touted as one of the bright, up-and-coming biotech companies by Westchester business leaders and politicos, with hopes that Aureon would rank among the county’s best with Regeneron, Progenics and Acorda (Westchester’s unofficial “Big Three” of the biotech/pharmaceuticals industry). Instead, Aureon made a swift and silent exit from the stage. On Tuesday Oct. 4, the company released 95 of its employees, according to documents obtained from the N.Y. Department of Labor. (Get the full story online here).

  • “The decision was made for reasons unclear to pull the funding from the company and put the company’s intellectual property up for sale,” said Michael Oates, president and CEO of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. (HVEDC) in New Windsor. “It absolutely comes as a shock to us and frankly to a great deal of the (Aureon) employees as well.”

Business confidence index plummets in Westchester during the third quarter of 2011, according to research conducted by DataKey Consulting LLC in Mount Kisco on the behalf of the Business Council of Westchester. The BCW Business Confidence Index showed that from the second to the third quarter of this year, confidence among Westchester business owners dropped 37 percent – even more significant when taking into account that the confidence index had risen for five consecutive quarters prior to this one. For more, see the Westchester County Business Journal


> An Albany bill would shift Medicaid costs borne by counties and local property owners to the state.

> Preliminary Westchester County budget projections show a $114 million shortfall; White Plains extends open-space moratorium; Moody’s cuts Yonkers’ bond rating; and more political news from around the county.

> LCOR Inc. seeks a zoning change to develop a hotel and big-box retail stores at the Landmark at Eastview in Greenburgh.

> With speculation that PepsiCo could gain value by splitting its food and beverage units, the company launched the Power of One – Americas Council to facilitate better coordination between the company’s brands.

> At the Business Council of Westchester’s 2011 Annual Dinner Oct. 6, the council announced it has hired former state Assemblyman John Ravitz as senior vice president and chief operating officer.

> P. Gilbert Mercurio, the longtime head of Westchester Putnam Association of Realtors, talks market trends as he readies for retirement.

> A convention hosted last Tuesday in Tarrytown by SCORE and American Express OPEN provided small-business owners with marketing and financial advice.



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