Small Business Resources

Senator Cooney works with a group of small business owners
City of Rochester Programs

Grant and Loan Information



  • Brownfield Assistance The objective of the Brownfield Assistance Program (BAP) is to attract businesses, developers, and investors who can develop and reuse underutilized land, while contributing to the City’s economic health.

  • Kiva Rochester Crowdfunded Microloan Program provides capital for entrepreneurs who may have difficulty securing loans from traditional lending institutions. The program, involving a partnership with Kiva and the City, provides 0% interest/no fee/36-month microloans to small businesses which may be startup or early stage businesses which require capital for growth. Borrowers can receive loans from $1,000 to $15,000 for eligible business expenses such as purchase of tools, equipment, office equipment, and working capital. 

  • Targeted Business Revitalization Grant Program assists businesses with annual gross revenues of $5 million or less with expansion and/or business retention projects. The maximum grant amount is $45,000. Assistance may be provided to those businesses adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

  • Business Development Financial Assistance Program provides low-interest loans and grants for expansion projects. Eligible projects include purchase of machinery/equipment, acquisition, construction and/or renovation of real estate, and working capital. Loans will generally not exceed $250,000.

  • Neighborhood Commercial Assistance Program provides small business grants for eligible retail and neighborhood service businesses which need capital for items such as advertising, furniture/fixtures/equipment, exterior signage, computers, architectural services, and security equipment (alarm systems, exterior lighting, security cameras). Start-up/New businesses (in business for up to 12 months) are eligible for up to $5,000. Existing businesses (in business for 12 months or more) are eligible for up to $8,000. All grants are reimbursement grants which requires reimbursement after the business expenditure has been made.


Requests for Proposals

Monroe County Economic Development Programs

Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) Info


  • Matthew Burrell Manager, Monroe County Minority/Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program


  • Monroe County Emergency Small Business Support Program in light of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, Monroe County has established a zero percent interest loan of up to $10,000 to support small businesses (50 or fewer full-time or full-time equivalent employees) impacted by the pandemic.


  • REDCO Resource Enhancement Program is a two-year peer learning cohort program designed to provide developmental support and collaboration opportunities that increase the cultural relevance of services and resources 

  • Revolving Loan Fund is an ideal funding for job creation, business retention, expansion, or relocation for new or growing businesses located in the city of Rochester. These funds can also be used for equipment, redevelopment, real estate acquisitions or new construction.

  • Catalytic Predevelopment Loans are flexible, low-interest predevelopment loans are intended for early-stage real estate development projects focused on the revitalization of key commercial properties in targeted Rochester neighborhood corridors. The Fund works as a catalyst to incentivize high-impact development, stimulate economic growth and create more vibrant commercial areas

  • Philip J. Banks Grant is grant funding for job creation, business retention, expansion, or relocation. Funds can also be used for equipment, redevelopment, real estate acquisitions or new construction.

  • REDCO Business Certification Program is specifically tailored to Rochester-based small business owners and start-ups to help them fully understand business ownership, strategies, responsibilities, and compliance.


  • The ROC Women’s Business Center (RWBC) provides a unique array of services specifically for women entrepreneurs. Services include one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops, technical assistance, and mentoring on numerous business development topics, including business startup, financial management, marketing, and procurement.

  • Individualized Business Coaching, Business Financing and Business Credit, Business Licensing, Leadership Training, Executive Business Mentoring, Marketing and Contracting, Subject Matter-Led Workshops

  • Urban League of Rochester's Community Business Academy (CBA) helps minority entrepreneurs launch or grow their businesses through innovative classroom instruction and hands-on training in business planning and management.


  • NEXUS i90 is the entrepreneurial ecosystem solution for the Greater ROC & Finger lakes Region.

  • IBERO AMERICAN ACTION LEAGUE ENTREPRENEUR ASSISTANCE PROGRAM specializes in helping minorities, women, low to moderate income individuals and veterans in all areas of business training. Areas of assistance range from technical assistance to formal classroom training designed to support development of business plans, applications for financing and the NYS Certification Process. Intensive mentorship is provided in developing business plans. Spanish speaking entrepreneurs may also benefit from working one on one with local mentors.

  • ROC CITY BIZ FAST TRAC is a cohort based program designed to help business startups as they launch. The goal of the program is to help new business owners respond to many of the challenges faced in the early launch of a business. Business owners completing this ten-week entrepreneurship program will be eligible to apply for small business grants.

  • PathStone Enterprise Center has been providing human, social and development services to low-income individuals and communities since 1969. The Enterprise Center carries out its mission by making loans to small and micro businesses, and by accompanying those loans with a strong program of pre-loan and post-loan technical assistance designed to support our client’s growth.   The Enterprise Center’s loans range in size from $5,000 to $250,000, however, most start-ups are limited to $50,000 maximum loan.

  • ESL Federal Credit Union has many loan options for small businesses. Whether you stop in to your local branch, call, or chat with them, an ESL representative can help you determine the lending option that best fits your business needs and will work with you to complete your application.

  • Capacity Building Program @ RIT The purpose of the program is to assist entrepreneurs with the development of a customized Capacity Building Development Plan (CDBP) that will ultimately lead to an increase in annual growth rate as well as provide positive stimulation to the urban entrepreneurial ecosystem.