Business Loans, Services and Grants

 17 NBD Grants 960x260 FALL  

Learn about the many low-interest loan and grant opportunities available for the purchase of equipment, materials, supplies and more, or to purchase, build or renovate property. Whatever your business need, we are certain to have a program to fill it. 

Business Development Events

The Neighborhood and Business Development Department is conducting a series of open information sessions designed to help businesses located in Rochester access City loans, grants and services in order to grow or improve their business.

Please join us from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Thursday, Nov. 30: Thomas P. Ryan Recreation Center, 530 Webster Ave.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 10:  City Hall Council Chambers, 30 Church Street 

Please RSVP by emailing Alisa.Gillan@CityofRochester.Gov or calling 428-6912. 

Business Assistance Programs

The City offers the following programs to assist businesses which are creating new investment and creating jobs for City residents. The business must be located within the City or re-locating within the City. Home-based and non-profit businesses are ineligible.   

Business Development Financial Assistance Program

Provides low-interest loans and grants for expansion projects. Eligible projects include purchase of machinery/equipment and equipment, acquisition, construction and/or renovation of real estate, and working capital. Loans will generally not exceed $250,000. Interest rates are fixed at either 1% or 3% depending on collateral provided. Loan terms are typically 5 years for machinery/equipment/working capital and 10 years for real estate. All loans must be secured and personally guaranteed by owners of 20% or more of the business.    

Neighborhood Commercial Assistance Program 

Provides small business matching grants for eligible retail and neighborhood service businesses which need capital for items such as furniture/fixtures/equipment, exterior signage, advertising, computers, architectural services, and security equipment (alarm systems, exterior lighting, security cameras). New businesses (in business for up to 12 months) are eligible for up to $5,000. Existing businesses (in business for more than 12 months) are eligible for up to $8,000. All grants are reimbursement grants which requires reimbursement after the business expenditure has been made. Appropriate cost documentation is required.  

Kiva Rochester Crowdfunded Microloan Program

Kiva's mission is to provide 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. Loans are partially crowd-funded utilizing KIVA’s online platform. Borrowers can receive loans from $1,000 to $10,000 for eligible business expenses such as purchase of tools, equipment, office equipment, and working capital. Applications can be made online and paperwork requirements are minimal. For more information on the program click here. 

Rochester Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) Revolving Loan Fund

Provides financial assistance to new or expanding city businesses to stimulate private sector job retention and/or creation, investment within the city of Rochester and increases in the City's tax base. Eligible projects include furniture, fixture and equipment purchases, machinery acquisition, working capital and the acquisition, construction and/or renovation of real estate. Available assistance includes low interest loans up to $250,000 and interest rate subsidy grants. Interest rates are between 1% and 3%, with terms between 5 and 10 years.    

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 Loan Program

The SBA 504 Loan Program is provided by Rochester Economic Development Corporation and provides long-term, fixed rate financing for the acquisition of machinery/equipment or acquisition/redevelopment of business real estate including land and buildings. SBA 504 loan projects are structured with a bank loan for 50% of the project cost secured with a first lien on the asset(s) acquired, and an SBA direct loan for 40% of the project cost secured with a second lien on the asset(s) acquired. A minimum 10% equity is required from the borrower. New businesses (in business less than 24 months) are required to invest 15% equity with the SBA 504 loan reduced to 35%. Equipment SBA 504 loans have a 10-year term and a 10-year fixed rate. Real estate loans have a 20-year term and a 20-year fixed rate. All owners of 20% or more of the business are required to personally guarantee the SBA 504 loan.     

Brownfield Assistance

The objective of the Brownfields 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.

Questions?

Let the City of Rochester help you navigate the programs and find the best fit for your situation.

Please submit an online request for assistance/information, or feel free to contact our office in person or via phone.

Online Request for Assistance Form  

Department of Neighborhood and Business Development
30 Church Street, Room 005A
Rochester, NY 14614
(585)428-6912