Business Development Success Stories

Invest in Rochester, Grow Your Business

Each year, the Business Development team in the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development helps entrepreneurs start or grow a business in Rochester. Here are some examples of successful business leaders who've experienced the benefits of working with our Business Development Team.


Bright Bubble Laundromat

953 N. Clinton Avenue
Rochester, NY 14621

Located on a main corridor in the Northeast quadrant, Bright Bubble Laundromat is an essential laundromat business on N. Clinton Avenue that many people in the neighborhood frequent. It is important for essential businesses to remain open and be accessible for our residents. 

The City of Rochester was able to assist them with a Targeted Business Revitalization Grant, a grant intended to assist businesses who have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic.”





200-202 Webster Avenue
Beechwood Neighborhood


Founded in 2012 by Shannon Scott, Sew-n-City is a successful woman/minority owned hair salon which provides a wide array of services, including hair styling, braiding, weaving, as well as large inventory of hair care products.

When Shannon Scott decided to enlarge her salon and look for a place to own, she worked with the City to find a tax-foreclosed abandoned building at 200-202 Webster Avenue. Shannon purchased the property from the City, and with financial assistance from the City, fully renovated and restored the building. The City provided a Business Development Financial Assistance loan and grant for the project. The project was completed in 2023.

Today, Sew-n-City employs eight City of Rochester residents, while actively engaging in community initiatives and demonstrating leadership through its actions.




Woerner Industries LLC

485 Hague St 
Rochester, NY 14606


“Founded in 1915, Woerner Industries, LLC has manufactured a full line of church furniture for over 100 years. Our products are sold through church goods dealers nationwide. We are dedicated to producing furniture designed to enhance the worship service and to endure for years to come.”
— Andy Frame, Project Manager of Woerner Industries, LLC

Like so many other business, Woerner Industries, LLC was forced to close their doors and shut down for 8 weeks during the pandemic. This closure caused a decrease in sales that also prompted Woerner Industries, LLC to contact the City of Rochester Business and Economic Development team for financial assistance. The City of Rochester Business and Economic Development team helped Woerner Industries, LLC through the application process and was able to award a Targeted Business Revitalization Assistance Grant to help keep Woerner Industries open for business.



260 East Broad Street
Rochester, NY 14604

Butler/Till was established in 1998 and is a results-driven marketing agency that is independent, a certified women-owned/led enterprise (WBE), 100% employee-owned (ESOP), and a B Corporation. The agency has grown to more than 350 employees across 18 states, and is proud to not only have Rochester roots, but still be headquartered here 25+ years later.

Butler/Till has experienced significant growth over the years, expanding their team, their service offering, their clients, which are both regional and national brands in highly regulated industries, and gained several recognitions such as earning spots on the Ad Age Best Places to Work List, on both the Inc. Best in Business List and on the Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States. Additionally, they have been regularly named in the Rochester Top 100 for more than 15 years.

The City of Rochester assisted Butler/Till with moving their headquarters from Henrietta to downtown Rochester with a Business Development Financial Assistance Grant. The move to downtown Rochester brought nearly 150 local employees to the city and the business projected to create an additional 65 positions over the next three years—a stat they have already surpassed and proof of a significant development in downtown Rochester.



Roc Paper Straws

920 Exchange Street, Suite G-102
Rochester, NY 14608

Karrie Laughton and her mother, Kathryn Laughton, are the owners of Suck It Up Straws, Inc., dba Roc Paper Straws, a woman-owned paper straw factory, one of only six in the U.S.A., and the only one in the Northeast! Karrie has owned and operated a local neighborhood bar, Lux Lounge, in the South Wedge for the past 21 years. Back in 2018, Karrie made the switch to paper straws after watching the video of the poor turtle with the plastic straw in its sweet little nose. As Karrie watched, she exclaimed “Enough! No more turtle torture!” and made the switch to paper straws. 

 Then things got tricky. Other businesses were also making the switch and the demand started getting overwhelming. The few U.S. companies that were making paper straws couldn’t keep up with the demand. Karrie was literally waiting up to three months to get an order delivered. Then she thought to herself, “This is crazy! If people want the paper straws, they shall have the paper straws, so I will help save the world and make the paper straws!” After 3 years of planning and developing several prototypes, the owners, along with the addition of six Full-time employees, created the perfect winning paper straw that does not get soggy! 

 An added bonus is that Wegmans has chosen Roc Paper Straws to be the sole provider of straws in all 110 Wegmans cafes, restaurants, and corporate offices, along with providing the product for Wegmans' private label paper straws. The City provided assistance with a Targeted Business Revitalization Grant.