GRE secures funding to expand small-business growth program
Greater Rochester Enterprise, the region’s lead economic development organization responsible for supporting business and job growth, is accepting applications for its newly expanded Economic Gardening program. The organization recently secured funding to expand the program.
Economic Gardening aims to accelerate business growth across the Greater Rochester region. To date, 196 companies have participated in the program, creating 1,625 new jobs and revenue growth of over $340 million. The program, which accepts submissions from private companies throughout the nine-county region, is the only one of its kind in New York State. It is designed to provide local companies with sophisticated, tailor-made technical assistance focused on improving sales and marketing efforts to drive revenue growth.
“We know that small businesses are the backbone of our economy, accounting for 15% of the companies and 40% of the job growth,” GRE President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said. “GRE’s Economic Gardening program connects participating business leaders with the resources they need to generate increased revenue, create new jobs, and thrive.”
The program is offered at no charge to participating companies. All program costs are supported by ESL Charitable Foundation, Greater Rochester Enterprise, Monroe County Industrial Development Corporation, Rochester Area Community Foundation, and the William and Sheila Konar Foundation.
Participating companies must be for-profit and privately held, headquartered and operating in the Greater Rochester region, with $1 million and $50 million in annual revenue, employ 10-99 employees, demonstrate growth in employment and/or revenue for at least two of the past five years, and provide products or services to markets outside of Rochester. Minority and women-owned business enterprises are encouraged to apply.
If selected, companies will work with a strategic research team to develop a plan to accelerate their success. Research teams are provided by the National Center for Economic Gardening, a national organization dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship.
Research teams will perform focused research to help companies:
- Identify qualified sales leads and tap into new and growing markets
- Leverage social media to connect with customers
- Improve online marketing efforts with search engine optimization and website analysis
- Analyze employee temperament to build strong management teams
Chris Gibbons, the founder of the National Center for Economic Gardening, noted, “GRE runs one of the premier programs in the country, building Rochester’s economic future, one local company at a time.”