2019 marked a record-breaking year for Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE) and its efforts to attract and retain business in Greater Rochester, NY. GRE, the region’s lead economic development organization responsible for attracting new capital investments and jobs, reports that Greater Rochester, NY experienced commitments of $171 million in new capital investments, the creation of 1,164 new jobs and the retention of 3,265 jobs.
As the lead economic development organization in Rochester NY’s nine-county region, GRE saw a 42% increase in new business attraction and expansion projects in 2019 versus 2018, with no immediate sign of the activity slowing down. The secured projects in 2019 represent a 65% increase in project wins over the previous year. The GRE team managed 154 projects, with 33 officially announced as wins for the community, making it the most significant number of project wins in GRE’s history.
“With proximity to major metro markets without the major market costs, a highly skilled workforce, innovative assets, and exceptional quality of life, there are so many reasons to add this region to the list of places worth looking at for business expansion,” said Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise. “It is invigorating to see that our efforts to connect companies interested in this area with the right people and the right resources are paying off, marking the greatest year in our organization’s history.”
Why Rochester, NY?
Advanced manufacturing, food and beverage manufacturing, software and information technology, and optics, photonics and imaging are just a few of the industries thriving in the region. Fast-growing companies are investing in the Greater Rochester, NY region because of the community’s top-tier talent, strategic location, leading-edge innovation and low cost of doing business. When business leaders compare the quality of talent and real estate lease rates in the area with other markets around the country, it’s evident that Rochester delivers exceptional value.
Among top tech-talent markets in North America, the Greater Rochester, NY region has much lower lease and wage rates when compared with markets such as Boston, New York City, Northern Virginia, or San Francisco.
Industries Growing in Rochester, NY
Food and beverage companies have expanded in Rochester because of its rich resources and ingredients for growth, a fully integrated supply chain, unlimited fresh water, robust agriculture and technology assets, and low cost of doing business. Because of the bounty of these rich resources, GRE has seen a spike in food and beverage manufacturers like LiDestri Food & Drink, Zweigle’s, Love Beets and HP Hood planting their roots in the region.
Rochester, NY is also growing a reputation as a hub for some of the most innovative software and information technology companies, as well as a place where well-established Rochester-area companies are happy to expand.
CloudCheckr, a comprehensive cloud management solution provider, recently announced plans to invest $6.7 million in the region, creating up to 397 new jobs while retaining 120 jobs. Calero Software recently announced plans to invest $3 million to create up to 100 new jobs and retain 185 jobs. ITX Corp., a company that creates web and mobile software products, invested $3.9 million, creating 80 new jobs and retaining 62 jobs in Rochester, NY. Additionally, Philadelphia-based Security Risk Advisors, a leading cybersecurity company, invested $11.5 million in the region, creating 67 jobs while retaining four jobs.
Founded in 2010, Security Risk Advisors began by using a virtual office model. In 2017, its strategy to grow by mentoring a larger number of university hires led to the decision to open its headquarters in Philadelphia. Security Risk Advisors decided to open its first New York state location in Rochester due to the large, local talent pool available via the Finger Lakes region’s 19 renowned colleges and universities.
“The cybersecurity talent pool in Rochester is outstanding,” said Mike Pinch, director of Security Risk Advisors’ Rochester office. “The proximity to top colleges and industry-leading companies, in addition to the quality of life in Western New York, made the decision to open our second office in Rochester an easy one.”
These software and information technology companies join a growing cluster of companies that have capitalized on the Greater Rochester, NY region’s highly skilled software talent, world-class R&D resources and low cost of doing business in 2019, contributing to GRE’s most successful year.
“While 2019 has been marked with great growth and success for our region, we are well-poised for another remarkable year ahead — we see no signs of slowing down,” Hurlbutt said. “We are incredibly proud that Greater Rochester Enterprise has helped 33 fast-growing companies expand in our region, and we look forward to continuing to foster additional investments and growth in our community. Our project pipeline is full, with nearly 80 active projects representing $1.2 billion of new investment, more than 6,400 jobs and retention of 2,100 jobs if these projects come through. We are optimistic that 2020 will be another great year.”
View more background on these projects here.