Rochester, NY - Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE), the region's lead economic development organization responsible for supporting business and job growth in the region, is accepting applications for its newly expanded Economic Gardening program. This program aims to accelerate business growth across the greater Rochester, New York, 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 welcomes 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.
“The GRE team has a long record of success bringing this national program to businesses in our region”, said Howard Konar, a trustee of the William and Sheila Konar Foundation. “The Economic Gardening program helps local businesses get the assistance they need to grow, and we are pleased to support it.”
“The Economic Gardening program is an innovative and highly effective tool that helps emerging businesses grow in Greater Rochester at no charge to them,” said Ana Liss, Executive Director, MCIDC. “The Monroe County Industrial Development Corporation is pleased to support this important business retention and expansion platform.”
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.
“We have doubled our investment in this program to ensure that entrepreneurial minority- and women-owned businesses can benefit from all that it offers to help them grow, create new jobs, and use all forms of marketing and social media more effectively,” says Simeon Banister, vice president of Community Programs at Rochester Area Community Foundation.
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. 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."
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
Local companies that have taken advantage of GRE's Economic Gardening program encourage others to pursue the opportunity. According to Sitima Fowler, Iconic IT’s Vice President of Marketing, “The GRE Economic Gardening program empowered us to make transformative, strategic decisions. Knowing the data provided to us was of high quality, we were able to make those decisions faster and with more confidence.” Rob Moyer, president of ComTec Solutions, agreed, “The data that was provided allowed us to make smart market-driven decisions to take ComTec Solutions to the next level. I would strongly recommend this program to companies that are looking to continue their growth.”
Qualified businesses are encouraged to apply online at rochesterbiz.com/gardening.