Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc. is accepting applications for its expanded Economic Gardening program. The program is designed to accelerate business growth across the Greater Rochester region.
Nearly 200 companies have participated in the program to date, creating 1,625 new jobs and revenue growth of more than $340 million.
“We know that small businesses are the backbone of our economy, accounting for 15 percent of the companies and 40 percent of the job growth,” GRE President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said in a statement. “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 serves private companies throughout the nine-county region and 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.
The program is offered at no charge to participating companies. All program costs are supported by ESL Charitable Foundation, GRE, Monroe County Industrial Development Corp., 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 Konar Foundation. “The Economic Gardening program helps local businesses get the assistance they need to grow and we are pleased to support it.”
Participating companies must be for-profit and privately held, headquartered and operating in the Greater Rochester region, with between $1 million and $50 million in annual revenue. Companies must employ 10-99 people, 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,” said Simeon Banister, vice president of Community Programs at RACF.
Participating 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.
“GRE runs one of the premier programs in the country, building Rochester’s economic future, one local company at a time,” said Chris Gibbons, the founder of the National Center for Economic Gardening.
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
“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 MCIDC Executive Director Ana Liss. “The Monroe County Industrial Development Corp. is pleased to support this important business retention and expansion platform.”