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Welcome to the GRBblog! Get to know GRB, Rochester's only locally owned and managed commercial bank. A commercial bank, but also a community bank, with an entrepreneurial spirit about everything we do. We're committed to Growing Rochester Business and making our community a better place to live and work.

The GRBblog is where we post bank news and information, stories about the great organizations we support, and share relevant local and national business news.

GRB Rolls Out 55,000+ Surcharge-Free ATMs, Just in Time for the Holidays

Responding to rising ATM fees, Genesee Regional Bank (GRB) has partnered with the Allpoint and STAR® ATM networks to provide the bank’s debit card customers with more than 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs around the world.  The network includes ATMs located within premier retailers in the Rochester region including Wegmans, Speedway, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Sunoco, Costco, Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club and more. 

STAR and Allpoint logos stackedA 2017 Bankrate.com survey found that ATM fees have risen for the 11th consecutive year, now averaging $4.69 nationally for out-of-network withdrawals.  Coupled with the fact that consumers will use an out-of-network ATM an average of at least 30 percent of the time when they withdrawal cash, ATM fees add up quickly for accountholders.  With the holiday shopping season set to kick off next week, GRB hopes its customers will see an immediate benefit in both convenience and cost savings.

“As a Rochester-based financial institution, we do not want our local customers to pay fees to access their money.  We already offer up to a $10 credit each month for any out-of-network ATM fees, but we think providing more options for surcharge-free ATMs creates an even better experience for our customers,” said Paul Keenan, Senior Vice President, Retail Banking Manager.  “Adding the Allpoint and STAR surcharge-free networks, which have ATMs located in many major retailers, provides considerably more convenience and will help lower costs for our customers as they do their holiday shopping – and on an ongoing basis.”

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Congratulations to Winners of the Greece Small Business Awards Program

Picture of GRB at the Awards luncheonGRB is proud to say congratulations to the winenrs of this year's Greece Regional Chamber of Comemrce's Small Business Awards program:  Ridgemont Country Club in the Small Business category and Deborah Whitt Agency in the Microenterprise category.  

As the founding and headline sponsor for the eighth consecutive year, GRB is encouraged by the businesses that competed for this year's awards and the overall growth in the business environment in Greece and the Rochester community.

GRB President and CEO Phil Pecora served as the master of ceremonies this year and NYS Senator Joseph E. Robach gave the keynote address.

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GRB Moves Up on 2017 Top 100 List

Chamber 2017 Top100 logoGRB is pleased to announce it has moved up 14 spots to #30 on the Rochester Chamber and KPMG "2017 Top 100" list.  GRB is the only bank on the Top 100.

To be eligible for the Rochester Chamber Top 100, businesses must be privately held, headquartered in the nine-county Rochester region, and have earned at least $1 million in revenue in each of the three most recent fiscal years. The Rochester Chamber Top 100 is computed based on revenue growth, taking into account both dollar and percentage growth. 

We are also proud to note how many GRB customers and partners are on the Top 100.  The exciting new ideas brought to market by newer companies on the list and the consistent growth of those who have made the list numerous times since the Rochester Chamber started the program 31 years ago, is a testament to the strength and innovative spirit that characterizes our region.  Congratulations to everyone!

And finally, a tremendous thank you to all our employees.  Your commitment and dedication to serving our customers made this achievement possible. 

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"Focus on the Rochester Community" Topic of GRB Radio Interview

Photo of Community Relationship Manager Chris KileyWe are pleased to share that GRB Community Relationship Manager Chris Kiley was recently a guest on the "Business Voice" radio show on WYSL and hosted by the Greece Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

Kiley discussed GRB's focus on serving the Greater Rochester community and the bank's commitment to supporting and developing small businesses in the region.

In speaking with Greece Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Sarah Lentini, Kiley emphasized the differences in working with GRB over larger banks.

"We’re 100 percent local, so our decision makers are in Rochester,” said Kiley.  “Our board of directors are local all businessmen so they can look at a business opportunity a little bit different than just as a banker - they can see the big picture.  We can be a little bit more flexible in our lending and how we structure a deal.”

If you missed the program, you can still catch the podcast at https://greecechamber.org/diyFiles/20171012.mp3.  Chris' interview begins at the 50-minute mark.

To contact Chris in our Greece branch, go to our Personal Banking page.

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GRB Co-founder and Entrepreneur E. Philip Saunders Honored by RIT

Phil Saunders photoOn Oct. 10, RIT's Saunders College of Business honored local entrepreneur, philanthropist and GRB Co-founder E. Philip Saunders with a permanent wall display at the college to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the naming of the Saunders College of Business.  Mr. Saunders' contributions to both the business community and to the community at large has been the cornerstone of his success.  As the president and CEO of Saunders Management Co., Mr. Saunders remains committed to enhancing the Rochester region.

In an article written by RIT and available at https://www.rit.edu/news/story.php?id=63918, Mr. Saunders explains the importance of his work with the Saunders College of Business:

Image of the Phil Saunders Wall at RIT

“Giving back to the community is an important thing to do for a person who has been successful.  In the last decade, Saunders College has increased enrollment, attracted quality faculty and achieved high rankings.”

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Enroll Now, Buy a Home Next Summer with First Home Club

first home club program logoEnroll now.  Save money.  Earn a $7,500 grant.  Buy a house in 10 months.  That's First Home Club with GRB.

A home remains one of the best long-term investments you can make.  To make it easier for first-time buyers to purchase a home, GRB and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) work together to provide down payment assistance through the First Home Club.

The First Home Club provides $4 in matching funds at closing for every $1 saved in a dedicated First Home Club Savings Account at GRB, up to a total grant amount of $7,500.  Participants make monthly deposits into this account over a 10-month period and then use that money when the obtain a mortgage with GRB.  And for a limited time, GRB is also offering a $50 gift card upon enrollment and $250 off mortgage closing costs

The catch...we only receive a limited number of First Home Club enrollment spots each year, and we're coming to the end of the year.  Our remaining spots will go fast, but there is still time to get enrolled.  GRB handles everything in house, so it takes less than 10 business days to get approved!  

Buying a home is a significant investment, but GRB and the FHLBNY make it easier - and more cost effective - with First Home Club.

For more details on the program, see our First Home Club page.

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GRB's David Halladay Named to Bivona Board

Photo of David Halladay - GRB EVP and Chief Lending OfficerCongratulations to GRB's Executive Vice President, Chief Lending Officer David Halladay on his recent appointment to the Bivona Child Advocacy Center's Board of Directors.  Bivona's mission is to deliver excellence in child abuse response, healing and prevention through collaborative service, awareness, education and leadership. Established in 2004, the organization has served more than 16,000 children in our community deal with the effects of physical and sexual abuse.    

Congratulations, Dave!

Bivona Child Advocacy Center logo with link

 

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Local Favorites Coming to the Village of Webster

Village bakery and jojo logosWe are pleased to congratulate The Village Bakery and Cafe, JoJo Bistro & Wine Bar, the Pittsford Farms Dairy & Bakery and ROC and Soul Fitness on their move to the Village of Webster on the northeast side of Main Street.

As the property owner of the largely retail space since 2014, GRB has been looking for the right mix of businesses for the stretch of shops, now known as North 43:  The Shops at Main Street.  It took time, but the wait has been worth it.  The renovated and reimagined space for these businesses (and others!) promises to be a great area for Webster residents to gather and enjoy a wide variety of delicious restaurants and other services.  North 43:  The Shops at Main Street is a great example of partnership, creativity and community.   

We congratulate Charlie Fitzsimmons, owner of The Village Bakery and Cafe and JoJo Bistro and Wine Bar and visionary for this project, as well as the other businesses that will be adding great new destinations to the village scene.  Look for additional updates and photos as this project progresses...and find out details about the development in a recent Democrat & Chronicle article.

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Information Regarding the Equifax Breach

Graphic representing a data breachIt has been widely reported that more than 143 million Americans may have had their personal information compromised in a breach reported by consumer credit reporting bureau Equifax. 

Find out if you have been impacted

Because of Equifax's role as a credit repository, nearly anyone could be at risk.  We recommend using the website established by Equifax to determine whether you may have been effected www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. Click on the "Potential Impact" button and follow the instructions for entering your last name and the last six digits of your social security number.  Equifax will notify you of your status.

Tips for protecting yourself

  • If you have been impacted, Equifax is offering a free year of identity theft protection and credit monitoring. There are also other services available for identity theft protection and credit monitoring that you may also want to consider.   
  • Don't forget to check the social security numbers of all members of your family who may have a credit history on file.   
  • Keep monitoring your accounts for any suspicious activity and notifiy us immediately if you see something unfamiliar.
  • You may also want to add new alerts or tighten the parameters of the alerts on your accounts for added protection.

You can learn more directly from Equifax at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. You can also learn more by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s web page on the breach at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do. To learn more about how to protect yourself after a breach, visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen.

Identity theft is a serious issue and we encourage all of our customers to take extra care at this time - and every day.  Please see our Security Resources page for more information. 

 

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Helping Hurricane Harvey Victims

Hurricane Harvey helping hands graphicAlthough GRB is usually focused on helping those in the Rochester region, it's impossible to ignore the misery that those in Houston and surrounding areas are feeling in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.  Like many here in our area, GRB is ready to help.  

We have already placed a donation with the local chapter of the American Red Cross earmarked for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and our mortgage team is donating $25 on every application taken in the month of September to the Greater Houston Community Foundation.  

We know that many of our friends and associates in the community are also helping out.  The Weather Channel has a list of recognized organizations that are currently assisting with relief efforts.  We also want to pass along a cautious reminder about responding to email requests for donations.  This week, the FTC issued an alert warning consumers to be on the lookout for scams and Krebs on Security reports that hundreds of new Web sites using "hurricane" and "harvey" have been registered in the last few days.

We know the recovery effort in Texas and the Gulf Coast will be long and difficult.  Today, we keep those who are struggling in our thoughts, say thank you for what we have, and take stock in being part of a community that reaches out to help those in need, wherever they are.        

 

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Interested in Operating a Franchise? Find Out More from Successful Owners

greece regional chamber logoIf you've ever thought about owning a franchise, now is your chance to hear about the opportunities and challenges from successful franchise owners in a number of industries.  This event features a panel discussion with representatives from Allstate Insurance, Wendy's, Jan-Pro and McDonald's.  Sponsored by the Greece Regional Chamber of Commerce and facilitated by John Adams of FranNet, the session promises to offer an inside look at the ins and outs of franchise ownership.  Tickets are $10 for chamber members, $30 for non-members.  Students with a valid ID are FREE.  Join us:

"Business Success Stories:  The Franchise"
Date:  Sept. 12, 2017
Time: Registration, 8 a.m., panel discussion and Q.&A., 8:30-10:30 a.m.
Location:  Held at GRB's Winton Road offices at 1850 South Winton Road, Rochester, NY 14618

Click for registration information

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Promotions Announced at GRB

Promotions announcement with photos of Jewel and CourtneyPlease join the GRB team in congratulating Jewel Allred and Courtney Ferenchak on their recent promotions.  

  • Jewel was promoted from Underwriter to Senior Underwriter. Jewel joined GRB in 2014 as a Mortgage Processor and transitioned to the Underwriting department a year later.  She earned her Direct Endorsement (DE) certification in April 2016.
  • Courtney was promoted to Collateral & Documentation Team Leader.  After joining GRB in June 2012, Courtney quickly became a go-to resource on the Collateral & Documentation team and was promoted to a Senior Specialist in January 2014.

As GRB continues to grow, we are pleased to have new opportunities for our team members to learn new skills and take on new challenges.

Thank you to Jewel and Courtney for all your hard work and best of luck in your new roles!

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University of Rochester Home Ownership Incentive Program Expansion

University of Rochester header logoThe University of Rochester has expanded their map for the University Home Ownership Incentive Program to include several new neighborhoods. This program aims to increase the number of full-time and part-time U of R faculty living in and around the University’s River Campus and Medical Center. Up to $9,000 worth of funding may be available and already more than 350 homes have been purchased through the University Home Ownership Incentive Program since it was launched in 2008. The map provided on the GRB Home Mortgage page allows you to search a specific street address to determine if the property qualifies. The map previously included parts of the 19th Ward and the South Wedge and now includes the Upper Mount Hope area, Marketview Heights, EMMA neighborhoods and many more.

To get started, call the U of R Benefits Office at 585.275.0476 to verify your eligibility for the loan. Once you’ve received the go-ahead, you need to complete a grant application from the City of Rochester and discuss mortgage options with us here at Genesee Regional Bank before putting in a purchase offer for any property. You can call us at 585.427.9200 or send us an email. Happy house hunting Rochester!

University of Rochester Home Mortgage 3 3 3 program map

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Upgrade Complete for GRB BillPay Solutions

illustration representing online bankingWe are pleased to announce that both GRB Business BillPay and GRB BillPay for consumers have completed the upgrade process and now include a number of new features.  

Every effort was made to transfer all scheduled payments and recurring payments to the new solution, but we encourage all customers to verify their accounts as soon as possible.  

Business BillPay Users

  • Dual Control for additional security
  • Bank-to-Bank Transfers for added payment convenience
  • Pay-a-Person options for paying individuals electronically or with a paper check
  • Expedited Payment options (added fee)
  • Optional payroll module 
  • Quick Guide and FAQ documents are available at http://bit.ly/NewBillPayFeatures


Individual BillPay Users

  • Enhanced Person-to-Person (P2P) payments with three options for making a payment to an individual
  • eBill support to automatically bring your bills into BillPay for faster, easier payment processing
  • Expedited Payment options (added fee)
  • Quick Guide and FAQ documents are available at http://bit.ly/GRBBillPay

If you have questions or concerns, contact us at 585-249-1540.

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GRB to Host Mortgage Education Sessions for Veterans

logo for Veterans Outreach CenterGRB is pleased to announce it will be hosting two mortgage education sessions for military veterans at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 20 at the Veterans Outreach Center (VOC), 459 South Avenue, Rochester, NY  14620.  

pulver

GRB Mortgage's Senior Vice President, Residential Mortgage Mike Pulver will provide information on the Rochester real estate market, low- and no-downpayment mortgage options, grant programs, credit, and other financing options.    

You do not need to be working with the VOC to attend these sessions, all veterans are welcome!  No need to RSVP, just mark your calendar and come see us to take the first step toward home ownership! 

 

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What is a Prospective Rochester Homebuyer to do?

It’s not just the temperature that’s rising this summer…

According to the online real estate database Zillow, the market temperature for the city of Rochester is hot! Continuing a trend from 2016, housing inventory in the Rochester area is low and those looking to buy homes are dealing with increased competition. Increased demands in combination with rising interest rates are causing higher housing prices. So what is a prospective homebuyer to do? 

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GRB Team to Participate in the Rochester Corporate Challenge

Genesee Regional Bank is proud to be co-sponsoring a team of 27 GRB employees for the Rochester Corporate Challenge with WCI Realty, Inc. The Corporate Challenge began in 1977 as a way for companies to celebrate teamwork, camaraderie and community all while running a 3.5 mile race. It has grown into an annual event held in thirteen cities in seven different countries. The Rochester race was added in 1991 and has grown from 76 local companies to 329. This year the event will be held at Frontier Field on Tuesday, July 11th. All proceeds from this event will go towards the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (HWSC) and the Catholic Family Center (CFC) Adult Mentoring Program. Both the HWSC and the CFC are priority projects of the One Community Plan which works to alleviate poverty by supporting the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative. Please visit https://www.jpmorganchasecc.com/city/rochester for more information. We’ll see you at the finish line! 

Rochester Corporate Challenge logo

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Same-Day Check Processing Begins July 5

Check writing iconBeginning July 5, 2017, checks you have written will now post to your account on the same day they are received by GRB (typically by 1 PM that day).  Previously, checks clearing your account were processed in the evening and didn’t affect your available balance until the following morning. 

The change applies to both individual customer and business accounts.  Up-to-date balances will be reflected in online banking and in the cash available for withdrawal at ATMs.

Same-day check processing provides a more accurate, real-time view of your account and allows you to plan more carefully.  To view your updated balance, simply log-in to your GRBonline account after 1 p.m.  If additional funds are needed to cover checks you have written, you can transfer money online from other accounts or stop in to a GRB branch before close of business.

No other account changes will occur at this time.

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Don't Sing the Blues...Get Your Tickets for GRB Blues Bash 2017

Blues Bash logoWe are happy to announce that GRB is the presenting sponsor for Blues Bash 2017, a one-day-only celebration of blues music with an incredible line up of artists. Slated for Saturday, May 20, Blues Bash will include performances by Rochester favorite Steve Grills, internationally acclaimed guitarist Joe Beard, the soulful Alexis P. Suter Band, singer and harmonica player Tad Robinson and acclaimed blues guitarist, bandleader and producer Dave Specter.

You can go to one, two, three, or all four events. The “Bash Pass” ($50 presale) provides unlimited access to the Bash from beginning to end. Walk-up single tickets will be available on the day of the event for $20 per concert.

Blues Bash 2017 will be held at the Lyric Theatre, 440 East Avenue, in the heart of the Neighborhood of the Arts.  There will also be food trucks and a cash bar.

“Our community has a rich musical history and we are proud to be bringing another signature event to the Rochester stage," said GRB President and CEO Philip Pecora.  "With an outstanding lineup of award-winning artists and the Lyric Theatre as the venue, GRB Blues Bash 2017 promises to be a fantastic opportunity for blues fans and music fans alike.”

Advance tickets are available at all three area GRB branch locations, as well as online at http://bit.ly/GRBbluesbash

 

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GRB Mortgage Fundraising for Veterans Outreach Center

Organization logo for the VOCGRB Mortgage is pleased to announce it is sponsoring a fundraiser to benefit our local service men and women. GRB Mortgage will donate $25 for every residential mortgage application taken in the month of May 2017 to the Veterans Outreach Center (VOC).

For those of you who may not be familiar with VOC, the organization was established in 1973 and provides comprehensive resources to current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families through direct service, community collaboration and advocacy. This includes providing a wide range of services such as benefits counseling, job training and placement, mentoring, legal resources, therapy services, housing assistance and much more.

You can learn more about VOC and follow their efforts at www.vocroc.org, on Twitter @VOCROC and on Facebook.

Check back on the GRB home page throughout the month of May to see our fundraising progress! If you are interested in a purchase or refinance, talk to our mortgage team.

Spread the word and we thank you in advance for your support of our local service men and women.

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