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 on Point with Online & Mobile Banking Trends, Announces Enhancements to Mobile App
Online and mobile banking are now the most preferred forms of banking, with more than half of all Americans managing their accounts online, according to recent survey results released by the American Bankers Association (ABA). GRB is pleased to note that it is following this trend closely and has introduced additional enhancements to its GRBmobile App for Android and iOS.
In the ABA’s annual survey, online banking with a computer or tablet came in at 55% and mobile devices registered 18% when respondents were asked, “Which method do you use most often to manage your bank account(s)?” The boost in mobile use was a full 6 points over the previous year’s survey.
“More people are walking around today with their mobile device in hand, and banks have made it easier than ever for them to access their accounts anytime and anywhere,” said ABA SVP Nessa Feddis. “It’s no surprise that millennials and other digital natives are embracing the convenience of technology to conduct quick transactions. Mobile banking is also a helpful real-time option for those who have a smartphone but not a computer.”
The chart at the right provides an overview of the ABA’s survey results.
“The old adage of ‘be where they are’ rings true with banking,” said Feddis. “People like options, and today’s banks offer a diverse menu of banking methods to meet the needs and preferences of their customers.”
GRB is actively adding new features and capabilities to its online and mobile banking solutions. The most recent enhancements to the GRBmobile App include a number of usability and security features such as:
- Touch ID for iOS
- Viewing Check and Deposit images
- Viewing statements in GRBmobile Deposit
- Customer-initiated password change
- And more…
To find out more about the latest updates to GRBmobile, view the GRBmobile Enhancement Guide.
To view a PDF file, download Acrobat Reader.
GRB Mortgage Raises Awareness and Funds for Veterans Outreach Center
Capping off a month-long fundraising effort, the GRB Mortgage team was pleased to present a check for $3,100 to Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) Executive Director Todd Baxter. GRB Mortgage donated $25 to the VOC for each mortgage application submitted during the month of July.
“Real money doing real things for our veterans,” said Baxter as he accepted the check. “Thank you for your efforts and for just helping us raise awareness.”
Raising awareness of the struggles our local veterans face is an ongoing mission for the VOC. Veterans who reach out to the VOC often need a wide range of critical services including benefits counseling, therapy, housing, job training and more.
Baxter noted that last year the VOC helped more than 1,000 veterans and worked with local employers to place more than 400 in good-paying jobs.
“We also run a shelter with 28 beds for homeless veterans,” said Baxter. “It’s always full.”
Each year, the GRB Mortgage team helps dozens of veterans purchase homes through Veterans Administration loans. But for those struggling with the transition when they come home, more assistance is often necessary. The VOC’s programs and services are all available to veterans free of cost.
“This is an amazing thing we’ve done,” said Jacqueline Sloan, a GRB Mortgage Sales Assistant and the wife of an active duty soldier.
Thank you to the GRB Mortgage team for their efforts in making the VOC fundraiser a success. Congratulations, team!
GRB President and CEO Phil Pecora Appointed Chairman of McQuaid Jesuit’s Board of Trustees
GRB is proud to announce the appointment of President and CEO Phil Pecora to the position of Chairman of the McQuaid Jesuit Board of Trustees.
Pecora, a 1988 graduate ofMcQuaid Jesuit,joined the school’s Board of Trustees in 2008 and has served in a variety of roles including as a member of the Executive Committee, a position he will continue to hold.
“[Phil Pecora’s] personal experience and commitment will infuse a leadership that will guide McQuaid Jesuit into the next phase of its history,” says McQuaid Jesuit President, Rev. Robert E. Reiser, S.J.
McQuaid Jesuit’s Board of Trustees has 26 members along with four honorary members.
GRB Sponsoring Fundraiser for Veterans Outreach Center in July
GRB Mortgage is pleased to announce it is sponsoring a fundraiser to benefit our local service men and women. The celebration of our country’s freedom on July 4 is a great time to remember how many people have made sacrifices so that we can all continue to enjoy that freedom. To honor them, GRB Mortgage will donate $25 for every residential mortgage application taken in the month of July 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.
There are a number of great success stories featured on the organization’s Web site. You can learn more about VOC and follow their efforts on their Web site at www.vocroc.org, on Twitter @VOCROC and on Facebook @vocroc1973. Also, look for VOC at the July 4 Red Wings games!
Check back on the GRB home page at www.GRBbank.com throughout the month of July 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.
June is National Homeownership Month — Dare to Own the Dream
Owning a home is a source of pride for an individual and creates stability and a sense of community. As we observe National Homeownership Month this June, it is crucial that the dream of home ownership remain an area of focus.
According to a White House proclamation issued in support of National Home Ownership Month, “During National Homeownership Month, we recommit to ensuring more of our people can reach for this fundamental piece of the American dream…This month’s theme, ‘Dare to Own the Dream,’ emphasizes the importance of ensuring borrowers have the ability to purchase a home that serves them and their families well.”
At GRB, we believe in the dream. We participate in a number of residential lending programs designed to assist buyers in finding financing options that meet their needs:
- Our First Home Club program provides a savings program for qualified borrowers that helps accumulate the funds for a downpayment with matching grants and provides education sessions so buyers learn more about the basics of home ownership.
- We also work with the University of Rochester to provide matching funds as part of its University Home Ownership Incentive Program for U of R employees purchasing homes in the vicinity of the River Campus and Medical Center.
- GRB also provides government-backed loan options including FHA (low downpayment), VA (active-duty military and veterans) and USDA (rural home purchases). These options put home ownership in reach for more people.
At GRB we are pleased to assist those who “Dare to Own the Dream.” Visit GRB Mortgage for more information or call us at 585.427.9200.
New GRB Headquarters Reflects Growth, Focus on Personal Touch
We are pleased to be featured in today’s edition of the Rochester Business Journal in an article discussing the move to our new headquarters. The article traces GRB’s growth from just 17 employees 13 years ago to more than 100 today. That growth could not have occurred without the dedication of our employees, partners and clients.
Even though banking transactions are increasingly conducted online, it is the relationship that remains critical for GRB and its clients.
“This is a relationship business, and as we hold loans we grow relationships and that has a snowball effect,” said GRB President and CEO Phil Pecora in the RBJ article.
Andrew Carpentier, president and owner of Rochester Magnet and a GRB client for six years, also reinforced the importance of the relationship in banking.
“It’s the personal touch,” Carpentier added. “They know our business inside and out…so we’re not some foreign entity to them or lost like you would be in a big bank.”
We are thrilled to be in our new location and we look forward to continued growth as we help local businesses leverage new opportunities, help homebuyers establish roots in our community, and help individuals and families secure their financial future.
Thank you, Rochester!
GRB is proud to announce that it has been recognized as one of the “Best Companies to Work for in New York 2016” by the NYS chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). This year, we ranked 15 out of 45 in the small/medium size category, up one place from last year. The 2016 award marks our fourth year on the “Best Companies” list.
See the GRB feature in the Best Companies program: http://bit.ly/BestCoNY2016
Rankings in the annual program are chosen based on employee responses to the engagement and satisfaction survey, as well as the employer-provided benefits and policies questionnaire. The results are analyzed based on eight core focus areas:
- Leadership and Planning
- Corporate Culture and Communications
- Role Satisfaction
- Work Environment
- Relationship with Supervisor
- Training, Development and Resources
- Pay and Benefits
- Overall Engagement
It is no small feat to appear on this list year after year. So, to the members of the GRB team, a sincere thank you. This award is a testament to your ability to work together, provide our clients with stellar service, and help each other meet and exceed goals. You are The Best!
GRB is on the Move, Just in Time to Celebrate National Small Business Week
In a carefully executed plan involving no fewer than a million moving parts, GRB completed the move to its new corporate headquarters last weekend. We are up and running from our new location at 1850 South Winton Road in Brighton, just off I-590, and just in time to celebrate National Small Business Week (NSBW).
Sponsored by the Small Business Administration, NSBW celebrates the small businesses that create “nearly two-thirds of net new jobs in the U.S. and employ more than half of all Americans.” As a small business ourselves, this is what makes the move to our new headquarters so exciting. Our move means that our clients and partners here in the Rochester region are growing, too.
So, happy National Small Business Week to our clients, partners and all Rochester small businesses! You took a leap of faith and made your business dreams come true. You have grown, expanded your services and helped make the Rochester community a dynamic place to live, raise a family and do business. Your innovative spirit and hard work inspire us every day at GRB. Congratulations!
And if you’re in our new Winton Road neighborhood, stop by and visit us!
RIT Features GRB’s Robert Everhart in Article about Executive MBA Candidates Helping Local Business
Our local colleges serve as a remarkable resource for area businesses.
If you have any doubt about that, just ask Vance Metal Fabricators of Geneva, N.Y. Vance began working with Rochester Institute of Technology Executive MBA program candidate and GRB Mortgage Originator Robb Everhart to assess the company’s plans for expanding their product line in the brewing industry.
In a recent RIT feature article, the Executive MBA Capstone project submitted by Robb and “Team 3” advised Vance to forego becoming a “turn-key brew-house system” supplier and remain focused on the stainless steel fermenting and storage tanks for which the company was already well known. The key to the team’s recommendation was research that pointed to the craft brewing industry already nearing its growth peak and comprehensive analysis of the added effort needed for Vance to expand its capabilities and produce a turn-key brewing solution.
“The RIT team was great to work with and saved us lots of missteps and pitfalls,” noted Vance Marketing Manager Pat Farrington in the article.
Enterprises throughout the Rochester community regularly tap into the creative and strategic drive that students can bring to the table in the form of research projects and internships as they complete their coursework. As a community bank we see the future success of each and every local business as vital to the ongoing success of our community, so we remain committed to supporting our local education institutions — and matriculating employees.
We congratulate Robb on the completion of his Executive MBA and for being one of the reasons we continue to see dynamic growth in the Rochester business community.
Get the complete RIT article: http://bit.ly/1SwLIP4.
Survey Finds Small Banks are Lender of Choice for Small Businesses
This month, the Federal Reserve Banks released the 2015 “Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Employer Firms,” an annual survey of small businesses designed to provide insight into lending trends and track the needs of the small-business credit market. Key findings in this year’s survey include:
- Small banks are the lender of choice – Banks and lenders are the dominant advisory and credit channel. Firms that applied to small banks were the most successful and most satisfied with their borrowing experience. Small banks extended at least some of the financing requested to 76 percent of applicants. Large banks approved just 58 percent of applicants.
- Half of applicants received all the credit sought – 47 percent of respondents reported they had applied for financing in the past 12 months prior to the survey. Of these, 50 percent were approved for the full amount requested.
- Cash flow was the top business challenge for small firms – Almost 22 percent of small businesses reported cash flow as their top challenge (beating out even government regs and taxes).
- Online lenders are a common source of financing, but satisfaction levels are lowest – Overall, 20 percent of employer firms applied with an online lender. Among credit sources, online lenders had the second highest rate of approval at 71 percent, though approved firms were generally not very satisfied with their experience. In particular, these firms cited concerns with interest rates and unfavorable repayment terms.
As a small business itself, GRB understands these challenges and provides deposit and credit solutions to help the next generation of businesses in the Rochester community grow and succeed. Call us and find out how GRB can help!
Hats off to the Federal Reserve for understanding the importance of the small business community. This survey is an important benchmark for lenders and business owners alike. See the rest of the Federal Reserve survey data. There’s even a great video from the Federal Reserve’s survey director, Claire Kramer Mills.