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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.

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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Helping Write Customer Stories Centerpiece of GRB Small Business Week Celebration

National Small Business Week logoEvery year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

As a small business lender, at GRB we know every small business has a story.  We are highlighting our celebration of National Small Business Week by helping tell those stories with in-depth customer profiles on our Web site.  We are proud that our customers are household names that provide vital services, jobs and support for our community.  

Look for the accompanying campaign with the theme, "Spotlight on Small Business" in our social media channels and read the profiles on our customers on our Spotlight on Small Business page. 

Featured are:

  • Beers of the World
  • Book1One
  • Gerstner Medical
  • Crosby-Brownlie
  • Radio Social

More information on the week's SBA-sponsored events can be found on the SBA Web site.

 
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Happy Anniversary!

Photo of GRB's Winton Road location with U.S. flagIt seems like only yesterday that GRB moved its headquarters to the new building at 1850 South Winton Road.  But it has been one year already and we took a few moments to celebrate with all of the employees who put in extra hours to make the move possible, and with those who have joined us since.  The building is a sign of the bank's growth -- past and future.  We are grateful for the wonderful employees, board members, partners and clients who helped make it all possible.  Thank you!

Photo of people attending GRB anniversary party

 

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GRB Recognized as "Best Company" for Fifth Time

We are pleased to announce that GRB has been named to the 2017 "Best Companies to Work for in New York" list. This is the fifth year that GRB has appeared on the "Best Companies" list in the small/medium size category. 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. GRB ranked 35th this year.  Thank you to our employees for their hard work and commitment to our clients. You are truly "The Best!"

Best Companies Award logo

 

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New GRB Videos Highlight Mortgage Information and GRB Workplace

Check out our YouTube channel for some new videos! You'll find some great advice on securing a residential mortgage and information on working at -- and with -- GRB.  The team put a tremendous amount of work into these videos and we hope you find them beneficial. 

Don't forget to "Subscribe" to our channel so you always get the latest updates on new videos posted by GRB. http://bit.ly/GRBYouTube

Image of GRB's YouTube channel

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GRB Named to Top Workplaces List Third Year in a Row

GRB is pleased to be one of 50 companies named to the list of Rochester "Top Workplaces" for 2017! This is the third year in a row that GRB has made the list. Thank you to all of our employees for making GRB a great place to work -- every day. We are also pleased to see how many clients and partners also made the list. Congratulations to all!

Photo of GRB team at Top Workplaces 2017 awards ceremony

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GRB Mortgage Raises $1,525 for the Open Door Mission

Collection box with donations for the Open Door MissionGRB Mortgage is proud to announce that its January fundraising effort for the Open Door Mission has resulted in a $1,525 donation.  GRB Mortgage donated $25 for each mortgage application taken during the month.   

Having a place to be safe and warm, especially during the winter months in Rochester, should never be taken for granted.  To continue our support of the Open Door Mission, the mortgage team has also volunteered to serve breakfast at the Mission's Crisis Center in March and we are collecting food and clothing donations in our lobby at 1850 South Winton Road.

Congratulations to the team for all their hard work and a special thank you to the realtors and customers who helped make our January fundraiser possible.

 

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GRB Mortgage Starts New Year with Benefit for Open Door Mission

GRB Mortgage Starts New Year with Benefit for Open Door Mission

Fundraising progress for Open Door Mission as of Jan. 20, 2017 - 875 dollarsAs a residential mortgage provider, GRB has the pleasure of helping hundreds of individuals and families buy homes each year.  As we begin the new year and feel the temperatures dropping outside, it's hard not to think about those who cannot come home to a warm, safe home.  In Rochester and Monroe County, those who are homeless number in the hundreds on any given night. 

To help the Open Door Mission, one of our community's leading resources for the homeless, GRB Mortgage will donate $25 for every home mortgage application taken in the month of January 2017.  GRB is also collecting donations of coffee, sugar, paper products, bath towels, socks and underwear for men, boots and clothing for women and children, men's flipflops and twin bed sheets.  The donation box is in our lobby at 1850 South Winton Road.

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More Merchants Requiring a PIN with Debit Transactions

More Merchants Requiring a PIN with Debit Transactions

Photo of a woman entering a PIN number with a Debit CardWhether you are shopping brick and mortar or online, making sure you are able to do so in a secure manner and as easily as possible is crucial. Please note the following tips:

More Merchants are Requiring a PIN with Debit Transactions - In an effort to reduce fraud, many merchants are requiring that debit card users input their Personal Identification Number (PIN) for transactions.  This may be a new policy for merchants that have never required a PIN or signature for debit transactions in the past.  Make sure you know your PIN if using your debit card.  If prompted during a transaction, still select "debit" at the merchant's terminal then enter your PIN. 

Stay Safe from Fraud when Shopping Online - During the holidays, you may significantly expand the number of merchants you deal with online.  This can provide additional exposure for fraud.  The Federal Trade Commission recommends a number of simple safeguards for online shopping to keep your financial information secure.  Please see the additional article on our Blog for details.

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