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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 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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GRB Moves Up in Top 100 Rankings

Rochester Top 100 award logo“Appearing on the Top 100 list is a tremendous honor.  This year, I cannot say enough about the employee team here at GRB.  Through the move to our new headquarters and all the growth in our business, they remained focused and continued to deliver the high level of personal service that sets us apart as a community bank,” said GRB President and CEO Phil Pecora.  “We are also pleased to note that quite a few of our partners and customers were also recognized on this year’s Top 100 list.  It is a pleasure to work with quality organizations that have made such a positive impact on our community.” 

The Top 100 program recognizes Rochester’s reputation as a region of innovation spurred by a strong entrepreneurial spirit.  To be eligible for the Rochester Chamber Top 100, businesses must be independent, privately held, headquartered in the nine-county Finger Lakes region, and have revenue of at least $1 million in each of the three most recent fiscal years. 

The 2016 Rochester Chamber Top 100 companies combined for nearly $14 billion in revenue and employed more than 104,000 people in the last fiscal year.

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Staying Safe when Shopping Online

For more details on GRB's text-based fraud prevention serviceWith the holiday season in full swing, many consumers will find themselves shopping online.  Stay safe with these suggestions from the Federal Trade Commission:

Get the Details

Know who you're dealing with.

Anyone can set up shop online under almost any name. Confirm the online seller's physical address and phone number in case you have questions or problems. And if you get an email or pop-up message that asks for your financial information while you’re browsing, don't reply or follow the link. Legitimate companies don't ask for information that way.

Know what you're buying.

Read the seller's description of the product closely, especially the fine print. Words like "refurbished," "vintage," or "close-out" may indicate that the product is in less-than-mint condition, while name-brand items with bargain basement prices could be counterfeits.

Know what it will cost.

Check out websites that offer price comparisons and then compare "apples to apples." Factor shipping and handling into the total cost of your purchase. Do not send cash or money transfers under any circumstances.

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GRB CFO Gary Schwingel Joins Mary Cariola Board of Directors

photo of GRB CFO Gary SchwingelMary Cariola Children’s Center serves children with multiple, complex disabilities; public and private schools aren’t able to accommodate these children. It was founded in 1949 by Mrs. Mary A. Cariola, along with parents and friends of children with significant disabilities. Over the years, the Center has evolved from a day care to a nationally renowned agency that strategically maps out a customized plan—clinically and educationally—for every child who walks through its doors. For more information on the agency, go to the Mary Cariola Web site.

Congratulations, Gary!

Mary Cariola Children's Center logo

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Same Day ACH Phase 1 Begins September 23

Same Day ACH Phase 1 Begins September 23

NACHA Describes Advantages of Same Day ACH On Sept. 23, 2016, the banking industry will introduce a new faster electronic payment option for eligible transactions known as Same Day ACH or “SDA”. Introduced by the National Automated Clearinghouse Association (NACHA), this change will enable ACH Originators to send eligible transactions to settle on the same day as initiation.

In order to make the adoption of this new option as smooth as possible financial institutions, including GRB, will be rolling out this new capability in three phases:

  • Phase 1 will be effective on Sept. 23, 2016. It requires all institutions to receive eligible Same Day ACH payments. Offering origination of Same Day ACH transactions will be optional for all institutions.
  • Phase 2 will become effective on Sept. 15, 2017. It will add the availability of processing eligible Same Day ACH debit transactions.
  • Phase 3 will be effective on March 16, 2018 and will require institutions to post Same Day ACH transactions by 5p.m. local time.

There will be no additional charge to receive a Same Day ACH transaction and no impact to traditional ACH transactions, as they will continue to settle within the normal 1-2 day timeframes.

Unfortunately, international transactions and transactions above $25,000 will not be eligible for same day processing. Initially, only credit files will be eligible until the implementation of phase 2. Phase 2 will include debit transaction processing.

To find out more, please view our FAQ.

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GRB on Point with Online & Mobile Banking Trends, Announces Enhancements to Mobile App

GRB on Point with Online & Mobile Banking Trends, Announces Enhancements to Mobile App

New GRBmobile app features available

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. Account Management Preferences from the ABA's 2016 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. For more information on the survey, go to the ABA Web site.

To view a PDF file, download Acrobat Reader.

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GRB Mortgage Raises Awareness and Funds for Veterans Outreach Center

GRB Mortgage Raises Awareness and Funds for Veterans Outreach Center

GRB's Executive team presents $3,100 to the VOC's Todd Baxter

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.

Photo of GRB employees participating in the ceremony presenting the check to the Veterans Outreach Center.

"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!

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GRB President and CEO Phil Pecora Appointed Chairman of McQuaid Jesuit's Board of Trustees

GRB President and CEO Phil Pecora Appointed Chairman of McQuaid Jesuit's Board of Trustees

Photo of Mr. Pecora 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.

More on the announcement from McQuaid Jesuit.

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GRB Sponsoring Fundraiser for Veterans Outreach Center in July

GRB Sponsoring Fundraiser for Veterans Outreach Center in July

Organization logo for the VOC 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.

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June is National Homeownership Month -- Dare to Own the Dream

June is National Homeownership Month -- Dare to Own the Dream

Logo released to acknowledge National Homeownership MonthOwning 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.

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New GRB Headquarters Reflects Growth, Focus on Personal Touch

RBJ article pageWe 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!

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Thank You to Our Employees: GRB Named to "Best Companies" List for 2016

Click on this link to see the GRB feature in the Best Companies programGRB 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:

1. Leadership and Planning

2. Corporate Culture and Communications

3. Role Satisfaction

4. Work Environment

5. Relationship with Supervisor

6. Training, Development and Resources

7. Pay and Benefits

8. 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!

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GRB is on the Move, Just in Time to Celebrate National Small Business Week

Logo recognizing National Small Business Week May 1-7 2016 featuring the hashtag DreamSmallBizIn 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!

For more information on the SBA's NSBW celebration, go to http://1.usa.gov/1rtaGcy.

And if you're in our new Winton Road neighborhood, stop by and visit us!

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RIT Features GRB's Robert Everhart in Article about Executive MBA Candidates Helping Local Business

Click here to go to the Rochester Institute of Technology Web site featuring the full article on graduate and GRB Mortgage Originator Robert Everhart 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.

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Survey Finds Small Banks are Lender of Choice for Small Businesses

Click here to see the rest of the Federal Reserve survey data and a great video from the Federal Reserve's survey director, Claire Kramer Mills. 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.

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