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 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.
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.
We are pleased to announce that as of May 2 Genesee Regional Bank will have completed the move to its new headquarters location at:
1850 South Winton Road Rochester, NY 14618
We are planning the move over a weekend to minimize impact to our customers, but we are going to have shortened hours on Friday, April 29, with all locations closing at 3 p.m. This is the final day of business at 190 Linden Oaks. The shortened hours on April 29 will also mean we will be unable to process transactions that require manual review or approvals (i.e. wire transfers) during this time period. Please work with your GRB representatives to make arrangements for any needs you may have. You will still be able to access your online accounts.
Branch operations will resume regular hours on Monday, May 2 and the new headquarters location will be ready to serve you on Monday morning as well. We look forward to providing additional services at South Winton Road and will have a state-of-the-art ATM at that location that accepts multiple checks/bills.
Thank you for your understanding as we make these changes to serve you better. If you have any questions, please contact us at 585-249-1540.
GRB Named one of Rochester’s Top Workplaces for Second Year in a Row
GRB is pleased to once again be named one of Rochester’s “Top Workplaces.” So, first order of the day, a big “thank you” to the employees, partners and customers who helped make this happen for us. As a community bank, you are all an integral part of our success. Thank you.
We also want to say “congratulations” to the many GRB customers and partners who are also on this year’s Top Workplaces list. We are proud to work with you.
Finally, we take a significant amount of interest in this annual survey not only because it highlights local companies, but also because it provides valuable insight into what means the most to employees. A quick summary of points from this year’s survey:
Feeling genuinely appreciated was the single most important factor when evaluating their workplaces (70 percent)
Believing that the company is going in the right direction (68 percent)
Feeling like they are a part of something meaningful (66 percent)
Having confidence in the leader of the company (64 percent)
Feeling that the company enables its workers to operate at their full potential (64 percent)
It is our goal to make sure we create a culture at GRB that continues to build on these critical traits. There are so many opportunities for us to keep growing and helping the Rochester community with business banking, personal banking and residential mortgage needs. We are just getting started!
Thank you again to our employees, customers and partners for their support. You are all “Tops!”
Home Mortgage Interest Rates are Dropping: Take Advantage of the Trend by Refinancing
Since the beginning of 2016, rates have been trending down across the board for all major loan types: 30-year conventional fixed, 15-year fixed and even 5-year adjustable rate mortgage options.
Global economic weakness may be negatively impacting your stocks and other investments, but it’s also fueling lower home mortgage rates. Now is the time to invest in your home!
For new buyers, this could mean an exceptionally hot spring housing market. But for anyone with an existing home mortgage, the news is particularly good. When rates drop significantly, it’s a prime opportunity to consider refinancing your current home mortgage.
So why refinance? Lots of reasons.
Refinancing can lower your monthly mortgage payment, lower the interest you pay over the life of the loan, allow you to convert an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate or even take some cash out to make home improvements.
The best part, it’s easy to find out whether refinancing makes sense for you. Contact one of our qualified mortgage originators at GRB Mortgage at (585) 427-9200 or via email. Find out what refinancing may look like for you by using our refinancing calculator.
Refinance and you can start 2016 off in a stronger financial position! But don’t delay…mortgage interest rates can be volatile. Call today!
Why Refinance Your Mortgage?
Lower your monthly payment
Lower the amount of interest owed over the life of your loan
Convert an adjustable rate mortgage to one with a fixed rate
Take cash out of the equity on your home for improvements or other investments
Consumer Alert: Scam Using the NYS Department of Financial Services’ Name
The Department of Financial Services (DFS) has been notified of a scam in which a fraudster calls a consumer regarding a bank or credit union “case” being “prosecuted” by DFS against the consumer. The fraudster identifies himself as either being from DFS or the Inspector General’s Office, and requests personal information from the consumer.
These calls are fraudulent. DFS is not making these calls to consumers. DFS is also not asking other agencies to make these calls to consumers. DFS does not prosecute court cases against consumers and does not represent banks or credit unions. If you receive a call of the type described in this Alert, do not provide any personal information to the caller. This is a scam. The fraudster is attempting to obtain your personal information to gain access to your money or for other fraudulent purposes.
DFS accepts complaints about scams involving a financial product or service. To file a complaint, visit their website at www.dfs.ny.gov, or contact their Consumer Hotline at (800) 342-3736.
GRB Participating in University of Rochester Benefits Program Encouraging City Home Ownership
We are pleased to announce that GRB will begin offering funding to University of Rochester employees who are eligible for the University Home Ownership Incentive Program, a benefits program aimed at encouraging regular full-time and part-time faculty and staff members to purchase a primary residence in the city neighborhoods closest to the university’s River Campus and Medical Center.
The University Home Ownership Incentive Program offers eligible buyers $3,000 each from the University of Rochester, the City of Rochester and a participating bank or credit union, for a total of $9,000 in incentives for purchasing a home in sectors 4 and 6, encompassing primarily the 19th Ward and Plymouth-Exchange on the west side and Highland Park and the South Wedge on the east side. GRB funds may be used toward closing costs or interest rate buy-down. More than 350 homes have been purchased through the University Home Ownership Incentive Program since it was launched in 2008.
“Our mission has always been to help grow Rochester, and this program offers an opportunity to help fulfill that with our partners at the University of Rochester and the City of Rochester,” said Phil Pecora, president and CEO of GRB. “Home ownership provides an important foundation for our community and we are pleased to be involved in a program that helps develop stronger roots in these historic city neighborhoods.
“I’m extremely pleased that the University Home Ownership Incentive Program is growing with the addition of Genesee Regional Bank,” said Holly Crawford, University senior vice president for administration and finance and CFO. “Since the program’s founding in 2008, more than $1 million in financial incentives have helped University of Rochester regular full-time and part-time faculty and staff achieve the dream of homeownership in our nearby historic 19th Ward and South Wedge city neighborhoods, with more than 350 mortgages supported.”
GRB President and CEO Phil Pecora and CFO Gary Schwingel were featured in the Rochester Business Journal’s Jan. 15 issue. As part of the Rochester Top 100 profile, the article notes GRB’s steady growth and focus on building Rochester business, as well as discussing our success with the recent move into residential mortgage lending. Thank you to all our clients and employees!