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.
When GRB provides a donation to an organization, we usually like to do it in person. We invite the organization to our offices, give them an opportunity to meet our employees, and spend a few minutes sharing what they do everyday to help the community. Sometimes, this generates a volunteer or an idea for another fundraiser. These opportunities to connect are important to us as a community bank.
While the pandemic has prevented in-person events, we still feel it’s important to remain engaged with our community. So, we turned to technology. We recently hosted a virtual check presentation with the wonderful leadership team at Mary Cariola Children’s Center. Mary Cariola has been around for 71 years and provides education and life skills to youth with disabilities in a 10-county region.
GRB’s donated $5,000 to help the organization purchase much-needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that students and staff members need every day to remain safe.
While we wish we could have welcomed the Mary Cariola team in person, our virtual event did remind us that we can still make an impact, we can still be part of the community, we can still help out – even if we have to do it virtually for awhile.
We are happy to announce that GRB will be reopening its lobby locations in Pittsford and Greece at 8:55 a.m. on Monday, July 6 for regular hours.
We appreciate your patience over the last few months and we look forward to resuming our operations.
What to Expect
For in-branch transactions, we are taking every precaution to ensure a safe environment for our team members and our customers. Please be aware of the following safety protocols, in accordance with New York state requirements, when entering the branches:
Stop at the sign-in table first. Sanitizer will be available for your convenience.
Make sure to bring a mask with you in case social distancing requirements cannot be maintained.
If you are wearing a mask, you may be asked to remove it briefly for identification purposes.
Our personal bankers will have Plexiglas shields in place for all transactions.
Since March 23, GRB has offered deferred payments on consumer loans and suspended fees associated with ATM withdrawals, service charges on checking and savings accounts, and more. As of Monday, July 6, all fee waivers will be discontinued. For a complete list, please check our website.
Drive-thru Service and Online Banking Options
GRB’s drive-thru and online banking services remain a fast and easy way to manage your banking needs, and we encourage you to continue using them to minimize branch traffic whenever possible.
The positive message was passed to some 111 companies in the Rochester region as the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce launched its “We’re Open” video campaign. GRB was proud to be one of the companies participating.
GRB’s portion of the video in Cut Two featured (from left to right) President and CEO Philip Pecora, Commercial Relationship Associate Stephanie DeFazio and Commercial Relationship Manager Ryan Ramage. Watching the completed videos (there were so many participants the Chamber needed to create five different cuts) was particularly inspiring as they included a broad range of companies from different industries and different sizes. Truly an amazing feat.
We are just a little more than 10 days into the launch of the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and I am proud to announce that GRB has already closed its first 80 PPP loans. That means we are getting much-needed funds into the hands of our community businesses. This initial group represents the first of more than 420 loans we expect to fund in the coming days and weeks.
For me, the importance of what we do as a community bank is always top of mind. I have watched ideas become businesses, and businesses become pillars of the community. As a community bank and SBA Preferred Lender, it is our job to help ensure the recovery of these organizations. We are focused on doing it right – and doing it fast.
To make this happen our employees responded with inspired ideas, volunteered to learn new skills and implemented new technologies. They have displayed a commitment to helping our customers that is simply unmatched. Those efforts are appreciated more than you can imagine.
While there will still be challenges ahead, these first loan closings mark another step in the right direction. I am proud of our employees and proud to be part of this community. At GRB, we remain Here. For You.
In uncertain times, being able to help others can often be our greatest comfort. Since this crisis began, GRB has implemented a number of protections for consumer customers to ease their financial burden. I am proud to add that over the last 72 hours we have also been able to offer our small business customers some much-needed relief.
Our team members worked all weekend to secure APPROVED Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for more than 250 Rochester businesses totaling more than $80 million. Our entire Commercial banking team, along with many others throughout the bank who volunteered to help, navigated the requirements and the technology hiccups to secure the loans for our customers. The work will continue over the coming days as we finalize the process of getting funds in our clients’ hands. We could not be more proud of our team members for all their hard work and the role they’ve had in providing these businesses and our community with a little good news.
We all know this is just the beginning, but it is a step in the right direction. At GRB, we are committed to helping our customers find the solutions they need to survive, recover and thrive. We are Here. For You.
With New York’s SHIELD Act taking effect on March 21, 2020, it’s important for small businesses to continue building on their cyber security knowledge to safeguard customer information and prevent losses from fraud.
Fraud and cyber security threats are some of the leading sources of risk for businesses and individuals today. It’s challenging to stay on top of all the scams and schemes, but regular awareness and education can help reduce the chance that a business suffers financial losses at the hands of criminals.
The following sources provide a range of free materials (toolkits, posters, videos, newsletters, etc.) that businesses can use to stay up to speed on fraud and cyber security issues, and help train their employees to avoid behaviors that put the business, and even their personal finances, at risk.
HS&E Checklist – GRB, in association with the law firm of Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, offers a checklist resource for businesses to verify that they are following the components of the SHIELD Act.
CISA– The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency provides free toolkits to help businesses prevent common cyber threats such as phishing, email compromise and more. Other toolkits are available for law enforcement, parents and teachers, too.
American Bankers Association– The ABA provides educational materials designed to help individuals and businesses protect themselves from cyber crime, identity theft and many other types of financial fraud.
Krebs on Security – Brian Krebs is a leading computer security investigator. He offers a free email newsletter and RSS, Twitter and Facebook feeds.
The SANS Institute newsletters – The SANS Institute is run by security practitioners and designed to help the entire information security community. They offer free e-newsletters to help executives, information security specialists and everyday online users spot cyber threats.
Threatpost– An independent security news site, Threatpost offers articles, podcasts and videos. If it’s about security (or any lack thereof), it’s on Threatpost.
There are many ways to get information about cyber security and fraud threats. Read through the above suggestions – and others – and find a few sources that provide the kind of information you need to help keep your business safe.
We’re proud to have GRB President and CEO Philip Pecora interviewed in the Rochester Beacon about the competitiveness of community banks.
Of particular note, the article points out that smaller banks are actually outpacing the growth of larger institutions:
“Despite the size differential, the smaller banks—which make up 92 percent of FDIC-insured institutions—continue to do well as a group. As of Sept. 30, community banks nationwide reported a total net income of $6.9 billion, a 7.2 percent increase from the same point in the previous year. By contrast, all FDIC-insured institutions reported a 7.3 percent decline in income during that period.”
“Our competitive advantage is that we’re local, and that we have a keen interest and knowledge of our local markets,” says Philip Pecora, president and CEO of Genesee Regional Bank. “Within that, we just feel that we can provide a higher level of service, both on the commercial banking side and on the residential mortgage side, and also retail banking.”
GRB is pleased to announce it has once again been named to the “Best Companies to Work for in New York” state awards. This is the sixth consecutive year that GRB has made the list. The awards are decided based in large part on responses from employee surveys and is sponsored by the New York State Society for Human Resource Management (NYS-SHRM).
With Small Business Saturday just around the corner, the U.S. Small Business Administration has provided a list of 10 tips to help business owners take full advantage of the opportunity to connect with local shoppers.
More than two-thirds of every dollar spent at local small businesses stays in the local economy, so Small Business Saturday makes a real impact. Last year’s Small Business Saturday sales reached an all-time high of $17.8 billion.
Use these last few days before Nov. 30 to make sure your business is prepared to capture the attention of shoppers and turn them into repeat customers with these SBA tips:
Give yourself a digital makeover. Check your website, social media accounts, and review sites to make sure all online information about your small business is accurate and up to date. Focus on what you offer, where you’re located, and how customers can contact you.
Show what sets you apart. As a small business, it’s tough to compete with big box stores. In your marketing efforts, make sure customers know what makes your small business special. This can be a unique product or service or simply creating an inviting space for shoppers. Whatever that may be, communicate it to customers.
Get social on social media. Promote Small Business Saturday deals and share how you’re preparing your store. Use #ShopSmall on your social media posts to join the overall conversation. Encourage shoppers to snap a selfie and tag your business. This can increase engagement of your posts, potentially reaching new customers.
Plan an event. Organize a Small Business Saturday kickoff with food, drinks, and promotional items to draw shoppers in. Consider special discounts or free offerings for loyal customers. Set up an in-store activity that demonstrates your products or services.
Partner up. Contact other small businesses in your area and see how you can team up to provide special offers. Consider highlighting a local charity at your business. It’s a great way to embrace the spirit of the season and give back.
Leverage local events. Identify other holiday events and determine how your business can participate. This could lead to repeat customers and help you become a bigger part of the community.
Promote gift cards. Many holiday shoppers buy gift cards or gift certificates for family and friends, representing a huge opportunity for your small business.
Stay open longer. Small Business Saturday will most likely be your busiest day of the year. Extending your hours by opening earlier and closing later could have a big impact on sales.
Chat with staff. Before Small Business Saturday, have a meeting with your staff. Reminding them to greet each shopper when they enter and exit your business. Thank them and show appreciation for their work. Making Small Business Saturday a win for your business is a total team effort!
Track success. Take a few moments after Small Business Saturday to analyze what worked and what didn’t. This could help shape your strategy for next year.
Make a big splash this year as more people look to #ShopSmall! Good luck!