Rochester Receives Grant, Technical Support to Encourage Minority-Owned Business Growth


Mayor Lovely Warren announced today that Rochester will receive a $100,000 grant and technical support to grow jobs and strengthen minority-owned businesses after the city was chosen to participate in the nation-wide Living Cities City Accelerator program.

Rochester was one of five cities selected this year along with Atlanta, El Paso, Long Beach and Newark. The program is funded through a partnership with the Citi Foundation and Living Cities and focuses on supporting the growth of minority-owned businesses and local job creation in the communities chosen.

“My administration is committed to creating more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods, and better educational opportunities for all of our residents, regardless of the zip code they live in,” said Mayor Warren. “As our economy rebounds and becomes more focused on entrepreneurship and small business, it is essential that everyone is a part of the growth and prosperity. We are excited to work with the Citi Foundation and Living Cities as part of the City Accelerator as we develop strategies and policies designed to build an inclusive ecosystem that provides all Rochesterians with the opportunity to build a brighter future through business ownership.”

Now in its fifth year, the City Accelerator program has brought together 17 municipalities to test new approaches that improve the lives of residents. In addition to the grant money, each city will receive a combination of technical assistance, coaching and implementation resources. Cities may consider local policy reform, changes in small business support practices, capacity building, staff training and other initiatives to reach their goals.

"Cities can have a disproportionately positive impact on local entrepreneurial ecosystems and the creation of good jobs”, said Living Cities President and CEO Ben Hecht. “The cities in this latest initiative will be showing how they can harness all of their assets to support and grow businesses owned by the nation’s fastest growing populations—people of color—and help to close racial gaps in wealth and income in their own backyards.”

“While the impact of small business growth on the U.S. economy is widely appreciated, the potential of minority-owned small businesses is often overlooked,” said Ed Skyler, Citi's Executive Vice President for Global Public Affairs and Chair of the Citi Foundation. “These cities recognize this untapped potential and are coming together to rethink how they work with minority-owned small businesses to help them grow and create high-quality jobs.”

Technical assistance for the effort will be provided by Rodrick Miller, President and CEO of Ascendant Global, an economic development consulting firm. Miller has previously served as the President and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the New Orleans Business Alliance.

For further information, please visit
More Stories Like This