Assistance Available to Help City Residents Pay For Past-Due Water Bills, COVID-19 Related Funeral Expenses

(Wednesday, March 30, 2022) – City of Rochester residents may be eligible to receive funding to help pay for past-due City water bills under the N.Y. State Low Income Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) and for funeral expenses under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program.

Any delinquent water charges remaining unpaid on May 15 may be added to the upcoming year’s tax bill for the parcel of property against which they are a lien.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought hardships to many of our citizens, and I want to make sure that our residents are aware of the availability of these federal and state programs designed to ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic,” said Mayor Malik D. Evans.

A benefit of up to $2,500 is available per household to pay the cost of water services. Eligibility and benefits are based on income, household size and amount owed. To apply and learn about eligibility and income limits, visit

To apply for funeral assistance, residents can call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at (844) 684-6333, Mon. to Fri, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Multilingual service is available. To learn more about eligibility visit

The City of Rochester Enhances Services for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs, Connecting Them to Financial Counseling

City of Rochester

News Release

The City of Rochester Enhances Services for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs, Connecting Them to Financial Counseling

With Support from Principal® Foundation and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund,

the City of Rochester Launches a New Small Business Boost Initiative to Support Small Business Owners

(March 22, 2022)—Mayor Malik D. Evans and the national nonprofit Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) today announced the launching of Small Business Boost, a new pilot program to connect small business owners and entrepreneurs to one-on-one Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) counseling.

“The Small Business Boost initiative demonstrates how partnerships can help build economic self-reliance, provide financial resources and enhance the quality of life for Rochester’s citizens,” said Mayor Evans. “We are pleased to partner with this citizen-centered initiative to educate and position our entrepreneurs to increase their business capital through the Small Business Boost. We want to keep up this momentum for current and future generations of business owners and entrepreneurs to build a more robust and equitable Rochester.”

Through the Small Business Boost pilot, Rochester FEC counselors will support business owners and entrepreneurs in addressing personal financial challenges that present barriers to success in building wealth through business ownership. In addition, Rochester FEC counselors will receive effective training on the relationship between personal finance and business growth, navigating entrepreneurial ecosystems, and driving business outcomes through improving personal finances.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners interested in learning more about FEC financial counseling can visit For appointment scheduling, call the Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Rochester at 585-252-7110 or visit

The CFE Fund received a $1 million grant from Principal® Foundation to pilot Small Business Boost and worked with Rochester and other Financial Empowerment Center partners to connect local entrepreneurship and small business support services with FEC financial counseling. A financial counselor will be available weekly at the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and remotely for all business owners and entrepreneurs in Rochester. The Rochester Financial Empowerment Center launched in February 2020. These last two years have helped over 1,700 residents, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs reduce debt by $1.2 million and build savings by almost $1.3 million.

The City of Rochester joins Akron, Ohio; Lansing, Mich.; Pittsburgh, Penn.; and Polk County, Iowa to connect local small businesses to this free public support service. While starting a small business can be a promising pathway to financial stability, entrepreneurs often begin this path with existing financial challenges, adding to their inability to access capital to start or grow their small businesses. This can lead to inadequate savings to manage irregular cash flow.

While it is illegal to deny credit based on race or ethnicity, national data reveal that lower access to capital for Black-and Latinx-owned businesses makes it challenging to create and sustain business operations. According to a 2015 report by the Empire Justice Center, 15,648 small business loans totaling $790.2 million were approved for businesses in the Rochester metro area. Of these loans, 17% were in the city of Rochester, and 9% were approved for businesses in most non-white census tracts.

“Running a small business can be a critical driver of opportunity, helping entrepreneurs build financial stability and wealth for themselves, their families, and their communities – but for too many people, their finances are a barrier to making a solid start,” said Jonathan Mintz, President, and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “We’re thrilled to partner with Mayor Evans and Principal® Foundation on Small Business Boost, which will help entrepreneurs manage their finances so they can better access capital and generate wealth, and share lessons learned from this pilot so that local governments across the country can build strong and inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystems.”

“Principal® Foundation is committed to advancing financial security. Notwithstanding the tremendous losses they suffered due to the pandemic, small businesses are still the engines for local growth and the pathway to financial security for many Americans. Thus, we are thrilled to support the work of CFE Fund and its Financial Empowerment Center partners to remove barriers and expand opportunities for entrepreneurs to launch businesses that meet community needs, improve local economies, and strengthen local communities,” said Jo Christine Miles, director, Principal Foundation and community relations.

At the Financial Empowerment Centers, professionally trained FEC counselors help consumers with low and moderate incomes manage their finances, pay down debt, increase savings, establish and build credit, and access safe and affordable mainstream banking products. The CFE Fund’s national FEC Public platform looks to grow this movement across the country, including through the newly expanded FEC Academy entry point.

The City of Rochester administration of Mayor Malik D. Evans is committed to promoting positive systemic and structural change by providing transparent and collaborative leadership, offering equitable access to essential municipal services, enabling productive intergovernmental, private, and non-profit partnerships, and promoting increased quality of life through investments that create vibrant neighborhoods and employment opportunities, making Rochester a hope-filled city with an exciting future. For more information, visit


News Media: For more information, contact Director of Communications Barbara Pierce at Barbara.Pierce@CityofRochester.Gov.

Geneseeo Small Business Development Center is Now Hiring!

Those interested in the position can contact:

Paul J. Morrell, MS., Assistant Vice President for Finance and Business Development at


Business Advisor – SBDC

POSITION CATEGORY: Flexible Part-time (3 day), 12 month, business counseling position reporting to the Director of the Small Business Development Center.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:  The SBDC Business Advisor is responsible for assisting clients of the Small Business Development Center and must meet established goals relative to number of clients, jobs, and economic impact.  He/she is responsible for providing a comprehensive range of small business assistance to SBDC clients to include one-to-one client advisement in business plan development, analysis, preparation, and structure of financial statements, start-up information to include assistance in automated and manual record keeping systems and assisting clients with advertising, promotional functions, market surveys, and other related activities.

The counselor position supports our mission and objectives for SBDC to provide business advisement and resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs to create economic sustainability in NYS. This position not only supports the Southeast area of Rochester but also Livingston and Wyoming Counties.


  1. Directs and advises entrepreneurs and business owners on matters involving the start-up or expansion of a small business.
  1. Assists SBDC clients with preparation of a business plan.
  1. Provides counseling assistance in the preparation of loan packages, cash flow projections, and other financial statements.
  1. Prepares written reports documenting the status and progress of all SBDC clients assisted.  Maintains up-to-date client database.
  1. Compiles and analyses data from SBDC clients who have received assistance in order to make refinements and improvements and for promotional purposes.      
  1. Maintains currency of federal, state, and local government regulations pertaining to operating a business and provides updates to the SBDC staff.
  1. Establishes and maintains an up-to-date comprehensive network of professional contacts for referral purposes.
  1. Represents the SBDC at networking events and gives presentations on the services the SBDC offers.  Promotes SBDC services at every opportunity.
  1. Plans, directs and organizes orientation and training programs for SBDC clients, as requested by the Director.  Recommends content for e-mail blasts to clients.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:  Bachelor’s degree and its equivalent required; three (3) years’ experience business consulting, small business management, or managerial consulting, which must include business and marketing plan development, financial analysis, and financing options, experience related to economic or entrepreneurial development; experience using Excel spreadsheets and WORD.  Must have excellent communication skills and the ability to interact with audiences of varied knowledge and expertise. It is important that this position have the range of ability to represent the SBDC and SUNY Geneseo in settings that require professional presentations.

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS:  Master’s degree in a business-related field; experience as an owner of a small business; demonstrable experience establishing local economic development, community, and business relationships; experience with training development and public speaking; experience with public relations and newsletter creation. 

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:  Must be able to listen to small business owner’s needs and be able to advise them on actions that need to be considered; must be able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously; must be able to write reports; must be able to prepare and make oral presentations to small and large groups; must be able to explain and interpret financial statements; must be able to travel locally; must be able to relate to all levels of the business community; must be able to operate computers.  Recognize that sometimes the best assistance you can give a client is to help him/her recognize that business ownership is not a good path for them.

Geneseo is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of any legally protected status or characteristic. Minority/Female/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/Disability/Veteran. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote without regard to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

College Approved:         March 1, 2022

SBDC Approved:           Feb 28, 2022


Yesterday Nick (SEAC Tool Shed Coordinator), Tom (SEAC Board Chair), and myself (Mike, Executive Director) got to hang with some of the youths and volunteers at St. Michael’s Woodshop and collect tool donations from their shop for SEAC’s Tool Shed program.

We are so thankful for this bundle as it will really go a long way to getting our tool inventory established.

St. Michael’s Woodshop is a fantastic space with a ton of really cool tools!
Nick looking snazzy in blue rimmed safety glasses!
Tom and some of the students carrying the tools to our cars.
What a haul!

Thank you so much, St. Michael’s! We really appreciate your support to SEAC and the life and woodworking skills you teach your students!

Be well.

Mike Evans

SEAC’s Tool Shed Website And Membership Pre-Registration Now Live!

April 4th is right around the corner! We are excited to launch this new program and make a positive impact in not only SEAC’s south east area but in the Greater Rochester Area!

In preparation for the big opening, we’ve launched our Tool Shed website! We are currently hard at work getting all the our current donations tested, cleaned, and entered into our system, meaning you can see our inventory online!

Tool Shed Membership Pre-Registration

You can now create an account on our Tool Shed database! Please note that you will not be charged the membership fee. 

Once the Tool Shed opens to the public, when you come in for the first time you will be required to present the following:

  • Two proofs of residency in the Greater Rochester Area, such as a utility or phone bill or paystub.
  • A debit/credit card to have on file (this is in the case of late fees or tools being damaged by the renter). You can also add this to your account before coming to the Tool Shed.
  • Fill out the Lending Agreement and Indemnification and Waiver.

Once we have the documentation, you will be asked which membership level you wish to enroll in and will be charged the appropriate amount for the year.   The Tool Shed has three levels to choose from:

Tinkerer Level — $25 per year and you can rent five tools at a time*

Builder Level — $50 per year and you can rent 25 tools at a time*

Contractor Level — $100 per year, two users, and you can rent 50 tools at a time*

Once paid in full, you will be given your membership card.  

*Rented tools must be returned within 5 days. After that, a $1 fee per day will be incurred. Any tool not returned after 30 days will result in the renter being charged for the value of a new replacement tool (market value).

South East Area Coalition’s Letter of Support for Eviction Reduction Law (Introductory 94)

March 9, 2022

Dear City Council Members and City Representatives,

My name is Mike Evans, and I am the Executive Director of the South East Area Coalition.  I am writing this letter of support for the Eviction Reduction Law (Introductory 94). 

This bill ensures that tenants have protections against retaliations from landlords who do not act in good faith as responsible property owners.  This is an important step in the right direction of stabilizing the housing crisis in Rochester, setting regulations that hold landlords accountable for the state of their properties, allowing tenants the right to organize and file for legal code enforcement, and allows renters to question increases to their rent over 5%. The bill would require landlords to be transparent about high rent increases while recognizing that taxes and maintenance/upkeep are all justifiable reasons to raise rent.

It is important to treat all tenants fairly, with dignity and respect as well as protect supportive landlords that act in good faith of their obligations to their tenants and properties (including having valid Certificate of Occupancy as required by the law).  Tenants, particularly black and brown families, have been negatively impacted for decades by poor living conditions, absentee/slumlords tactics, and instability and poverty caused by unjust evictions.  SEAC supports this bill to bring equity and equality to Rochester’s tenants and homeowners.   

No one should live in squalid conditions or be afraid of reprisal and eviction asking for help and repair.  Healthy, proper, and fair living conditions bring stability to our neighborhoods and communities.  Children can grow with friends and flourish in school, businesses can develop a regular supportive customer base, and pride in one’s home and neighborhood bring further positive changes to the area such as Clean Sweeps, community development, outreach and support, infrastructure repair and development, jobs, and more. 

SEAC asks our City Council to vote in favor of the Eviction Reduction Law (Introductory 94).  We have a chance to do right by the 64% of Rochesterians that are tenants throughout our wonderful city. 

Thank you and be well,

Mike Evans

Executive Director


1255 University Ave, C010 (Lower Level)

Rochester, NY 14607

* PDF version available here.

Tool Drive Locations

Looking to donate tools to SEAC’s Tool Shed program? While you can always drop them off at our Tool Shed location at 1255 University Ave, C010 (Lower Level), Rochester, NY 14607 (Monday through Friday 10am-4pm), several local businesses and community organizations have been holding tool drives for us!

Please keep checking back as this list will be updated regularly.

Monroe Branch Library

Address: 809 Monroe Ave, Rochester, NY 14607

Hours for Tool Drop Off

  • Monday: 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Senator Samra Brouk

Address: 274 N. Goodman Street Suite B127

Rochester, NY 14607

Hours for Tool Drop Off

Monday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Sager Beer Works

Address: 46 Sager Dr Suite E,  Rochester, NY 14607

Hours for Tool Drop Off

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Friday: 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Hadlock’s House of Paint

Address: 3400 Monroe Ave, Rochester NY 14618

Hours for Tool Drop Off

  • Monday-Friday: 7:30 am – 6 pm
  • Saturday: 8 am – 5 pm

ACE Hardware

Address: 3400 Monroe Ave, Rochester NY 14618

Hours for Tool Drop Off

  • Monday-Friday: 8 am – 7 pm
  • Saturday: 8 am – 5 pm
  • Sunday: 9 am – 3 pm

Southeast Neighborhood Service Center

Address: 320 N Goodman St, STE 209, Rochester, NY 14607

Hours for Tool Drop Off

  • Monday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM