Mayor's Office of Community Wealth Building

“For we know now that it isn’t enough to integrate lunch counters. What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t have enough money to buy a hamburger and a cup of coffee?” -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Supporting Entrepreneurs, Helping Families 

The Mayor's Office of Community Wealth Building was created to support local entrepreneurs in starting and growing their small businesses, and to help individual and families get beyond paying the bills to building wealth for their future.

Business and Community Service Center

The Business and Community Services Center at 30 and 56 N. Fitzhugh St. is a resource for residents, connecting them to community partners who offer courses, coaching and networking opportunities.

Individuals can learn more about banking, budgeting, finance, homeownership and investments. Entrepreneurs can learn more about marketing, social media, access to capital or how to qualify as a Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE).

Free tax help. Starting Feb. 19, the Center will be offering support to people using, an online platform supported by the United Way, available to anyone earning less than $66,000. Access to laptops and help from trained facilitators will be available every Tuesday through April 9 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 30 N. Fitzhugh St. Sign up for a 90-minute appointment here.>>

Other free resources for tax help can be found here.>>

Wealth Building Seminars

  •  Achieving Financial Stability:  Feb. 7 at 5 and 6:15  p.m. (two separate classes).
    • This workshop will provide practical strategies to increase income, building savings, and gain assets for the future. Learn more and register here>>
  •  Saturday Series: An 8-class course. Starting Feb. 9 at 9 a.m.
    • This is a series of eight classes covering topics from budgeting to credit, loans, debt and insurance all the way to investments and retirement. This first class will help participants develop an understanding of how financial psychology relates to achieving financial and lifestyle goals. Learn more and register here>> 
  •  Saving through Tax Refund: Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. (two separate classes)  
  •  Caring for a Child with a Disability, the Financial Side: Feb. 21, 5 and 6:15 p.m.  
  •  Saturday Series 2: Account Management and Credit Profile: Feb. 23 at 9 a.m.   
  •  Let's Erase Debt: Feb. 28 at 5 and 6:15 p.m.
    • This workshop will help adults recognize the signs of debt distress, make a plan to take control of debt repayments, and spending. Learn more and register here>>
  •  Homeownership Good Cents: March 7 at 5 and 6:15 p.m.
    • This workshop helps limited-income homeowners and those considering buying a home to build long-term stability by learning the basis of handling new homeowner expenses, planning for home repairs and maintenance, avoiding financial pitfalls, and using a spending plan to meet expenses and reach goals. Learn more and register here>>
  • College Funding Strategies: March 14, 5 and 6:15 pm.
    • This workshop covers two interconnected topics: managing money and paying for college. Once participants learn the tools to manage money (such as using a spending plan and saving for goals), they can explore how to pay for a college education and gain the confidence to make solid plans for the future as an adult learner and non-traditional student. Learn more and register here>>

Other upcoming workshops:




The Office of Community Wealth Building is also involved in:

Improving the community’s access to credit based on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s 2016 City of Rochester Credit Profile. Find the report here>>

Serving as the City’s liaison to OWN Rochester, which is helping to establish worker-owned cooperatives.

Confronting the issue of wage disparity as outlined in a recent report conducted by the City’s Office of Innovation, SEIU 1199 and the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, which found that unfair wages are causing many city residents to live in poverty even though they have full time jobs. Read the Report>>

Working Closely with the Office of Strategic Initiatives. This Office has implemented such successful programs as Kiva Rochester, Vanpool and Bikeshare and has brought in more than $6 million to support its initiatives.


Richmond  Model

The Office of Community Wealth Building  is conceptually modeled after Richmond, Va.'s Office of Community Wealth Building


Lomax R. Campbell Director
City Hall Room 221B
30 Church St.
Rochester, N.Y. 14614
Brad Willows,
Executive Staff Assistant
City Hall Room 221B
30 Church St.
Rochester, N.Y. 14614