News Release -- Mayor Warren Announces Programs to Support Residents, Businesses During Coronavirus Outbreak

City of Rochester

News Release 

(Tuesday, March 31, 2020) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren today unveiled a suite of programs and services provided by the City and its partners to support residents and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak and its aftermath.

“The City of Rochester, along with our partners in government and the non-profit sector, stand ready to help our residents and businesses stay strong through this crisis and position themselves for a rapid recovery,” said Mayor Warren. “This pandemic has caused an unprecedented level of disruption that will reverberate across our city’s economy for months to come. But Rochester has always been defined by its resilience and resolve, and those same traits will not only get us through this challenge, but make us stronger in the process.”

The City has assembled a collection of new and existing programs to provide valuable information and resources to residents and businesses at every level of the economic spectrum as they confront the shifting landscape of the coronavirus outbreak.

Property Tax Collection Relief

To help all residents and business owners, 4th quarter City property tax, water and refuse payments are now due April 30. Payments were previously due March 31.

Financial Empowerment Centers

For residents facing financial challenges, the City’s Office of Community Wealth Building’s Financial Empowerment Centers program offers free, professional financial counseling and coaching. Residents can work with counselors on a range of activities like budgeting, restructuring debt and learning more about loan deferment options. Learn more>>

Emergency Repair Assistance for Homeowners

For homeowners who can’t afford to repair or replace a furnace, boiler or hot water tank, the City’s Department of Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD) offers grants through its Emergency Assistance Repair Program. Learn more>>

Business Emergency Grant, Loan Deferrals

For small business owners, NBD is offering a new grant; and NBD and the Rochester Economic Development Corp. (REDCO) are providing options to defer loan payments. Learn more>>

The new NBD Business Emergency Retention Grant provides up to $2,000 to help businesses cover short-term expenses such as payroll, insurance, utilities and inventory. NBD and REDCO are also offering 90-day deferrals on existing loans. 

KIVA Rochester, SBA Loans

Kiva Rochester has expanded access to its crowdfunded, interest-free loans. The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering an Economic Disaster Injury Loan of up to $2 million; and an Express Bridge Loan that allows SBA Express Lenders to provide qualified small businesses with loans of up to $25,000 to pay expenses while applying for longer-term loans. Learn more>>

Partnership with 211/Life Line

For residents and business owners dealing with the most immediate needs, the City is partnering with 211/Life Line, the information and referral hotline operated by Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, to provide around-the-clock access to up-to-date information about available support services. The City has provided 211 with the latest information on the services it offers.

211 telecounselors undergo extensive training that gives them a fluent grasp of the many services that are available to area residents and then determine which of those services would best fit the needs of callers seeking assistance. In recent days, Goodwill has shifted employees from other areas of its operation to the 211 hotline, nearly doubling its capacity to provide this service.

Information on these programs, including applications, can be found online by visiting the City’s website at