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Office of Financial Empowerment

About the Office of Financial Empowerment

The Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) was created to help residents and families gain financial security and achieve economic mobility. The OFE convenes stakeholders – like banks, non-profits, and financial educators – and develops programs with them to create new financial empowerment initiatives and embed tools into existing initiatives.


Office of Financial Empowerment

Mission and Vision

The Office of Financial Empowerment will advance financial empowerment initiatives that promote access to safe & affordable banking, financial education and counseling, asset building, and consumer financial protection.
Through 2026, we will focus our efforts to financially empower youth, entrepreneurs, and Low to Moderate Income (LMI) renters.

The OFE will serve as a: 

  • Convener of City and community stakeholders to integrate financial empowerment into existing initiatives by identifying resources and filling gaps 
  • Content Expert on financial empowerment tools, amplifying insights and best practices and delivering them to Rochester residents 
  • Innovator, creating powerful programming in partnership with community stakeholders 
  • Advocate, supporting community advocacy efforts for financially empowering policies 

The Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) envisions a Rochester where all residents have access to the pathways necessary to achieve economic mobility.

Get Involved!

Participate in a survey to let the City know how best to meet your financial goals or of any barriers that you may encounter.

Click here for survey 

Home Value Workshop

The Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment in partnership with the Rochester Housing Authority (RHA) hosted an informational panel discussion on understanding the benefits of your homes increased value! Homeowners and perspective homebuyers gained insight from a panel of experts on how the increased appreciation in their home value contributes to building and sustaining wealth for generations. Watch the video below for more:




Programs and Services

Rochester Financial Empowerment Center provides free, 1-1 professional financial counseling as a public service. The program is a partnership between the City of Rochester and Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Rochester. To date, through the program, the City has served more than 2,000 FEC clients who have cumulatively increased their savings by more than (include $)1.6 million and reduced their debt by more than $2.3 million. For more information, visit or to schedule an appointment call 585-252-7110.

Kiva Rochester Small Business Loans are 0% interest small business loans from $1,000-$15,000 and crowdfunded $25 at a time. To date, the City has funded over $1 million to nearly 200 businesses.

Business and Asset Development for Small Businesses is a resource navigation service that connects entrepreneurs with internal offices and external organizations that can provide resources to fit the specific and unique needs of their businesses. This includes mentorship, preparing entrepreneurs to apply for grants and loans, identifying their ideal client, assisting them with obtaining access to certifications they may need and helping them start, grow, and sustain their businesses. Email Maisha Beard Johnson at to schedule an appointment.

More about Financial Empowerment

Municipally-led financial empowerment initiatives are growing across the country. Cities and Counties are focusing more and more on promoting financial wellness and economic mobility opportunities to their residents.

While financial empowerment can include many policies, programs, or practices that promote financial wellness, there are four major pillars of the work:

  1. Access to safe and affordable banking
  2. Financial Education & Counseling
  3. Business and Asset Development for Small Businesses (Resource Navigation Assistance)
  4. Consumer Financial Protection

The Office of Financial Empowerment joins dozens of other municipal offices across the country dedicated to advancing economic mobility for our residents.

OFE in the news

Reference Materials

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