SBDC at Geneseo

Small Business Development Center

Small Business Development Center

Adopt-a-BusinessIf you're starting a new small business, or need help with your existing business, our experienced advisers can help you.

Since 1984 we have helped over 384,130 small business clients who created over 169,485 jobs and invested $50 billion in the NYS economy.

Our services are free and confidential. We serve Livingston, Wyoming, Ontario and Steuben counties and greater Rochester. Since 1993, we have served over 670 clients, creating $10 million in local investments and created or saved 1,700 jobs.

Why Small Businesses Need Help

Small business is the engine that drives our economy, yet 80% of all small businesses fail within the first five years. The primary causes of failure include under-capitalization, lack of experience and minimal marketing expertise. The success rate for small business can be improved by focusing on management resources, information resources and skills training.

News and Updates

AVP for Finance and Business Development and Director of the SUNY Geneseo SBDC Helps Secure $500,000 Government Grant

SUNY Geneseo was awarded $500,000 to support campus technology and security infrastructure improvements. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) secured the funding, which was included in the FY24 Congressional appropriations.

"I am delighted with the continued collaboration between SUNY Geneseo and Senator Schumer’s team," said Paul Morrell, associate vice president for finance and business development and director of the SUNY Geneseo SBDC, who submitted and helped advocate for the funding. "His commitment helps ensure we have the latest technology to meet evolving campus safety and security needs."

The SUNY Geneseo University Police Department (UPD) will use the funding to advance a multi-year plan to enhance its security and technology infrastructure. "The University Police would like to express our gratitude to Senator Schumer for helping to secure funding on behalf of SUNY Geneseo," said Chief Scott Ewanow. "These funds will help make Geneseo a safer environment for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors and aid in our ability to respond to and investigate reports to our department."

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said, "I’m proud to have secured this $500,000 federal investment to make vital upgrades to SUNY Geneseo’s public safety and security equipment to bolster its campus safety technology.  This project will improve safety for students, faculty, and staff while upgrading the institution’s technology capabilities."

"Safety is among our top priorities at SUNY Geneseo. This funding helps ensure that critical infrastructure is in place to support our UPD as it protects our campus community," said President Denise Battles. "We are deeply grateful for Senator Schumer’s shared commitment to the safety of our students and campus community."

Monroe County Clerk Jamie Romeo Launches New Small Business Initiative

On March 21, 2024, Monroe County Clerk Jamie Romeo was proud to announce a new small business initiative in partnership with the City of Rochester, Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Development Centers. As the statutory authority to receive and record of DBA certificates (doing business as), the County Clerk’s Office is often the first stop of a new small business venture. Now as part of that transaction, residents will receive a resource guide, providing them with additional tools to help ensure their success.

(from left to right) Director of SUNY Geneseo SBDC Paul Morrell, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment Angela Rollins, Regional Director of SUNY Brockport SBDC Lindsay Ward, Monroe County Clerk Jamie Romeo, Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans, President and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Bob Duffy

"Monroe County is home of a legacy on entrepreneurs," said Romeo. "While this resource guide may seem like a small step, we know that access to information can be make or break to small businesses. I am proud of this new partnership and commit to always searching for find new ways to support our local businesses."

"Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the heartbeat of our city and the engine of our economy,” said Mayor Malik D. Evans. “Centralizing access to resources that can help them succeed into a single booklet that they can have at their fingertips is another way to inspire hope and deliver opportunity. The City is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Monroe County Clerk’s Office, the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and the Small Business Development Center to ensure that local entrepreneurs can find the resources they need to navigate the complexities of launching a business."

Bob Duffy, President and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, said, "Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce has a long-standing commitment to supporting the vibrant small business community of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes region. Small businesses serve as the backbone of our communities, providing critical products, services, and jobs. We are excited about this initiative that serves to support aspiring entrepreneurs and help businesses grow, and we are grateful to Clerk Romeo and our partners from the City of Rochester and SBDCs for their leadership. We encourage any business in need of assistance to reach out to us at any time."

According to Lindsay Ward, Regional Director of SUNY Brockport SBDC and Paul Morrell, Director of SUNY Geneseo SBDC, "The Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) is a proud partner of Monroe County as well as surrounding counties in the Finger Lakes region that offers no cost confidential technical advisement, counseling, training and research to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Since 1984, SBDC offices statewide have served over 583,000 citizens, creating $8.7B investments and created and retained 263,997 jobs. Services include but not limited business plan development, marketing, financial assistance, trade, legal, research, workshops, seminars and a large network of additional tools and resources."

Paul Morrell, Director of SUNY Geneseo SBDC

“We work with dozens of businesses and entrepreneurs daily and recognize the value of having the Small Business Resource Guide, which I know will serve our businesses well as they grow the local economy," said Angela Rollins, director of the Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment. “The Office of Financial Empowerment specializing in providing free one-on-one financial counseling, 0% interest small business loans, and individualized resource navigation services for our small businesses. I want to thank Monroe County Clerk Jamie Romeo for establishing the Guide and for providing the Office of Financial Empowerment the opportunity to share its financial programs and services with the Rochester business community.”

To learn more about filing a DBA and the resources available, visit the Monroe County Clerk’s website.

New York State SBDC Director, Sonya Smith, Visits SUNY Geneseo SBDC Office

The SUNY Geneseo SBDC office was thrilled to welcome New York State SBDC Director, Sonya Smith, to the Geneseo campus this summer.

Client Spotlight: Scents by Design - Christina Julian, Owner 

Scents by Design is the region’s first pour-your-own candle and custom fragrance bar. Nestled right in the heart of the Neighborhood of the Arts in Rochester, New York, this exciting new experiential retail concept has opened in the midst of a global pandemic, despite the unprecedented challenges facing small businesses.Scents by Design owner Christina Julian

Christina Julian, the owner of Scents by Design, intended to open up shop in the Spring of 2020, but those plans were derailed when COVID-19 sent the world into quarantine. “I was really close to signing a lease right when everything shut down,” Christina explains. “I’m so grateful I waited, because it could have been catastrophic. Once we had a better understanding of the virus and how it spread, I decided to start looking for retail space again.”

Working with Norm Karsten of the Geneseo SBDC, Christina developed a business plan and secured financing. Christina tells us, “Being a first-time entrepreneur, Norm’s guidance on my business plan was invaluable. He gave me the framework and format for what a business plan needed to include, and then helped me adapt it to include all the specifics for my business, COVID, and what the banks were asking to see.”Scents by Design interior

Scents by Design opened in November 2020, and aims to get people thinking differently about scenting their spaces, and to treat fragrance as an interior design element. We spend so much time and money curating the look and feel of the spaces in our homes and workplaces, and we sometimes ignore our sense of smell. Scents by Design helps customers find scents that match their noses and their environments.

The custom fragrance experience is interactive and hands-on, and the shop has a social atmosphere that is perfect for individuals, large groups, intimate date nights or private parties. Whether you're looking for a girls' night out, a team-building event, or an activity for the kids, Scents by Design would love to host your next get-together. Scents by Design is also a source for unique wedding and event favors, corporate gifts, private label fragrance products, and community fundraisers.

Scents by Design is proud to be an independent, woman-owned small business.

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Small Business Development Center
Doty Hall, Room 119
1 College Circle, Geneseo
Geneseo: 585-245-5429
Wyoming: 585-237-4110 x109
Rochester: 585-245-5429
Fax: 585-245-5430
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am - 4:15pm