Grant Opportunities

Downtown Rochester offers a variety of grant opportunities and resources to Downtown businesses and the community.

Downtown Small Business Relief Fund

Downtown businesses have experienced unprecedented challenges in 2020 in the face of COVID-19 and construction. We are pleased to announce that a generous private donor, viewing downtown’s continued vibrancy as vital to the overall success of Rochester, has stepped up to establish a grant fund to support downtown businesses through this challenging period. A number of interested private parties have contributed financially and in kind to bring this to fruition. Up to $1,000,000 will be made available through the fund for grants of up to $20,000 per applicant.

Click here for more information about the Downtown Small Business Relief Fund.


Keep it Local, COVID-19 Innovators Grant

The COVID-19 crisis has presented many challenges to Rochester’s small business community and has also inspired quick and creative innovation and collaboration. The City of Rochester has approved an additional $225,000 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funding to support small business through a second round of the Keep It Local Grant Program, first launched in April of 2020 in partnership with the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA). The overall goal with this funding is to meet business needs not currently being addressed by city, state, and federal relief programs, to reward exceptionally innovative entrepreneurs within our community and to highlight and connect talented businesses and service providers within Rochester.

Click here for more information about the Downtown Small Business Relief Fund.


COVID-19 Sidewalk Cafe Expansion Grant

The COVID-19 Sidewalk Café Expansion Grant program is in response to the Mayor’s amended emergency order regarding bars and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant is aimed at assisting Rochester bars and restaurants during this time with fixtures, furniture, and equipment (FFE) for additional outdoor pedestrian space through expansion of street-level cafés.

The maximum amount of grant funding a business may receive, based on review and approval by a subcommittee appointed by the City of Rochester, is $2,000. Funds will be provided upfront and matching funds are not required.

Click HERE for more information about the COVID-19 Sidewalk Cafe Expansion Grant and how to apply.


​Façade Improvement Grant

In an effort to assist Downtown merchants in maintaining high quality business spaces, the Rochester Downtown Alliance created the Façade Improvement Grant. In partnership with the City of Rochester, Downtown business owners can apply for up to $20,000 in matching grants funds to improve their properties.

Click HERE for more information about the Façade Improvement Grant and how to apply.


Start-Up Event Grant

Whether you are organizing a poetry reading or planning a community festival, consider applying for the Rochester Downtown Alliance's Start-Up Event Grant open to new one-time events or event series, or existing successful events in need of support, taking place within Downtown Rochester.

Up to $3,000 in grant funding is possible per event.

Click HERE for more information about the Start-Up Event Grant and how to apply.