Small businesses programs offers networking, education, funding in Rochester


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A local assembly member has announced a partnership aimed to help Rochester small businesses connect to educational opportunities, networking, and funding.

This comes at a time when small businesses are trying to recover from the pandemic and the economy is reopening.

Laurie Elkin is the owner of Rochester-based AV Science. She started as a book keeper, learning enough to eventually buy the company.

“This is not an industry that is predominately woman, let me tell you that much,” said Laurie Elkin, Owner Rochester AV Science.

To build her skills and find networking opportunities, she joined the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program and graduated last year.

“Just the huge network that your opened up to of people that are basically in the same position that you are,” said Elkin. “I’ve kept that relationship with those six or seven people, and we still met via zoom every other week and it has become probably the biggest advantage I have just been able to bounce different idea off of these people.”

The nationally renowned program has three areas of focus: education, access to capital and networking. Alumni of the program have reported increased revenue and job creation.

The program has worked with over 1,000 business in New York City and early May, assemblywoman Sarah Clark partnered with the state attorney general’s office to nominated Rochester business for the program.

“We know even before COVID pandemic that small business always need the extra access to resource technical assistance financial investment and those types of things,” said Sarah Clark, Assemblywoman 136th district.

Clark targeted what she calls the backbone of the economy; growing mom and pop stores.

“I hope it will light the flame of entrepreneurship in a way that some fold didn’t even now they have I hope it grows business in our city,” said Clark.

The 12-week program is open for applications now. More information about eligibility requirements can be found here.


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