The KeyBank Business Boost & Build program in New York connects small businesses and microenterprises in the urban neighborhoods of Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse to resources that will help them grow and thrive.
Click on the city closest to you to find the resources that will help grow your business.
Albany Partner Organizations
The Center for Economic Growth
The Center for Economic Growth is a nonprofit, regional economic and business development organization that serves as the primary point of contact for businesses interested in growing in or moving to New York’s Capital Region. Through our longstanding relationships with local economic development officials and regional business leaders, we help businesses navigate the governmental, financial and logistical terrains of any of the eight counties in the Capital Region.
Pursuit’s mission is simple: to provide businesses with affordable loans and resources so that they can reach higher, transform and grow. Pursuit is a community-focused lender where businesses can access more than 15 loan programs that provide financing from $10,000 to $5.5 million with affordable rates and terms. Last year alone, Pursuit provided more than $234 million in funding through 488 business loans, creating more than 2,900 jobs. Pursuit is a nationally recognized organization that focuses on serving businesses and lending partners in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
University of Albany SEED Program
The Small Enterprise Economic Development (SEED) is a Loan Program for future Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners that bases the lending decision on the character of the applicant and feasibility of the business model. Maximum Loan = $35,000. The Small Enterprise Economic Development program is a collaborative effort between: School of Business, University at Albany, SUNY School of Social Welfare, University at Albany, SUNY Small Business Development Center, University at Albany, and the State Employees Federal Credit Union. The partnership was developed to provide entrepreneurs that do not meet traditional lending criteria of cash, collateral and credit score with an alternative means to funding the start-up or expansion of their business. Start-up restaurants and bars are not eligible.
Buffalo Partner Organizations
Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center
The Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center inclusively serves small businesses on Buffalo’s East Side and throughout Western New York. The Exchange is a comprehensive, one-stop technical resource center, focusing on Minority and Women-Owned Enterprises and Service-Disabled Veteran–Owned Businesses, and delivering invaluable expert guidance that helps underserved entrepreneurs succeed. The Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center offers 4 primary services:
- Startup & Launch Assistance: Connecting entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses to business planning education and advice, as well as pro-bono legal, accounting and professional services that will enable them to start and launch their business.
- M/WBE Certification Support: Guiding M/WBE businesses through the M/WBE certification application process to help better position them to do business with the City of Buffalo, Erie County, and the State of New York.
- Financing Assistance: Helping start-ups and operating businesses become aware of available funding options for their business and assisting them through packaging and submitting their application.
- Networking/Matchmaking: Helping small businesses network with each other and meet other business service organizations through hosting events, as well as offering a networking space at the Center.
Westminster Economic Development Initiative
Westminster Economic Development Initiative’s (WEDI) mission is to empower economically disadvantaged people in Buffalo, NY. WEDI reduces barriers to success and opportunity through economic development, community building and education while also actively supporting prospective and established business owners throughout Buffalo. WEDI’s Economic Development Department operates Business Training, Technical Assistance, and Microloan programs such as:
- Training, one-on-one counseling, and technical assistance to microenterprises and small businesses
- Access to capital in the form of microloans of up to $20,000 per disbursal
- Affordable retail space with access to a commercial kitchen at the West Side Bazaar and the Broadway Market
Rochester Partner Organizations
Urban League of Rochester
The Urban League of Rochester was founded in 1965 as an affiliate of the National Urban League. The organization’s mission is to enable African Americans, Latinos, the poor and other disadvantaged to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power and civil rights. The Urban League of Rochester’s Business Development Center assists minorities and women in launching and growing their businesses through classroom instruction and one-on-one technical assistance. They also assist dislocated workers, the disabled, as well as aspiring small business entrepreneurs in the start-up, development and/or expansion of independent self-owned micro enterprise ventures. The Center is one of 20 Entrepreneurial Assistance Centers (EAC) in NY State, funded by New York State’s Empire State Development. Classes are offered three times a year. The 60-hour NxLevel Business Training Course is offered from September to November each year. A 20-hour Winter session and 15-hour Spring Session are also available. One-on-one counseling is offered year round.
Ibero-American Action League
Ibero is a dual-language human services agency that ignites the potential of individuals and families to prosper and make the community stronger. In partnership with the Urban League of Rochester, Ibero conducts bilingual workshops focused on MWBE Certification, Business Plan Basics, Laws, Regulations and Taxes, Marketing Plans, Products and Pricing, Employer Sexual Harassment and Guidelines, and Overview of Quickbooks. Ibero also offers financing assistance through the Ibero Investor’s Loan Fund.
Ibero, una agencia de servicios humanos en dos idiomas, enciende el potencial de los individuos y las familias en la comunidad latina del estado de Nueva York. En asociación con Urban League of Rochester, Ibero realiza talleres bilingües sobre la certificación MWBE, conceptos básicos del plan de negocios, leyes, regulaciones e impuestos, planes del mercadeo, productos y precios, acosto sexual y pautas de empleadores y descripciones generales de Quickbooks. Ibero también ofrece asistencia financiera por Ibero Investor’s Loan Fund.
Click here to learn more about the services offered by KeyBank’s Business Boost and Build C.U.S.E. Collaborative members.
Syracuse Partner Organizations
CenterState CEO is an independent and forward thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region. Up Start leads the organization’s neighborhood-based entrepreneurship development programming; connecting underrepresented entrepreneurs to training, technical assistance, and helping facilitate access to capital and real estate. Up Start provides direct services to a variety of lifestyle businesses, with a particular focus on finding entrepreneurial talent in the food industry.
Upstate Minority Economic Alliance
Upstate Minority Economic Alliance’s (UMEA) mission is to create greater regional prosperity through enhanced minority economic opportunity and to harness the economic power of the minority community for the benefit of the region. UMEA provides a powerful voice of advocacy for the interests of minority professionals and entrepreneurs who have historically been unable to access traditional business networks, financing, technical assistance, and training.
South Side Innovation Center
South Side Innovation Center (SSIC) is a community-based business incubator, as well as a business service center, that provides office space, entrepreneurial networking events, consulting, classes and workshops, test kitchen space, and MWBE certification for entrepreneurs in the Greater Syracuse Region. SSIC, a project of the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, offers support and services to entrepreneurs from the Idea Stage to the Growth and Expansion Stage.
WISE Women’s Business Center
WISE (Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship) Women’s Business Center provides expertise and support to business owners looking to grow to new levels of success. WISE WBC, funded in part by the US Small Business Administration and the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, offers counseling, coaching, consulting, training and essential networking and mentoring opportunities. The KeyBank Business Boost & Build program supports the WISE Exito! Program for Latina business owners and its annual WISE Symposium. These trainings focus on creation of a business plan and in-depth exploration of entrepreneurial expansion.