Franchise ROC offers support to prospective business owners

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — If you want to start a business in Rochester, Franchise Roc is here to support you.

During Wednesday’s event on Jefferson Avenue, the organization explained how franchising is a way to access money, mentors, and support.

Starting a business can be intimidating, and that’s where Franchise Roc comes in. The group of local business leaders says franchising is a good option for people looking to launch a new career.

The focus is not just on fast food chains. The workshop was all about expanding local businesses and helping fight poverty and crime by giving new franchise owners an opportunity to change their lives.

“Unfortunately a lot of them are involved in businesses, but not the kind of businesses we like them to be involved in,” Roc business owner Randy Henderson said. “We want them to be involved in a positive way.”

“You know, franchising my barber shop, opportunities that could be for things of that nature,” Rochester City Councilman Willie Lightfoot said. “So it’s people who have ideas and alternatives, people who have existing businesses and people who may want to go in business and never thought of franchising as an opportunity.”

1-800 Striper, a local business in Rochester, says it’s on board to start working with Rochestarians to franchise its business.

“Recently we just started franchising our company and offering it on a national level,” owner of 1-800 Striper Luke Menear said. “Basically we support the dream of business ownership and the idea of being part of something.”

But where do you start?

“We don’t have any money, or we only have this amount of money, [so] how do we go about it?” Franchise Roc leader Angela LaVecchia said, raising concerns people might have.

Those are probably the first questions that come to mind for someone who wants to start a business. Franchise Roc wants to help.

“We align people with funding partners,” LaVecchia said. “Whether it’s the bank, the Small Business Association, we can help you put together a business plan. We have so many partners.”

Leaders of the new group, like Rochester City Councilman Willie Lightfoot, say the focus is not just on fast food chains. He says there are certain zip codes he feels need resources like this the most.

“Not just in the city but, particularly, in marginalized communities, especially with those being intentional about working with the population of people of color,” Lightfoot said.

On Wednesday, Oct. 19, Franchise ROC will be hosting another event just like this one. It will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at Prayer House Church of God by Faith.