Rochester, New York

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Rochester Business Signs

The Seneca tribe inhabited the area along the Genesee River, which would eventually become Western New York.  That was, until they were forced from the land following the Treaty of Big Tree in 1797.  Colonels Nathanial Rochester and William Fitzhugh, Jr., along with Major Charles Carroll, officially founded the settlement of Rochester on November 8th, 1803.  These military officers came from Hagerstown, Maryland, and purchased 100 acres along the Genesee River.  They chose this site in particular due to the three cataracts of the river, which they knew would offer great waterpower in the future.

The modern day city of Rochester, according to a 2012 US Census bureau report, has a population of 210,565 people.  This makes it the 103rd most populous city in the country, and the third most populous city in New York State, after Buffalo and New York City.  Rochester’s metropolitan area, which encompasses Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, and Wayne Counties, has a population of 1,082,284 people, according to that same 2012 report.  This makes the Rochester metropolitan area the 51st most populous metropolitan area in the United States.

Democrat & Chronicle (a local Rochester newspaper), in a 2014 report, claimed the University of Rochester as the largest employer in the city.  The University of Rochester has 22,500 employees.  The second largest employer in Rochester is Wegmans, responsible for 13,582 jobs.  Rochester General Health System comes in at third with 8,200 employees, while Xerox employs 6,300 people.

In fact, Xerox was originally founded in Rochester in 1906 as The Haloid Company.  Xerox retains a large presence in the city to this day.  The tallest building in Rochester is the Xerox Tower, clocking in at an impressive 443 ft (135 m).  Eastman Kodak and Carestream Health, both on the Fortune 1000 list, are currently headquartered in Rochester.

Other companies headquartered in Rochester include 5LINX, Abbott’s Frozen Custard, ESL Federal Credit Union, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, Genesee Brewing Company, Gleason Corporation, and Monro Muffler Brake.

Rochester also boasts a high number of imaging and optical science centers and is therefore known as the world capital of imaging.  The Institute of Optics, which is a department and research center at the University of Rochester through the university’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has granted over 2,400 degrees in optics (since its founding in 1929), “making up about half of the degrees awarded in the field in the U.S.”

As for the University of Rochester itself, it was established in 1852, and as of 2014, has an endowment of $2.13 billion.  This private research university has 6 schools with over 200 academic majors serving over 10,000 students in total.  Their collegiate teams are nicknamed the ‘Yellowjackets.’

Rochester is also home to George Eastman House, the world’s oldest photography museum.  This house was built by architect J. Foster Warner in 1905, and opened to the public as a museum in 1949.  It is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is considered a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

As for the city of Rochester’s professional sports scene, Baseball’s International League Rochester Red Wings, who began operation in 1899, play at Frontier Field.  The Red Wings have won 20 titles.  AHL’s ice hockey Rochester Americans, who play in Blue Cross Arena, have 6 titles to their name.  Indoor lacrosse’s Rochester Nighthawks also play in this arena.  The Nighthawks have won 5 championships.  Blue Cross Arena is also home to basketball’s PBL Rochester Razorsharks, winners of 6 titles.  USL Pro’s Rochester Rhinos play their home matches at Sahlen’s Stadium.  The Rhinos have won 3 titles. NWSL’s Western New York Flash also play at Sahlen’s Stadium.  The Flash have 2 titles to their name.  Indoor lacrosse’s Rochester Rattlers have one championship to their name, and play their home games in Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium.

Do you own a small business in the Rochester area?  Are you considering it?  These resources may help you:

Apply for a Business License in Rochester

Business – Democrat & Chronicle

Rochester Business Alliance (Chamber of Commerce)