Rochester Procurement Equity Project

RPEP, Rochester Procurment Equity Project, Ro PRP, Rochester, ny

Driven by the belief that the power of collaboration significantly amplifies community impact, Rochester Purchasing Equity Project (RPEP) was established by Rochester Area Community Foundation in 2023 to transform the procurement practices of our region’s employers to benefit local Black- and Brown-owned businesses.

Why This, Why Now?

Vendors of color are seriously underrepresented in Rochester. Of the 19,500 businesses in the metro area, only 8% or 1,560 are minority-owned. If these Black- and Brown-owned businesses achieved parity with the population in Rochester, they would represent 23.7% (or 5,560) of all businesses, create nearly 35,200 new jobs, and generate almost $198 million in new income. The potential to carve new pathways for minority-owned businesses is evident.

What’s Being Done?

The work has begun with eight purchasing partners that have agreed to serve as ambassadors of inclusive practices.

Together, these partners — which include major corporations, universities, and health care institutions — have committed to leveraging their existing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and building their capacity to concentrate impact within the Greater Rochester region. These organizations have invested money and their staff’s time to generate change and, ultimately, increase their spending with vendors of color both within each of their companies and together as a collective.

Behind these efforts lay a set of shared aspirations: To amplify impact, bolster minority-owned businesses and generate jobs and wealth in the place they call home.

Black- and Brown-Owned Businesses: We Want Your Contact Info

In order to make connections with the founding partners for potential purchasing and service contract opportunities, RPEP is building a database of Black- and Brown-owned businesses in the eight-county region (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Yates and Wayne). If you are a minority-owned business located in any of these counties, we’d love to include you. Please click on this link to share your details and contact information.

For questions about RPEP and this initiative, contact Director Patricia Marcaida at or 585.341.4402.