Kodak’s nearby businesses hoping for rebirth after massive federal deal

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Businesses near Kodak are hopeful for a rebirth of activity on the Eastman campus. 

Places that rely on foot traffic, like Bathtub Billy’s down the street on West Ridge Road, say this could be a great thing, but they’re cautiously optimistic.

MORE | Kodak lands $765M federal loan to develop prescription drug ingredients, aims to add 300 jobs in Rochester

Owner Matt Reis says things haven’t been easy for businesses like his located near Kodak.

“What we’re going through right now, we’re at 50% capacity, we were closed down for three and a half months and now they’re gonna promise us the world with this, so my question is are you gonna just take this away from us like you’ve done with everything else, or is it really going to happen?,” Reis asked.

Over the years, he says, the area has gone downhill from a business perspective.

However, those following the stock market closely say this new venture has legs.

“If we see Kodak successful at this, it will mean the whole photonics thing that state has pursued for years and generated zero jobs will be eclipsed by something that could be a big win for Monroe County,” said George Conboy with Brighton Securities.

So Reis says he’ll cross his fingers that these federal dollars give the area a much-needed facelift, because he is tired of being disappointed.

“Over the last six years probably four or five times they’ve told us this is gonna happen, it’s gonna help the neighborhood and then it falls through.  We’re just tired of the smoke being blown in this area and then nothing happens,” said Reis.

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