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Small business resiliency fund reopens grant program for independent Princeton businesses

The Princeton Small Business Resiliency Fund will provide additional grants of up to $5,000 to Princeton’s small businesses to supplement state and federal aid programs.

Grants provide assistance to small independent business owners to help them with costs associated with reopening and adjusting to the current guidelines required to conduct business during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants can be applied to expenses such as cleaning and sanitation supplies, technology and connectivity needs, retrofitting spaces for social distancing, marketing, communications, and more.

In the second round of funding, the criteria for eligibility has been changed to make a broader range of Princeton businesses eligible to apply. The application period will open on Nov. 1.

For the complete list of eligibility requirements and information on how to apply, visit the fund website.

Applicants will no longer be assessed based on their credit scores, and new businesses are also invited to apply. No business awarded funds in the first round will be considered for the second round. Applicants will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once the available funds are awarded, the application portal will shut down.

Princeton University had pledged $250,000 for the fund, and an additional dollar-for-dollar match for the first $100,000 received from additional donors. Community members and businesses, including the Sands Foundation, Stark and Stark, Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s and FirstBank collectively raised more than $100,000 to meet the match challenge.

For the initial round of funding distributed in September, 70 businesses were each awarded $5,000. Andrew Mangone of Hinkson’s received a first-round grant. He said grants and other programs are keeping local businesses open.

“With the support of the community and the resiliency fund, it has been possible for us to keep things together through these challenging times. Without the fund and other aid such as PPP and grants, we would not have had the ability to keep our store open for this period that is going on 9 months,” Mangone said. “We are forever grateful and thankful to be a part of the Princeton Community.”

The Princeton Resiliency Fund is a collaborative effort between The Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Princeton University, the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Municipality of Princeton, and community members.

If you would like more information about the grant process, contact John Goedecke, president of the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation or grant committee chair Chip Jerry, care of Casey Reca, event coordinator for the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber at (609) 924-1776 x 104, or email Casey@PrincetonMercer.org.