The culmination of the Bordentown City Small Business Grant came into effect on May 11 at the city’s Commission Meeting.
Bordentown City Mayor James Lynch announced that 43 small businesses in the community would qualify for the grant to help them during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Everything went very well,” the mayor said. “We were able to help out 43 of our small businesses. This is proof that we are committed to our small businesses. They are the bloodline of our downtown area and the city.”
The $230,000 grant that was allocated from the city’s $2.8 million surplus with no tax increase, got another boost over the last couple of weeks thanks to longtime resident Michelle Larkin.
Larkin, who is an associate executive vice president for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, came to city Commissioner Joe Myers regarding how her foundation could provide relief to the city and more funds to the grant to help out the small businesses.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recommended to the Princeton Area Community Foundation that they should present an award to Bordentown City to help them get relief for their small businesses, officials said.
That equated to Bordentown City receiving a $50,000 donation through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President’s Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation.
The donation will now allow the 43 small businesses to receive around $5,000 through the grant, instead of the $3,000 mark previously reported.
“Part of the role of local government is being as innovative as you can to help residents and businesses,” Myers said. “Michelle came to me with the idea and I brought it up to the rest of the city commissioners as something we could use. It shows how everyone in the community can help in any shape or form.”
An influential person that helped Larkin pursue the idea was Sarah McEwan, owner of Mimosa Goods, a Bordentown City boutique that sells a variety of echo-friendly, handmade and fair trade products.
The two spoke about what was going on in the city and that Larkin would be able to help out the small businesses struggling because of COVID-19.
“I wanted to be helpful to residents in the community,” Larkin said. “This was a unique situation to help out both people and small businesses in the community that are hurting because of the virus.”
The money from the grant will provide businesses with funds that will help them stay afloat for May, June and possibly further, Lynch stated.
The mayor also added that the grant was one of the most important things he has done while in office.
“This reaffirms that the people in this city are for each other,” Lynch said. “We have a very diverse community and I’m proud of that. I’m proud to be the mayor of this city.”