Princeton Small Business Resiliency Fund reopens grant program

ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF

Applications will open on Nov. 1 for a second round of independently owned small businesses seeking financial support in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Princeton Small Business Resiliency Fund will provide additional grants up to $5,000 to complement state and federal aid to Princeton’s small businesses. The grants provide assistance with the costs associated with reopening and adjusting to the current guidelines required to conduct business and can be applied to expenses such as cleaning and sanitation supplies, technology and connectivity needs, retrofitting spaces for social distancing, marketing and communications and more, according to information provided by Palmer Square Management on behalf of the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

In the second round of funding, the criteria for eligibility has been changed to invite a broader selection of Princeton businesses to apply. Several changes were made to the eligibility requirements. Applicants will no longer be assessed based on credit score, and new businesses are also invited to apply, according to the statement.

No business awarded funds in the first round will be considered at this time, and applicants will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis. Once the available funds are depleted the application portal will shut down.

The application process will go live on Nov. 1. For the complete list of eligibility requirements and information on how to apply, visit www.princetonresiliencyfund.org/grant-criteria.

“This second round is the result of the collective concerns and partnerships in one of our region’s core areas. It represents the collaboration of public and private initiatives to support and maintain the business community. Princeton University, in partnership with Mayor [Liz] Lempert and Councilwoman [Michelle] Pirone Lambros, members of the community represented in the Grant Committee, the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, and residents who have donated are all engaged in finding solutions to the business challenges of our time,” John B. Goedecke, president of the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation, said in the statement.

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

In the initial round of funding that was distributed in September, 70 businesses were each granted $5,000.

“We are so grateful for the support from the Resiliency Fund and the Princeton community. Their efforts to support our small businesses in these challenging times speaks to how it truly takes a village to keep us all strong,” Kathy Klockenbrink, owner of Jammin Crepes and a recipient of a first round grant, said in the statement. “Thank you all for your belief in our mission and special community. We will get through this together and only be stronger.”

“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). We are forever grateful and thankful to be a part of the Princeton community,” Andrew Mangone, Hinkson’s The Office Store owner and first round grant recipient, said in the statement.

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 through the grant committee and advisory board.