On Wednesday, September 2, 2020, Greater Trenton released its Summer 2020 update newsletter, which details a number of key initiatives in progress during these unprecedented times.

“In an effort to support residents, workers, individuals and families in need, and businesses across the city who have been affected the pandemic, we have made significant progress establishing and funding our Businesses Helping Businesses initiative working closely with the City of Trenton and other essential partners,” said Greater Trenton CEO George Sowa. “Our Businesses Helping Businesses program, which was endorsed by Mayor Gusciora and unanimously approved by Trenton’s City Council, created a capital pool to make no and low interest loans available to impacted businesses throughout the city. We would like to thank Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Princeton University, Wells Fargo Bank, Investors Bank, NJM Insurance Group, The Hibbert Group, and Clarke Caton Hintz who supported the program via grants.”

“In addition, we supplemented the grants by securing additional dollars into the capital pool from a number of organizations willing to provide funds in the form of zero percent loans including Trenton Downtown Association, Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber, New Jersey Realtors, New Jersey Business and Industry Association and Trenton Corrugated as well as Greater Trenton’s own capital infusion,” added Sowa. “With collaborations between the City of Trenton, New Jersey Community Capital Corporation, Trenton Downtown Association and the African American Chamber of Commerce, the effort is well coordinated to ensure maximum impact and preserve critical businesses and jobs for city residents.”

“We’re excited to present our Third Annual Caren Franzini Capital City Award Celebration on December 8, 2020 honoring the legacy of Caren Franzini, former NJEDA CEO and one of the founders of Greater Trenton, by presenting our friend, Anthony “Skip” Cimino, with the 2020 Caren Franzini Capital City Award,” added Sowa. “While we continue to plan for an in-person event, we are also making contingency plans in case the event must be conducted virtually. Regardless of the format, we’re planning for an inspirational celebration that will be accessible to everyone and worthy of our honoree and the remarkable legacy of Caren Franzini.”

A portion of the proceeds from this event are invested in Trenton’s youth through a scholarship fund that directly develops strong writing, public relations and communications skills right here in downtown Trenton. As part of this process, Greater Trenton invites Trenton high school seniors (aspiring journalists and communicators) to work for TrentonDaily.

This year’s Journalism and Communications Intern and Trenton Central High School graduate Charlene Richards did an excellent job penning inspirational stories about people, places and initiatives across our great city. Charlene began her college journey at George Washington University last week, albeit remotely, as she pursues a major in journalism.

Caren Franzini Capital City Award sponsors to date include Presenting Sponsors NJM Insurance Group and Bristol Myers Squibb; Developing Sponsor Investors Bank; Building Sponsors PNC, PSE&G, Janssen, and Greater Trenton Chair Emeritus Bernie Flynn; and Sustaining Sponsors AT&T, Northfield Bank, and RWJ Barnabas Health.

Letícia Ferri from Bristol Myers Squibb, who joined Greater Trenton’s Board, also agreed to serve as co-chair of Caren Franzini Capital City Award Celebration along with Mike Van Wagner from NJM Insurance Group. Recently, Letícia’s daughter Valentina Funari Ferri, along with her friends Olivia Trochu and Luisa Buss, delivered more than 1,500 masks to the City of Trenton to help those in need.

Greater Trenton partnered with Mercer County Community College to have bilingual students and technology available to assist Trenton businesses in submitting grant applications to the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, which opened its portal on August 10, 2020. Funding for this $6 million program was provided on a first-come, first served basis with no fee required to participate.

Sowa also thanked and recognized Santander Bank for supporting Greater Trenton again at the Ambassador level with a $25,000+ investment.

To read Greater Trenton’s Summer 2020 update newsletter in full, click here.

About Author