Sustain Summit Fund Transforms to Jumpstart Summit

May 19, 2020

Sustain Summit Fund Distributes $340,000, Impact to be Doubled by Local Donor

Summit, NJ, May 21, 2020 – The Sustain Summit Fund, established by Summit Mayor Nora Radest in partnership with Summit Downtown Inc. (SDI) and The Summit Foundation, has granted over $340,000 to 127 locally owned small businesses in Summit. Sustain Summit was created to support local businesses experiencing economic distress because of COVID-19 containment measures. Nearly 450 residents and area corporations donated to the fund, which was administered by SDI.

“I am proud to be part of this incredibly generous Summit community that joined together in quick response, providing essential aid to our many valued local businesses during a very difficult time,” explains Mayor Radest. “While COVID-19 has taken many things away from us, it has not impacted the generous spirit of our friends and neighbors who value our local merchants. Thank you to everyone who made a donation to the Sustain Summit Fund in support of our local merchants and to Summit Downtown Inc. for administering it.”

Businesses received grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,500 to help with the devastation of COVID-19 stay-at-home guidelines. “The Sustain Summit grant gave us a helpful and encouraging boost in an environment when we cannot attract and serve customers in our usual fashion,” said Donna Puzella, owner of Sweet Nothings. “We offer our heartfelt thanks to the people of Summit, who always come together to support others during difficult times."

Inspired by the success of Sustain Summit, anonymous donors have contributed $350,000 to fund a new set of grants called Jumpstart Summit. These grants will support independent business owners who plan to reopen or expand currently limited operations as state restrictions are reduced. The businesses may apply for Jumpstart Summit grants of up to $15,000 each.

In return, the donors ask grant recipients to make a good faith effort to ‘pay it forward,’ provided they are able, once they are back on their feet. Recipients will be encouraged to make a voluntary donation equal to the grant received, sometime in the next 24 months, to The Summit Foundation.

The Summit Foundation identifies community needs and makes grants to local nonprofits to address those needs. All gifts to the Foundation will be used to continue its work of supporting local organizations that help Summit area residents, creating a self-perpetuating circle of support for the community.

Independent business owners can learn more about and apply for Jumpstart Summit grants here. Applications will be accepted through Tuesday, May 26th, and will be evaluated by a committee of community members and distributed promptly. Jumpstart Summit will be administered by SDI.

For more information, contact Nancy Adams at SDI at [email protected], 908-277-6100.

Jumpstart Summit Details.

Applications will be accepted through Tuesday, May 26th, and will be evaluated and distributed promptly. Businesses can apply here. 

Summit Downtown Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents all retailers and businesses in the Central Retail Business District to encourage the development and growth of business in the downtown.

The Summit Foundation fosters philanthropy by identifying local needs and offering donors flexible ways to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors. Last year, The Summit Foundation granted nearly $600,000 to 38 local nonprofit agencies. In April, The Foundation made emergency grants totaling $100,000 to area nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and also matched the first $50,000 in contributions to the Sustain Summit Fund on a 1:1 basis.