SUMMIT, NJ - Having raised in excess of $330,000 since it was formed less than a month ago, the 'Sustain Summit Fund' -- created to provide emergency assistance grants to Hilltop City small businesses and their employees facing COVID-19 related hardships -- has awarded more than $270,000 to 117 Summit small businesses via its first round of grants.

According to Fund organizers, individual grants ranged from $1,250 to $5,000. The recipients are not being publicly identified.

The 'Sustain Summit Fund is a collaborative effort between Summit Downtown, Inc., The Summit Foundation (formerly the Summit Area Public Foundation) and the City of Summit, formed to raise funds and help local small businesses during a time of unprecedented economic and public health crises resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund was created with the hope that small grants would help with short-term business expenses until other State & Federal grants and loans could be obtained.

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The first $50,000 in donations were matched on a 1:1 basis by The Summit Foundation.

 “We hope the businesses feel the love and support of the Summit community as they donated in generous amounts to help the local businesses they know and love, and by donating have sent along their emotional as well as financial support,” said Nancy Adams, Executive Director of SDI. “I’ve heard from so many businesses who are grateful for the financial help and equally grateful for the love and support they feel from the community.”

A Grant Selection Committee made up of Summit residents determined the parameters for deciding which businesses received grants and at what amounts. This was done using information provided by the businesses in their applications about employee hours and rental expenses. 

Mayor Nora Radest, who spearheaded the 'Sustain Summit' effort said, “COVID-19 has been devastating for Summit’s small businesses. These independently-owned businesses help give our city the vibrancy and sense of community that we all cherish. It has been heartwarming to see our residents come together to help them survive this health and economic disaster.”

The Sustain Summit Fund continues to accept donations to provide local small businesses with a second round of much-needed grants. A tax-deductible contribution can be made by visiting charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/sustain-summit-fund.