Citizens Bank Foundation provides $85,000 for neighborhood revitalization and economic development
Three projects awarded grants through the Growing Communities initiative
MANCHESTER, N.H. (October 16, 2012)– The Citizens Bank Foundation today announced the first round of grants in its new Growing Communities initiative, a program designed to foster neighborhood revitalization and economic development activities across New Hampshire. Growing Communities is making an initial investment of $85,000 to three projects that will enhance neighborhoods, support small businesses, provide job training and increase access to nutritious foods.
Selected through a competitive grant process announced in May, organizations receiving first-round funding are the Manchester Community Resource Center, the International Institute and the Berlin Main Street Program.
“By investing in businesses and organizations that provide important services and healthy food options to local residents, this collaborative initiative will help energize neighborhoods across the state,” said Joe Carelli, President, Citizens Bank, New Hampshire. “The three projects selected will stimulate economic development by encouraging patronage of local businesses, strengthening workforce development and ultimately creating jobs.”
The announcement of the Growing Communities grants took place today at a neighborhood celebration in Harriman Park at Hall and Lake streets.
“What a great day for the City of Manchester,” said Mayor Ted Gatsas. “I would like to thank Citizens Bank Foundation and the Growing Communities initiative for investing in our neighborhoods. Revitalizing the Hollow neighborhood is a priority for the city. The partnership between Citizens Bank Foundation, the city and residents of the neighborhood will create more local economic development, encourage community members to use local businesses and create a stronger sense of community pride among all residents.”
Projects selected for the first round of the initiative are:
Hall and Lake Street Community Center (Manchester Community Resource Center) – $35,000
"We are honored that Egidija has chosen to volunteer with People’s Resource Center and thankful to Charter One for supporting her efforts," said Kim Perez, Executive Director of People’s Resource Center. "We have already seen what a tremendous asset she is to our organization and we look forward to continue working with and learning from her."
International Institute’s Common Earth Farms Food Hub – $30,000
The International Institute will develop a year-round retail market on Manchester’s West Side, improving residents’ access to fresh, healthy food. The Common Earth Farms agricultural project currently provides job training and technical assistance for immigrant farmers and manages two farmers’ markets. The new market will serve as a retail outlet for local consumers and a distribution anchor for participating local food producers, while providing a retail job-training environment for farmers. Twelve local, small food producers representing vegetable, fruit, meat and dairy producers have agreed to participate.
Berlin Main Street Program’s Downtown Promotion – $20,000
Building on recommendations from the “Moving Downtown Forward” report commissioned by the City of Berlin and the Berlin Main Street Program, this project aims to support small businesses in downtown Berlin, generate retail traffic and position Berlin as a destination location. Working in conjunction with the Northern Community Investment Corporation’s New Hampshire Grand regional branding strategy, Berlin Main Street will provide technical assistance, marketing and promotional support to help downtown businesses leverage events that attract residents and visitors to the community.
In addition to grant investments, Citizens Bank colleagues will provide volunteer support to the projects. The Citizens Bank Foundation will offer its next round of funding for the Growing Communities initiative in 2013.
About the Citizens Bank Foundation
Citizens Bank Foundation is a subsidiary of the Citizens Charitable Foundation, which is a charitable contributions vehicle of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., RBS Citizens, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. The foundation’s support is focused on human services, affordable housing and economic development. RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.