Four of the six grant awardees accepted their Miracle Mile Small Grant Program checks at a small ceremony at Dunellen’s Provident Bank in February 2021. Pictured from left to right: Vanessa Escobar and Odalys Mayorquin from Jireth Beauty Salon, Harold VanDermark of Inspire Art Gallery & Studio, Nancy Nagengast, President of the Dunellen-Green Brook Rotary Foundation, Michael Celario of Gabrielle & May Hair Station, Joy Rosales of Robert’s Kitchen and Mayor Jason Cilento.
The Miracle Mile Small Grant Program Provides Support For Dunellen’s Beloved Mom & Pop Businesses
Dunellen, NJ – The Borough of Dunellen has awarded six Dunellen businesses each a $645 grant from the newly created Miracle Mile Small Grant Program. The program was designed to help lift-up Dunellen’s beloved downtown businesses, which are facing challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative was organized by Mayor Jason F. Cilento with the support of the Dunellen Borough Council and the Dunellen-Green Brook Rotary Foundation. Fundraising was a community-wide effort. Grant funds were raised through a virtual musical performance held in Fall 2020, special edition #DunellenStrong merchandise sales and donations. “We realized early in the pandemic that we had to do something to support our small businesses downtown. We care about their success.” Mayor Cilento added, “We are thankful to our talented local musicians who played for the Miracle Mile virtual concert and Officer Joe Dudley who created an original design for the #DunellenStrong merchandise.”
Grants were awarded to: Dunellen Hotel, Frank and Sons Barber Shop Unisex Salon, Gabrielle & May Hair Station, Inspire Art Gallery & Studio, Jireth Beauty Salon and Robert’s Kitchen. Hal VanDermark, owner of Inspire Art Gallery & Studio located at 449 North Avenue, shared, “This grant helps tremendously. I’m trying a lot of different things. I’ve had to hold back a little due to the COVID concerns, but with the advances being made in COVID protocol I’ve decided to start classes in March, host an Open Art workshop for all ages and offer some other new programs. We are also carrying a variety of art supplies for sale. That’s how the grant money has helped me. Thank you to all who were involved with the Miracle Mile Grant!”
The team extends its gratitude to all those who helped by volunteering or contributing financially to this grant program – which included folks as far away as Georgia. Together, we are #DunellenStrong.
Pictured is Kevon Joseph (left), one of the owners of Frank & Sons Barbershop, accepting the Miracle Mile grant check from Mayor Jason Cilento (right) on February 22, 2021. Mr. Joseph shared, “Thank you so much. This will help so much.”