Pascale Sykes Foundation Announces $15 Million Economic Development Initiative to Benefit Four South Jersey Counties

  The Pascale Sykes Foundation has launched a multi-million dollar South Jersey Economic Initiative (SJEI) that will invest $15 million in economic development projects in Cumberland, Salem, Gloucester, and western Atlantic Counties.
  The Economic Initiative will involve promoting the establishment and growth of businesses and also promoting assets of the four-county area and will complement county and state economic plans. 
  New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) will manage business establishment and expansion.  NJCC is a Community Development Financial Institution, or not-for-profit investment group specializing projects that benefit communities.
  The Foundation also unveiled Phase I of its effort to promote assets of the four-county area under the banner of “New Jersey’s Heartland.”
  The public roll-out of the marketing campaign took place on Saturday, October 3, at 10 AM, at the opening of the WheatonArts Festival of Fine Crafts.
  Atlantic City-based Masterpiece Advertising has been selected to roll out Phase I of the destination marketing program.
  The announcement of the initiatives was made by Foundation President Frances P. Sykes during the Foundation’s “Report to Partners,” which was held at the offices of the Cumberland County Improvement Authority in Millville.
  Pascale Sykes Foundation, located in Vineland, has been active in the four counties since 2010 and, as of today, has already invested more than $17 million in its work in South Jersey, which is conducted under the banner of the “Strengthening Families Initiative.”
  Explaining the Foundation’s mission, Sykes said “We support the independence, integrity, and well-being of working, low-income families, those missed by the safety net, those trying to do the right things to become self-sufficient.”
  “We believe that families need a steady source of income and healthy, vibrant communities in which to live and work. We also believe that the basic support of family self-sufficiency is jobs,” she added.
  Discussing the selection of the four counties, Sykes explained that “Cumberland, Salem, and western Atlantic have the most potential due to their unappreciated and undervalued assets and Gloucester County is routinely joined with Salem and Cumberland in the work of social service organizations.”
  As part of the SJEI effort, the Pascale Sykes Foundation has partnered with New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), a nonprofit community development financial institution, which will deploy flexible, affordable capital and capacity building assistance to generate quality jobs and improve economic development in the region through its THRIVE South Jersey program.
  “We are thrilled to partner with the Pascale Sykes Foundation on this important initiative,” said Wayne T. Meyer, President of NJCC. “Creating quality job opportunities and strengthening residents’ connections to these opportunities will go a long way toward making South Jersey thrive.”
  THRIVE provides: (1) flexible financing products to support eligible small businesses and job-creating projects, and (2) capacity building support to strengthen the linkages between local residents and quality job opportunities.
  THRIVE will finance nonprofit and for-profit organizations involved in projects that create quality local jobs and catalyze wider economic development. Eligible projects include (but are not limited to) small businesses, commercial real estate, community facilities, and affordable housing projects.
  THRIVE is offering a variety of flexible financing products including:
    • Loans
    • Loan guarantees
    • Pre-development and startup capital, soft loans, and recoverable grants
  Masterpiece Advertising has been charged with creating and executing the first phase of a destination marketing program that will promote the target counties as attractive but largely undiscovered and underappreciated places to live, work, and play.
  Lacca explained the marketing rationale behind the “New Jersey’s Heartland” identity and shared some of the advertising messages that her agency expects to use during the marketing campaign.
Pictured: Colleen Maguire, Executive Director, Pascale Sykes Foundation, Wayne Meyer, President, New Jersey Community Capital, Phyllis Lacca, President, Masterpiece Advertising and Frances P. Sykes, President, Pascale Sykes Foundation.