Princeton Community Auction Raises $40k for Small Businesses

24 small businesses to receive assistance

Organized and led by Hamilton Jewelers, The Princeton Community Auction has concluded, raising nearly $40,000 to support small businesses in the Princeton region. The auction, launched on April 20, 2020, closed on May 20, 2020 evolved quickly from a small idea to a convergence of unity and commune amongst hundreds of bidders and dozens of donors.

The funds raised were allocated this week equally among 25 eligible local businesses in need to assist with dire hardship for expenses, primarily payroll and rent.

When the Siegel family of Hamilton Jewelers noticed small businesses in downtown Princeton shuttering barely a week after the imposed shelter-in-place order took effect, they decided action was needed. Hamilton is a local business itself, having been a part of Mercer County for over 100 years and four generations, so they decided to put together an auction to support their neighbors.

As president Hank Siegel remarked, “One of Hamilton’s core values is relationships, because we don’t just do business in our communities…we live in them, and we cherish our strong ties to them. We look at Princeton area businesses as family. We knew that, on the other side of this pandemic, we wanted every one of our Princeton neighbors to open back up strong and ready to serve the community.” Hence the genesis of The Princeton Community Auction.

The auction not only provided a platform for community members to contribute towards local business relief but also created a way for local businesses to help each other. From one-of-a-kind experiences to merchandise and gift cards to knowledge and expertise, the donations starting pouring in. Says vice president Donna Bouchard, “The expression of community spirit was incredible to see; even those who were in critical financial condition themselves still found a way to contribute their time or expertise.”

Both individuals and businesses made generous donations, resulting in over 125 unique items for bidding, and the auction soon gained tremendous traction. With offerings ranging from creative excursions to a tamale-making party, crafting your own ice cream flavor to be served at The Bent Spoon, a private Princeton pub crawl, basketball or drum lessons, yoga glasses, golf outings, and much more…the auction made for an exciting online experience during an otherwise discouraging time.

At the height of the auction, over 600 individuals had registered for bidding and there were several high stake bidding wars in play…with private club golf outings leading the pack of unique options.  In addition, guests to the auction were invited to make a cash donation if they so desired, which represented approximately $3,000 of the funds raised.

Hamilton Jewelers funded the initiative including all technology, reporting, auction licensing, etc., and managed all aspects of coordinating the launch and completion of the program. All winning bidders were then connected to the donors to direct logistics of prize redemption, with consideration for items that need to be redeemed when New Jersey is reopened to full capacity and social distancing is relaxed.

Source: Hamilton Jewelers

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Categories: Retail

Tags: COVID charitable, Hamilton Jewelers, Princeton, Princeton Community Auction


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Founded in New Jersey in 1912, Hamilton Jewelers has a heritage of tradition and outstanding service. This spirit of service - to clients and communities - is the thread that unifies the 4 generations of the Siegel family. Princeton and Palm Beach.

Hamilton Jewelers
14 S TULANE ST
PRINCETON, NJ 08542-6913
United States