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  • Downtown Trenton NPP

Downtown Trenton Celebrates Small Business Plan Competition Winners

Trenton, November 10, 2023 – The Downtown Trenton Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2023 Downtown Trenton NPP Small Business Plan Competition, an initiative to foster local entrepreneurship and support downtown revitalization.

After careful consideration and evaluation of numerous outstanding submissions, a panel of judges made up of the downtown community have selected two exceptional business ideas that will each be awarded $5,000 towards the acquisition or lease of a downtown property to kickstart their downtown business ventures. The local entrepreneurs will also receive business mentorship, facade improvements, and opportunities for other ongoing business support.

Meet the Winners:

Natasha Parker

BlackFruitz is a health and reading-inspired start-up dessert shop that will serve fruit salads, yogurt parfaits, strawberry shortcake, and other delicious treats to the downtown community.

Life of Lucid

Ka’Asia Washington & Taibika Dawson

Life of Lucid designs and manufactures its own line of wigs that do not use glue to stay on the head. Life of Lucid services clients’ wigs as well as providing a diverse menu of hair services including extensions, braiding, and more.

"We thank everyone who shared their business ideas with us and congratulate BlackFruitz and Life of Lucid for winning the Small Business Plan Competition. These local entrepreneurs represent the innovation and community spirit we aim to promote through this project," says Scott Miller, downtown business owner, property owner, resident, and member of the NPP Stakeholder Group. "We look forward to their positive impact on Downtown Trenton."

About the Downtown Trenton NPP:

The Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) is a five-year grant from the NJ Department of Community Affairs that is designed to generate visible, tangible change in the Downtown Neighborhood driven by local residents and business owners. Downtown Trenton is one of 40 NPP neighborhoods statewide. Isles, a local community development nonprofit, coordinates the Downtown Trenton NPP on behalf of the City of Trenton.

To learn more about Isles, visit:

For media inquiries, please contact:

Chris Shimchick, Senior Project Manager, isles


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