9 Newark-based entrepreneurs received coaching to develop their business pitches ahead of the Brunch Pitch Competition.
May 3rd, 2022- Newark, NJ – Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC) partnered with Brunch Pitch to allow Newark-based entrepreneurs to develop and practice their business pitches. This platform enables Black entrepreneurs across the spectrum the opportunity to pitch their business to a panel of industry judges. The pitch competition targeted startups, mom-and-pops, and the everyday Newark entrepreneur.
After weeks of coaching from Tasmere Gathers, founder of Brunch Pitch and The DM Firm, nine Newark-based entrepreneurs pitched their business to 6 industry professionals for an opportunity to receive constructive feedback to create actionable next steps and win cash prizes. The Brunch Pitch participants and judges were split into two rooms for the first round of speed pitching. Each participant had five minutes to pitch to three of the six judges; the top five scoring pitchers were selected to pitch again on the main stage to all six judges.
The winner, with the prize of $1,000, was awarded to Kevin Celisca, founder of Integrate School, which helps admins and teachers to save time on the lesson planning process by making it easier to create, share, and provide feedback on lesson plans while mapping them to state standards and curriculum.
"This process benefitted me and the business by helping me to fine tune my pitch and make it more compelling which will increase my chances of obtaining more investment", states Kevin. "This event is important for entrepreneurs of color because the Brunch Pitch allows them to experience what it feels like to pitch in front of investors and audience members in a live environment. Next year I hope my business can be sustainable through sales to the point where investment is an option, and not a need."
The second-place prize of $750 was awarded to Kemani Nix, owner of Envir Clean. This company offers customized cleaning services and programs specific to their needs, such as Covid-19 disinfection, mold remediation, water damage restoration, commercial & residential cleaning, and more.
“The competition helped me turn my industry and business knowledge into a concise pitch that will serve as the foundation for all my successive pitches. We hope to generate $280,000 in business next year, expanding our team to 10 employees. The competition has given me the confidence to speak to anyone about my business comfortably, in any setting," states Kemani.
The third-place prize of $500 was awarded to Cashem Lateif Holland, founder of Financial Boss, an organization that educates, empowers, and elevates young people in the matter of financial literacy.
"The overall experience was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! I met great people who I hope to collaborate with in the near future," states Cashem. "Often there are requirements that need to be met that entrepreneurs of color are unable to fulfill. Additionally, some BIPOC entrepreneurs do not receive the assistance needed to pitch effectively. Brunch Pitch is so important for entrepreneurs of color because of the individual consultation and feedback provided and the low barriers to entry for the pitch competition."
GNEC is always looking to partner with organizations that support the growth of small businesses of color. To learn more about how you, as a small business owner of color in Newark, can obtain a business loan and technical assistance, visit the Entrepreneur of Color Fund page.
Business and Philanthropic Leaders Announce New Philanthropic Capital to Spur Minority Business Growth, Tackle Racial Wealth Gap in Newark
New program launching to drive inclusive growth for business owners of color
February 17, 2022 – NEWARK, NJ – Today, the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund (EOCF) is launching in Newark to support diverse-led small businesses and accelerate their opportunities for growth. The EOCF is a national program launched in 2015 to bridge gaps that have historically constrained growth for diverse-led businesses. Through a collective commitment of $1.7 million, JPMorgan Chase, The Rockefeller Foundation and Prudential Financial are expanding the EOCF’s footprint to Newark and partnering with Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC) and LISC Greater Newark to help local entrepreneurs of color increase their access to capital, coaching and technical assistance.
These funders are working together to support the expansion of the EOCF in Newark where 71 percent of small businesses are owned by entrepreneurs of color. Despite this representation, systemic barriers to accessing capital remains a challenge in Newark and nationwide for minority business owners. According to a Federal Reserve System 2021 report, 24 percent of Black-owned businesses receive financing compared to 48 percent for White-owned business.
The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the situation where a City of Newark business survey found that Newark small businesses experienced $60 million to $100 million in lost consumer spending since the pandemic began. The expansion of the EOCF to Newark will generate $1.7 million in loans to 50 small businesses and create 500 hours of technical assistance programming, strengthening the city’s ongoing network of support for local entrepreneurs.
“Newark holds tremendous opportunity for businesses, particularly small and medium size ones, and it is imperative that we provide diverse business owners with access to the tools and resources that will help them grow,” said John Bonhomme, managing director and regional director for JPMorgan Chase’s Consumer Bank in New Jersey. “The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund has unlocked capital and created hundreds of jobs around the country, and we’re excited that Newark small businesses will have the same chance to succeed.”
Through the EOCF Newark, GNEC and LISC Greater Newark will provide loans to small and mid-size businesses that can be used to hire staff, buy equipment or vehicles, pay for renovations, or stock up on inventory. Beyond the capital, GNEC and LISC Greater Newark will provide technical assistance and advice on a range of topics including marketing, merchandising, accounting, website design and maintenance, or licensing.
“Prudential is proud to welcome the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to Newark,” said Sarah Keh, vice president, Inclusive Solutions, Prudential. “Entrepreneurs of color in our headquarters city have told us they need quality loans and a network of support to grow, offer quality employment, and generate financial security for their employees and their communities. The EOCF Newark answers that call at a critical time.”
The EOCF Newark is supporting local small business owners like Florence Dennis, founder of Flows Tasty Treats, with flexible, accommodating loans to grow her already thriving business. The company aims to bring visibility to African cuisine through snacking. The entrepreneur began selling her flagship product “Toasted Corn and Peanut Mix” in a few grocery stores, and now Ms. Dennis is recognized as a fast-growing small business leader in New Jersey.
"In our 17 years of service, we have always believed that entrepreneurs who leverage the limited resources available to them are the ones who ultimately succeed," states Victor Salama, GNEC executive director. "GNEC is not only providing financial support but an opportunity that builds generational wealth."
“The Rockefeller Foundation understands that opportunity in the United States is not equally distributed, especially when it comes to communities of color,” said Gregory Johnson, managing director for the Equity and Economic Opportunity Initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation. “Our commitment to EOCF is a reflection of our deep belief that to make strides in closing the racial wealth gap, we must break down barriers to capital and credit access to Black and Latinx small businesses.”
Originally launched in Detroit in 2015, the EOCF operates through a network of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and funders to provide underserved entrepreneurs with capital and technical support. To date, the EOCF has provided more than 1,200 loans and deployed more than $43 million in capital to Black, Latino and other underserved entrepreneurs in Detroit, the Bay Area, New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C, and Los Angeles.
“We’ve seen the value of these small business investments throughout the country and the way that they help bridge capital gaps facing thousands of diverse entrepreneurs,” said Jorge Cruz, executive director of LISC Greater Newark, the local arm of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which manages the national EOCF program. “The EOCF approach helps strengthen our local infrastructure of small businesses, expand employment, grow local incomes and build intergenerational wealth. It breaks down racial barriers to opportunity in ways that make our city and our economy work better for everyone.”
Newark businesses interested in learning more about EOCF financing and services should visit https://www.gnecorp.org/entrepreneurs-of-color-fund-newark.html.
INSTITUTE FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP & GREATER NEWARK ENTERPRISES CORPORATION CREATE SMALL BUSINESS INITIATIVE TO HELP AREA BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19
The Small Businesses Need Us Program Is The Lifeline Needed To Help Entrepreneurs Recover & Grow
NEWARK, NJ, March 23, 2021 — The Institute For Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) and GreaterNewark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC) announced today a partnership to assist COVID-19 impacted businesses through the Small Businesses Need Us initiative. The program directs help to small businesses in the region who need it the most and are struggling to survive and to navigate the devastating and crippling effects of the pandemic.
“The majority of small businesses are ill-equipped to sustain through a crisis the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic. Government aid and grants are not enough,” states IFEL CEO JIll Johnson. “Small business owners need hands-on support to address the business challenges they are facing. The volunteers we bring to the table through Small Businesses Need Us provide the lifeline that small enterprises need to stay afloat.”
The Small Businesses Need Us initiative pairs small business owners with seasoned business professionals organized into cross-functional teams. The teams, which are formed based on the needs of the entrepreneurs, will help the businesses address their most pressing issues. Volunteers have a broad range of expertise including technology, legal, financial, marketing, operations, business planning, and more. All work is done through phone and video conferencing. There is no cost to the business for these resources. Businesses do not have to be located in Newark to receive assistance as the program extends throughout the region.
“The pandemic, civil unrest, high number of COVID-19 deaths, and the lack of stimulus funds have produced an extremely challenging environment for businesses. The barriers, particularly to entrepreneurs of color, are more evident than ever before,” noted GNEC Executive Director Victor Salama. “The Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation is excited to be partnering with the Institute For Entrepreneurial Leadership. Like so many small business owners in our communities, GNEC clients have faced tremendous challenges during the pandemic. Having access to expert technical assistance through IFEL and its volunteers is precisely what our clients need to sustain and grow their businesses during these difficult times.”
The Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation will work together with businesses not only in Newark but also those in the surrounding region. For more information on the Small Businesses Needs Us initiative or to apply as a business owner, visit www.gnecorp.org/small-businesses-need-us. Questions may be emailed to email@example.com.
ABOUT THE GREATER NEWARK ENTERPRISES CORPORATION
The mission of the Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation is to help communities build businesses and to create long-lasting wealth for their families through business ownership. GNEC is a boutique economic development organization that works with businesses to provide financing, consulting, and business coaching. The GNEC carries out that mission by working within community facilities throughout New Jersey. Our sole purpose for existence is to help entrepreneurs to start or to grow their businesses by providing the resources and capital solutions critical to business success. We believe that entrepreneurs who leverage the limited resources available to them are the ones who ultimately succeed.
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP
Founded in 2002, the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) is an independent, not‐for‐profit organization that supports economic development through entrepreneurship. We are experts in creating and implementing small business programming in support of larger economic development objectives. Our mission is to eradicate the systemic barriers that prevent entrepreneurs of color from being able to access the knowledge, networks, and capital required for business success. Visit us at https://www.weareifel.org
Coalition of New Jersey’s Black and Latinx Business Groups to Support Rollout of EY’s Entrepreneurs Access Network
aaccnj.com - Oct, 2020
Trenton, NJ, October xx, 2020 – In response to the economic impacts of COVID-19, a first-of-its-kind coalition of Black and Latinx organizations and other business groups in New Jersey are supporting the rollout of EY’s new Entrepreneurs Network. They will support the local execution of this immersive program, designed to elevate scalable Black and Latinx-owned companies with exposure to resources, networks and capital, delivered through a planned curriculum as well as on-demand learning.
This coalition of leading grassroots groups will provide a direct line into New Jersey’s Black and Latinx business communities to best reach local entrepreneurs. Additionally, these groups will provide critical insight into the challenges faced by businesses to support the program’s progress.
Coalition members include:
· Choose New Jersey
· Corporate Community Connections Inc.
· Invest Newark
· New Jersey African American Chamber of Commerce (NJAACC)
· New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
· New Jersey Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NJ MSDC)
· Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (SHCCNJ)
“By collaborating with these respected organizations, we hope to engage all of New Jersey’s Black and Latinx business and entrepreneurial community,” said Jackie Taylor, Principal, EY Government & Public Sector and the Executive Champion of the New Jersey Entrepreneurs Access Network. “Together, we can provide the necessary resources, support and connections so that these hardworking entrepreneurs can continue to grow their businesses, which significantly contribute to the state’s economy.”
In 2019, EY recognized that a lack of access to funds and connections was hindering many Black/Latinx businesses from achieving their full potential. As an expansion of our current entrepreneurial ecosystem (34 years via Entrepreneur of the Year™; 12 years of EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™), we created EAN to help bridge this gap for these companies to thrive.
EAN includes a company assessment, alignment with a relationship advisor and a customized curriculum based on needs and maturity of the company. This program also includes participating in an ongoing series of educational programs, events, networking opportunities and media exposure (regional and national). Participants receive both tangible and intangible benefits, such as help developing their economic growth, brand, business acumen and professional network opportunities as they continue to navigate their market leadership journey.
Black and Latinx business owners who meet the criteria may apply online at ey.com/EAN. Applications are accepted through October 14, 2020. EY will begin notifying companies of their acceptance on a rolling basis, beginning November 2020. At that time, an On-Demand program, in the form of an online learning module, will also open to entrepreneurs at all revenue, ownership and operational maturity levels.
Governor Murphy, Congressman Norcross Announce New Workforce Development Programs from Coronavirus Relief Fund
nj.gov - Oct, 2020
CAMDEN – Today, Governor Phil Murphy and Congressman Donald Norcross announced $14 million in additional Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to develop workforce development programs. The programs are designed to help businesses impacted by COVID-19 replenish their workforce and help jobless residents learn new skills that lead to successful reemployment.
“As this pandemic continues to threaten our public health, we must work to ensure that a stronger, fairer, and more resilient New Jersey emerges on the other side of COVID-19,” said Governor Murphy. “With today’s announcement, we are investing in opportunities for job training in our workforce that will reignite and grow our economy.”
“The Coronavirus pandemic has upended our economy, but we will recover by working together,” said Congressman Norcross. “Using federal CARES Act funding, New Jersey is helping workers and businesses get back on their feet. These workforce programs will help employers provide skill-building opportunities and on the job training, connecting New Jerseyans with the services they need to get the job they deserve.”
“The need is everywhere,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We all know of businesses that are struggling or have closed, and workers who have been laid off or have had their hours drastically reduced as a result of the pandemic. We are grateful for the opportunity to use these funds to turn lives around and help our state recover economically.”
The CARES Act funding has been divided to a three-pronged plan to bolster workers’ skills and get them back on the job. The programs will be implemented by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
uschamber.com - Oct, 2020
One way or another, coronavirus has likely impacted your business — for better or worse. We’ve been busy creating content to help you through this challenging time. It is organized here by category to help you easily navigate through it all.
If you're just getting started with reading our coverage, we suggest you start here first. These are our general articles on small business resources available during the coronavirus outbreak:
If you’re trying to get a better understanding of the federal government’s coronavirus stimulus legislation, you can read about that here:
If you’re looking for financial assistance and considering applying for a small business loan, we’ve got you covered. Here is all of our coronavirus small business loan content:
Now is also a challenging time for managing employees, keeping morale and productivity up and ensuring your company culture stays intact. Here is all of our content about managing your team through coronavirus:
Staying connected with customers is always challenging, but it’s more important now than ever. If you’re looking for creative ways to do that, check out our customer-focused marketing content:
Trying to run your business from home? With kids running around in circles? We get it. Here is some of our best advice on how to adjust to your new headquarters:
Looking for some inspiration? Here are some examples of how small businesses are adapting in the face of coronavirus:
How will coronavirus impact businesses in the long run? Here we ask experts to provide analysis on the ongoing outbreak and how businesses are adapting and will continue to adapt:
COVID-19 has brought the world’s economy to a grinding halt. The economic impact and recovery will last for months, and potentially even years. As congress and other government authorities move to save different areas of the economy, it’s important to understand what resources you have available to you as a small business owner.
Everyone’s first priority during this pandemic should be to stay safe and healthy — but maintaining your business’s health can be equally important. Take advantage of the following resources so you can stay informed and lessen the impact of the crisis.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce AssistanceThis section was updated with new information on 3/30/20:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put together a number of resources for small business.
Assistance from the SBAThis section was updated with new information on 3/31/20:
The SBA is offering a few key programs to help small businesses survive the coronavirus outbreak. They are:
The SBA has created a comprehensive Coronavirus page with all of its resources in one place. You can find that page here.
The SBA announced it would offer disaster assistance loans for up to $2 million for small businesses affected by the coronavirus. These low-interest loans are available to businesses that have sustained “substantial economic injury” due to the spread of the coronavirus. You can apply for one of those loans here.
The SBA is also backing what are called Payroll Protection Loans. These loans are convertible to grants and do not have to be paid back provided you use the money for a list of acceptable expenses, primarily payroll. These loans are available from private lenders. The treasury department has just release more information on these loans. You can learn more here and see the application here. You will still need to apply at your local bank. You can also learn more about these loans in this Emergency Small Business Loan Guide from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
[For a full breakdown of SBA loans and federal response read: Everything You Need to Know About Coronavirus Federal Small Business Stimulus Aid Programs]
In addition to disaster relief loans, the SBA has a comprehensive list of resources available to small businesses during the crisis. This includes COVID-19 fact sheets; strategies for employees to adhere to; common problems small businesses may face, like supply chain shortfalls; and local assistance information.
Export-Import Bank of the United StatesAdditionally, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) has announced relief measures for U.S. exporters and financial institutions that include waivers, deadline extensions, streamlined processing and flexibility for its customers for an initial period of 30 days, with the possibility of more, for the following programs:
For everything you need to know about applying for a small business loan, see the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Loan Guide.
SCORESCORE is offering advice and assistance from its business mentors including help navigating financial challenges and assistance in applying for SBA disaster assistance loans. SCORE has centralized all of its assistance options here.
SBDCSmall Business Development Centers are local offices sponsored by the SBA to help small businesses. While the SBA has provided its own resources, SBDCs are also offering extensive help to small businesses throughout America.
This includes OSHA resources and information, like preparing workplaces for COVID-19, preventing worker exposure to COVID-19 and additional OSHA resources. You can also find links to the National Cyber Security Alliance for information on how to stay safe online during the pandemic and avoid typical scams associated with the disaster.
Making New Jersey More Inclusive: NJ Human Services Launches $1.4M Grant Program to Create Inclusive and Healthy Communities for Individuals with Disabilities
Department of Human Services, NJ - Oct, 2020
(TRENTON) – New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson today announced that the Department’s Division of Disability Services is launching a $1.4 million grant program to help communities across the state promote inclusive approaches to supporting the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities where they live, work, learn and play.
Human Services’ Division of Disability Services (DDS) is accepting proposals for the new Inclusive Healthy Communities (IHC) Grant Program. Under the IHC Program, non-profits, and local county or municipal government agencies can apply for support to ensure that the voice and needs of people with disabilities are included in healthy community planning.
“This year, as we mark the 30th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act, we celebrate all that has been accomplished and acknowledge the additional work needed to continue to create inclusive communities,” said Commissioner Johnson. “With this grant program, we hope to further advance the vision of the ADA by helping communities across New Jersey ensure that individuals with disabilities have a voice in and equitable access to support services, community resources, and safe and accessible places to enjoy their communities and thrive.”
The program aims to promote change at the local level by addressing pre-existing physical, environmental, social and economic challenges that prevent people with disabilities from having full access to the conditions that support health and well-being. The goal is to advance tangible and sustainable transformation of practices, systems, and environmental conditions to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in healthy community initiatives.
“From ensuring that neighborhoods have safe and accessible walking paths to mobility device charging stations for individuals who rely on power wheelchairs to get around, communities across the U.S. are adopting the inclusive and healthy communities model to improve access for individuals with disabilities. We look forward to the creative and innovative solutions New Jersey organizations propose,” said Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira.
Under the program, applicants can submit proposals for capacity building grants of up to $100,000 or implementation grants of up to $250,000.
Capacity building grants are available for applicants in the early stages of efforts to build disability inclusion into any existing healthy community planning efforts to identify priorities, build formal, collaborative partnerships and plan strategies that will result in lasting change.
Implementation grants are available for applicants who have already identified priorities, built partnerships and developed an action plan to address the challenges. Examples could include adaptive playground equipment, accessible trails/paved paths, wheelchair battery charging stations in community settings, color-schemed signage, community gardens with raised beds, curb cuts, voice-automated pedestrian signals, and many other possibilities that support inclusive principles.
“People with disabilities are disproportionately affected with chronic diseases and conditions such as obesity and high blood pressure. Through this program, we want to help communities improve the local environments and systems that can support individuals with disabilities stay active and access community resources so they can have better health outcomes,” DDS Executive Director Peri L. Nearon said.
DDS has partnered with the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey to offer technical assistance and support to the IHC Grant Program. Interested applicants can learn more about the program and submit a proposal by visiting http://eac.rutgers.edu/ihc-grant-program/.
Bidders must submit a letter of intent to apply by October 26. Applications must be submitted by November 20.
covid19.nj.gov - 09/02/2020
Yes, attending a gathering, ceremony, or celebration is permitted as long as the event complies with the following limits on gatherings.
Gatherings are allowed, but different limits apply depending on the type of gathering, and where it is happening:
Face coverings are required in indoor public spaces and in outdoor public spaces when social distancing is difficult to maintain.
For more information on rules for indoor gatherings, refer to paragraphs 4-6 on pages 9 and 10 of Executive Order No. 183 and paragraph 1 on page 6 of Executive Order No. 152.
For more information on rules for outdoor gatherings, refer to paragraph 1 on page 5 of Executive Order No. 161 and paragraph 2 on pages 7-9 of Executive Order No. 152.
Safety Tips For Gatherings
During this difficult time, we understand everyone wants to spend time with family and friends. To ensure we don't inadvertently spread COVID-19 and needlessly put our loved ones at risk, the NJ Department of Health has offered some safety tips that can help reduce the risk of transmission when we gather in-person.
By Tom Bergeron, Roi-nj.com - September 28, 2020
Finding ways to create a more equitable and inclusive business climate in urban areas has been a goal of activists all summer. Finding the funding is more challenging.
On Monday in Newark, Mayor Ras Baraka announced the city and partners have been promised $2 million to create the “NWK FAM Fund” — a program aimed at putting capital in the hands of Black and Latinx business owners.
The new investment vehicle — short for “Newark 40 Acres and a Mule Fund” — aims to combat and reduce social and economic inequalities resulting from systemic racism.
The program, backed by prominent Black and Latinx investors, as well as leading corporate and philanthropic institutions, hopes to raise $100 million in investible capital, including $10 million by the end of the year.
“Black Lives Matter is not rhetoric, it’s a statement of action,” Baraka said. “It’s more than just eliminating racist behavior and inequality in our justice system; it’s about creating equality and opportunity for our black and brown communities.”
The NWK FAM Fund will be co-managed by Invest Newark (the city’s economic development corporation) and New Jersey Community Capital.
Officials said AT&T, Shaquille O’Neal, Panasonic, Carlos Medina, Nelson Mullins law firm, New Jersey Community Capital, Public Service Enterprise Group and Popular Bank are the first of the investors and corporate partners.
The fund also has an advisory board that consists of prominent financial, corporate and philanthropic leaders who share the fund’s vision of curing systemic racism with a systemic response. The initial board members include:
Baraka said the need for the fund is simple — and more pressing than ever.
“There are vast wealth disparities in our nation, state and city between white-owned businesses and Black and Latinx-owned businesses, clearly worsened by the pandemic,” he said. “We need to empower our entrepreneurs of color so that they can compete at increasingly higher levels. The Newark 40 Acres and a Mule Fund will bring pride and prosperity to our city as a whole and to our Black and Latinx business community in particular.”
According to the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, the median net worth of New Jersey’s white families is $309,000, while the median for New Jersey’s Latinx and Black families is just $7,020 and $5,900, respectively. It is one of the worse racial wealth gaps in the nation.
Organizers said the objective of the fund is to close these gaps by providing Black and Latinx business owners with a more level playing field with their competitors.
Hall, the CEO of Invest Newark, said the model is the first of its kind in the country.
“We believe that we have created a national model where financial institutions, corporation donors and local economic development corporations partner to create a holistic investment platform that provides Black and Latinx businesses with access to the business contracts, patient capital and technical assistance necessary to grow despite the current pandemic and social unrest,” he said.
Officials said the initiative will drive economic wealth among Black and Latinx populations in Newark by leveraging invested capital, public subsidies and public assets to enhance the value of Black and Latinx-focused small businesses and real estate development.
Baraka said the city is superbly equipped to continue its immense economic progress.
The city is home to an international airport and seaport, a transcontinental train station, five major highways, headquarters to major corporations, the seventh-busiest indoor arena in the United States and more than 55,000 students and teachers attending high-level institutions.
New Jersey Community Capital President Wayne Meyer said Newark has had more than $5.6 billion in public and private investment and record levels of local job creation (pre-COVID-19) since 2014. He feels the fund can bring so much more.
“Despite over a century of broken promises, Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs have thrived and been the economic engines of their communities,” he said. “It is a privilege for New Jersey Community Capital to help Mayor Baraka and his team provide capital to Newarkers looking to carry on this rich tradition.
“We are honored to be thought of as a trusted partner in the Newark FAM Fund and look forward to doing all we can to grow and sustain Newark’s Black and Latinx business community.”
The name of the fund comes from one of the earliest Reconstruction promises to the newly freed slaves of 1865 — one that provided each freshly emancipated family head with “40 acres and a mule” in America’s mostly undeveloped and unowned land at the time.
Under this initiative, “freedmen” and their families would be able to become small, independent farmers. However, the program was never pushed forward, and most of the freedmen rapidly reverted into a new form of semi-slavery as tenant “sharecroppers,” living in poverty and perpetually in debt to their white landlords.
By Karin Price Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
New Jersey was approved late Friday for an expanded $300 unemployment benefit created by President Donald Trump after Congress couldn’t agree on a new stimulus plan.
But that doesn’t mean the payments will reach unemployed residents any time soon.
It took Gov. Phil Murphy several weeks to decide to apply for the benefit, which was announced on Aug. 7. The state didn’t apply until Aug. 26, in part because of confusion over how the program would be implemented.
Because the funding comes from FEMA, federal rules don’t allow the state to use existing unemployment systems or employees to distribute the funds. That means it will take time before the state can process the payments.
Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said the payments probably won’t be distributed until October, and it will probably come as a lump sum rather than as a weekly payment.
“I know that’s not what someone wants to hear who wants their money now,” he said.
After its initial submission to the program, the Labor Department had to send FEMA some additional information, but the back-and-forth wouldn’t delay the approval process or the timeline, Labor Department spokeswoman Angela Delli-Santi said.
The $300 benefit is meant as a partial replacement for the expanded $600 weekly payment from the CARES Act coronavirus relief package, which expired at the end of July.
The Labor Department previously said not everyone will qualify for the benefit. Those receiving weekly benefits of less than $100 and those whose unemployment does not relate to COVID-19 won’t be eligible.
The state will first get three weeks of benefits for the weeks of Aug. 1, Aug. 8 and Aug. 15. It will have to apply weekly for more funding after that.
The program will continue until the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund, which funds the program and had a balance of $44 billion last week, runs out or until Congress passes a new unemployment extension.
Benefits are be retroactive to the week of Aug. 1.
A total of 1.54 million New Jerseyans have applied for unemployment benefits since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. So far, 1.35 million have qualified for benefits.
The state has paid out $14.7 billion since the middle of March, the Labor Department said.