Mayor Ras J. Baraka today announced the first awards under the City’s Small Business Emergency Fund, to support small businesses directly impacted by Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The first round was funded by a contribution from Prudential Financial. The second round will include grants funded by the City of Newark plus federal and private sources.
There were 21 grantees to businesses from throughout the city, and grants ranged from $2,500 to the maximum grant amount of $10,000. The businesses employ a total of between 50 and 101 workers. 1,249 businesses have applied to date, and 475 have completed applications. (Awardee list and infographic attached)
With $2 million earmarked for this program, the City is offering grants to provide working capital for operating costs, payroll, accounts payable, inventory, equipment, rent, taxes, licensing or other business-related expenses. Invest Newark is providing partnership and technical assistance to the small businesses applying for this and other federal, state and local programs.
“Newark’s small businesses are experiencing one of the greatest challenges in our history,” Mayor Baraka said. “We didn’t stand by and wait for help from other sources. Newark moved immediately to solve our own problems. It is clear from the strong response to this program, that much more funding is needed to meet the need. We are seeking additional public funds, and I call upon other major Newark businesses to join Prudential in contributing to this fund.”
To qualify, businesses must have a physical establishment located in Newark; have 10 employees or less; show loss of income directly tied to the Coronavirus crisis; and businesses that owe any money to the City have their applications placed at bottom of list.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide this support to our small business community,” said Catherine Wilson, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater Newark. “These initial awards are going to make a huge impact for small business owners. We look forward to making additional awards over the next several weeks.”