Under the Garden State Relief Fund (GSRF), small businesses in Newark will be provided financial and technical assistance to fully rebound from the pandemic and grow
New Brunswick, NJ (March 9, 2022) – New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) has been awarded a $300,000 grant from Prudential Financial to fund small businesses still impacted by the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant will help small businesses grow, create job opportunities, and sustain an inclusive local economy.
Many small businesses in Downtown Newark have yet to fully rebound from the pandemic and its continued impact. However, foot traffic and patronage are expected to increase, as larger businesses begin to [fully] re-open, returning to in-person work after two years of being remote. This grant will provide up to $250,000 to cover the 6-month interest-only period for loans to small business and nonprofit borrowers under NJCC’s Garden State Relief Fund (GSRF). This will create the piece-of-mind that small businesses owners need to focus on products, services, and marketing instead of everyday finances. The grant also provides up to $50,000 dollars for technical assistance provided by Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC) so small businesses have expert advice and resources to grow their business. The GSRF provides low-interest loans between $10,000 and $75,000 to small businesses and nonprofits with up to 75 full-time employees.
“So many major contributors have come together to support the incredible small business community in Newark,” Bernel Hall, President and CEO of NJCC, explains. “Anchor organizations like Prudential Financial and others are deploying strategies to reach small businesses. NJCC is excited to play an important role in driving economic opportunity in New Jersey’s largest city alongside Prudential Financial—a steadfast investor and supporter of our work for nearly 20 years and $35 million in impact investments.”
With the support of Prudential Financial, NJCC, GNEC, and the Newark community, small businesses will have the resources for success, bolstered by the support of larger businesses surrounding them. There are over 200 Newark small businesses, 60% of which are minority or women-owned businesses that support over 1,300 jobs. It is vital to ensure that these small businesses break free from the economic distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With many of the city’s anchor institutions eager to return to their offices, it is vital that we collaborate as a community to support small businesses in Newark,” Shanè Harris, President of The Prudential Foundation states. “An increase in employees returning to their offices will help stimulate the local economy, and we are excited to support businesses by providing access to flexible capital so that they are well-positioned for the anticipated increase in foot traffic and revenue.”
As employees begin returning to their offices again, they are being encouraged to support their local small businesses by grabbing their morning coffee on their way into the office, picking up their dry cleaning or prescription on their lunch break, and even meeting friends and family after work for a unique shopping experience. Larger corporations have been purchasing gift cards through the Newark gift card program, which has sold over $75,000 in gift cards to Newark corporations that can be redeemed at 98 businesses. Over $16,000 dollars have already been redeemed at participating businesses thus far, a number which will continue to rise as more people return to work in person.
“It is such an incredible opportunity to work with Newark small businesses and provide them with the tools needed to succeed and surpass any obstacles that may come,” states Victor Salama, Executive Director of GNEC. “A strong and stable community leads to lasting economic success and well-being for businesses and residents.”
About New Jersey Community Capital
New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) is a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that provides an innovative toolkit of financial products, programs and services to advance equity and opportunity in underserved communities. NJCC supports the preservation and development of affordable housing and sustainable community development ventures that increase jobs, improve education and strengthen neighborhoods to ensure that communities can thrive. To learn more, visit www.newjerseycommunitycapital.org and Twitter: @NJCommCapital.
About Prudential Financial
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a global financial services leader and premier active global investment manager with more than $1.5 trillion in assets under management as of December 31, 2021, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees help to make lives better by creating financial opportunity for more people. Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise, and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit news.prudential.com.
About Greater Newark Enterprise Corporation
Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC) is a non-profit and CDFI founded in 2005 whose primary mission is economic development in the communities we serve. GNEC carries out that mission by providing innovative financing and technical assistance for small business growth and development, job creation, community facilities in underserved communities of Northern New Jersey. To find out more, visit www.gnecorp.org.