Newark e-gift card (with 40% match from Prudential) aims to help city’s small business community

The Newark Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to the ongoing economic revitalization of New Jersey’s largest city, announced Wednesday the launch of the Newark Gift Card, a community-based e-gift card initiative designed to infuse vital funds into Newark’s small businesses.

The e-gift cards, which can be purchased online at, are valid at more than 85 small businesses throughout the city of Newark, including restaurants and retailers. Cards will be available in four denominations — $25, $50, $100 and $250 — and will never expire.

As an added perk, Newark-based Prudential Financial has donated $25,000 to support a purchase incentive to promote the launch of the e-gift cards. Those cards purchased now will have a 40% incentive added to the card balance, with the extra funds expiring on Jan. 30.

So, a gift card purchased for $100 will come loaded with $140. The incentive bonus is only available for a limited time until the Prudential contribution is depleted.

“We are thrilled to launch this initiative in support of our small business community,” Newark Alliance CEO Evan Weiss said. “We are grateful to our corporate anchors for investing in such efforts to advance equitable economic recovery in the city of Newark.”

The e-gift cards can be stored on a cell phone or printed. All purchases using the e-gift cards are processed similarly to a regular credit card transaction.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said the program can have big impact for small business.

“The small business community is a vital part of our city’s economic engine and reflects the diversity that is Newark,” he said. “Initiatives like this demonstrate how our small business community and corporate partners come together for our collective well-being.”

Shané Harris, vice president, inclusive solutions, Prudential Financial, and the president of the Prudential Foundation, agreed.

“We are excited to sponsor the Newark Gift Card to benefit and promote small businesses that have demonstrated remarkable resilience and dependable service throughout the pandemic,” she said. “This effort provides an opportunity for everyone to reconnect with their favorite local businesses in Newark and discover the many new ones that have opened over the past year.”

Participating in this program means supporting the heart of what makes the Newark community unique. Studies have shown that, on average, local independent retailers recirculate 47% of their revenue back into the community, while only 14% of national chains’ revenue stays in the community. More dramatically, restaurants recirculate 73% of their revenue back into the community, versus only 30% for national chains.