Invest Newark announced Thursday that it has received a $500,000 investment from JPMorgan Chase to help support Invest Newark’s aim of growing its current customized lending, technical assistance and business development programming in the city.
The grant also will allow Invest Newark to continue providing education, capacity building and loan funds to small business, infrastructure, real estate and innovation projects through its Invest Newark Small Business Fund, Invest Newark Infrastructure Fund and its Invest Newark Real Estate Fund.
Invest Newark is the city’s economic development corporation.
Roy Southerland, the interim CEO of Invest Newark, said the money will have great impact.
“This funding will help us increase our staff and help us service hundreds of minority- and women-owned businesses in Newark through our different programs,” he said. “Ultimately, this grant will help us boost Newark’s economic growth for the short and long term.”
Jac Rivers, vice president, program officer in global philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase, said the bank is eager to help.
About Invest Newark
Invest Newark, the city of Newark’s economic development corporation, was created to propel the city’s strong and diverse economy, builds vibrant communities, and creates opportunities for all Newarkers.
Invest Newark supports small, women- and minority-owned businesses, invests in world-class internet service, spurs real estate development and executes economic development activities to produce and sustain equitable economic growth, generate jobs and create wealth for the citizens of Newark.
“Invest Newark focuses on driving inclusive economic growth for all Newark residents, ensuring they have equitable access to opportunities that close the racial wealth gap,” Rivers said. “This investment from JPMorgan Chase will provide critical support to Newark’s minority- and women-owned businesses by connecting them to critical resources like capital, technical assistance and training.”
With the JPMorgan Chase support, Invest Newark has the potential to serve more than 3,000 MWBE businesses annually — it currently serves 2,700 MWBE businesses annually — while continuing to provide consistent resources to its existing network.
The city of Newark, which has a majority minority population (78% Black and Latinx citizens), faced a loss of 16,000 jobs in 2020 and an unemployment rate of 19%. This hit local businesses incredibly hard, as the city witnessed a drop of close to $100 million in local consumer spending and major small business economic hardships. With this grant, Invest Newark will be able to expand key economic development programs, from small business support and specific capital support for local businesses to MWBE guidance and ongoing business development education, closing the consumer spending gap.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said the investment will pay off for many.
“This generous commitment from JPMorgan Chase will benefit thousands of our Newark residents,” he said. “Invest Newark provides invaluable resources to our community and, with this additional funding, will continue their critical work — work that helps provide Newarkers with greater opportunity for good-paying jobs and affordable homes.”