The first four Newark community organizations selected to participate in the Neighborhood Investment Program, an initiative aimed at strengthening the city’s commercial corridors and help small businesses recover from the effects of COVID-19, were announced Tuesday.
The four groups will share in $731,505 in funding that was approved by the municipal council, Mayor Ras Baraka said.
The four organizations selected:
- Ironbound Business Improvement District (East Ward);
- Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (South Ward);
- Prospect Partnership (North Ward);
- Partnership West (West Ward).
The program, which will be administered by the Department of Economic and Housing Development, is part of Baraka’s $8.8 million Equitable Economic Recovery Plan to strengthen Newark’s economy and bring aid to communities hit hardest by the pandemic.
“These four initiatives will give our small businesses the support they need to expand their work and ensure that they not only recover, but come back even stronger,” Baraka said. “They will bring new excitement and attraction to long neglected neighborhood corridors.
“Together, the city and experienced community groups are taking another step toward building a post-pandemic equitable future for our neighborhoods.”
The groups were chosen through RFPs seeking applications from community-based organizations with a history of serving neighborhood business districts in Newark.
Organizations were invited to submit proposals in five areas of neighborhood investment: retail retention and vacancy reduction; public space physical improvement; events and public space programming; small business outreach, engagement and support to improve performance; and financial planning and organizational capacity building.
The evaluation committee received 13 responses and recommended four for inclusion in round one of the program. A second round will be announced soon.
“Our neighborhood retail corridors are the lifeblood of Newark,” Deputy Mayor of Economic and Housing Development Allison Ladd said. “The Neighborhood Investment Program will fund real solutions developed and carried out in partnership with community organizations with proven results in their neighborhoods. This is one of the largest investments the city has ever made to support retail corridors.”